November 3rd, 2012

Random Violin

Changing the world, one letter at a time

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard can point to any number of things she's accomplished during her lifetime, but the most recent is the most surprising - and gratifying - of them all. How many PMs can point to the change of meaning of a word as one of their accomplishments?

Both the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Macquarie Dictionary have redefined the word "misogyny", thanks to Julia. The Cambridge dictionary has extended the definition from "hatred of women" to "feelings of hating women, or the belief that men are much better than women" while the Macquarie Dictionary has also decided to broaden its definition to include a deep prejudice against women.

The change is due to Julia's smackdown of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in Parliament last month - seen here in all its glory. I was clapping and cheering through most of it.