When McDonald's Went to War With the Dictionary

Fast-food giant McDonald’s has sold billions of hamburgers, but that success hasn’t come without getting into a few pickles. In 2003, the company butted heads with both the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary over an entry they felt was disparaging to the brand……and no, it wasn’t “cholesterol.” Executives were miffed that the two dictionaries legitimized the word McJob. The Oxford English Dictionary defined it as “an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of a service sector.” While McDonald’s wasn’t specifically mentioned, the “Mc” made it fairly clear what sort of job would fit the description. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary followed suit, describing McJob as “low-paying, dead-end work.” In both cases, McDonald’s was not amused. In response, McDonald’s launched an advertising campaign to highlight new buzzwords like “McWords, “McFlexible,” “McDiscounts,” and “McProspects” to reflect the opportunities for employees.