We all know by now that the literal meaning of a word isn’t always the way it gets used in conversation which is why describing a group of people as “rabid” (which means having or proceeding from an extreme or fanatical support of or belief in something) albeit not the best way to go about it, isn’t wrong. The problem is that most people associate the word rabid with fatally ill, dangerous animals. Negative connotations didn’t stop the Oxford Dictionary from using “rabid feminists” in an example sentence underneath the word’s entry though.

After a few Twitter users questioned the use of the term, Oxford University Press tweeted that rabid isn’t always negative and that they’re example sentences come from real world use. But now the Press is backtracking, first apologizing on Twitter earlier this week saying “We were flippant in some of our tweets yesterday. Sorry. ‘Rabid fan’ now has the highest frequency in the Oxford Corpus & ‘rabid supporter’ also frequent. We’ll review the primary example sentence used for ‘rabid.'” Oxford also provided a statement to The Daily Dot, “The example sentences we use are taken from a huge variety of different sources and do not represent the views or opinions of Oxford University Press. That said, we are now reviewing the example sentence for ‘rabid’ to ensure that it reflects current usage.”

What we associate with certain words is important — and there is already so much confusion associated with the word “feminist”. Adding to that confusion and overall baggage is simply unnecessary.

What are your thoughts on Oxford’s use of the word?

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  • dwntomars


  • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

    I guess they think they’re funny.

  • It’s an interesting debate. Too many people know falsely view feminists collectively as anti-men, constantly angry, and want to promote unjust hatreds in the human race. When many people use the term “rabid” feminist, it is usually used in a negative connotation. The most important point is the deeds of us. We can use words and define things, but at the end of the day, we want women to be liberated irrespective of nationality or ethnicity. That’s the point. There is sexism, which is evil. There is gender discrimination worldwide, and there is the income gap between men and women. We want progressive change where gender discrimination worldwide is gone where any woman has total social, economic, and political equality without exception. Also, words which are bigoted or slurs are words that I condemn. I want to make that clear.

  • trueletterson*[email protected]

    hell doing slavery women bought sold and owned slaves, since the early 1900 white women have control most of the wealth in the world, yep women control most of the wealth in this world, other than women of color along with their men, when in the late 19th century have women been legally oppressed? since the civil rights bill was signed when have all women in this country been legally oppressed? come on now stop falling for the smoke screen let’s be real.

    • Objection

      since the early 1900 white women have control most of the wealth in the world, yep women control most of the wealth in this world,

      You need to post some information to backup this claim. You can’t make no statement like this without revealing your source.

    • trueletterson*[email protected]

      with some of y’all it won’t make any different if I do because y’all are on a bogus, self sabotaging, narrow minded cause and a mission to destroy your man and your self included so the truth won’t matter to y’all. y’all are too blind to see it pertains to white women not you black women [see you think you are included with white women] that’s why you can’t comprehend and rap your head around that fact. it pertains to white women the very ones who is leading y’all around with a ring in your nose against your man while she HAVE A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF NATURAL LAW and is in league with her man to make sure THEY maintain power and keep their wealth so their offspring male or female can have wealth and power, but y’all are too blinded by hatred of your man to see this! Peace.

  • likewowgeek

    1. It’s a shame that in a piece on dictionary usage, you managed to make the most fundamental literacy error in writing ‘they’re example sentences’ instead of ‘their example sentences’. 2. The expression ‘rabid feminist’ exists… I’ve heard it. Only the thought police would bully the Oxford team over this. It’s just an example, folks. I suggest you start thinking about the possibility of getting a life.