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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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November 11, 2003

McWimps - Merriam-Webster Caving to McDonalds Threats

Posted by Ernest Miller

On Saturday, I took a look at McDonalds claim to be upset by the inclusion of the word McJob in the eleventh edition of the Merriam-Webster dictionary (McTrademark Follies). As I noted, the complaint seems quite specious since the word has been in common usage for nearly a decade and is found in many other dictionaries.

However, yesterday, Blind Höna | På Kornet noticed that the Merriam-Webster website has removed the term "McJob" from their page touting new words added in the 11th edition (McDonald's Newspeak: Unwanted words purged from dictionaries).

The evidence is clear: note this source HTML for the page with a list of some of the new words added to the 11th edition (

<!-- pulled 11/10/03 <p>

<a name="McJob"></a><strong>McJob</strong> . . . . <em>noun</em> (1986) <strong>:</strong> a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement


via BoingBoing

UPDATED 1640 PT - Corrected misspelling.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Freedom of Expression | Trademark


1. Seth Finkelstein on November 11, 2003 01:02 PM writes...

They missed an opportunity here!

They should have done something akin to Google and Chilling Effects, as in

"McDonald's wants us to remove the term McJob, meaning a low paying job. We are seriously considering removing the term McJob, meaning a low-paying job. Here is our discussion about the term McJob meaning a low-paying job ...."

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