Man threatens to bomb dictionary over definition of "woman"

Originally published at: Man threatens to bomb dictionary over definition of "woman" | Boing Boing


As a trans woman I’m all up for him having to write out the complete definition of “female” 250,000 times to see if the lesson sinks in.


the Boston FBI office didn’t try to flip the guy to use as an informant like Whitey Bulger or Tamerlan Tsarnaev

Probably no-one for him to inform on, since he seems to be a stochastic terrorist. The authorities might find some paths into fascist and white supremacist forums on his devices and maybe borrow his identities there but that wouldn’t get him any deals.


A dictionary does not really ‘define’ words. They catalogue the current usage of words. A good dictionary should give an understandable explanation using simpler words, that most people agree on. Dictionary makers would probably agree that they have no authority to impose a definition. Where there are several uses, they should try and document them all. A tomato may be a fruit to a biologist, but you don’t put it in a fruit salad. Same with people.

Beware of people who go to the dictionary for their defence. That guy isn’t into philology, he’s into beating up queers. By their fruits ye may know them, etc.


Ever so RIGHT ON!


Geez you’d think the continued inclusion of these anachronisms would be something of a salve for the burning impotency of man-children and the hierarchy obsessed.

I mean, just wait and see what channel he requests in the prison lunchroom (I may not have any idea how prison works…)


MW is explicitly a descriptive dictionary: it tries to document how the language is used in practice, rather than define how the editors think it ought to be used. This makes the more inclusive definition of female a no-brainer for them, and makes the would-be terrorist’s threats and reasoning somehow even more bone-headed.


I was quite unaware that Marxism was so progressive.


Just out of curiosity, before I left the house this morning I checked the definitions given in the “9th New Collegiate Dictionary” that I’ve had since 1987. What was given then had more to do with the reproductive abilities of “female” rather than other characteristics or identity; so the current definition is quite a bit more inclusive. The definition of “woman” is nearly unchanged across the decades.

Who knew that language could change?? /s


He could flip on 4chan, Reddit, twitter, FB and whatever other dark cesspool of the internet he got radicalized on.


This is what they’re talking about when they use the term.


Is that by Metallica…? :smirk:


Dear Wife says “the better half” and just leave it at that, or you can take it up with a Woman.


(2): botany : having or producing only pistils or pistillate flowers


I think all big dictionaries are descriptive. I was sorely tempted by a second-hand 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary. That goes into all the uses, and cites sources. But the more bigoted, ugly, and controversial uses of a word are only in the biggest editions. If you want something you can hold in your hand, a lot has to go. A great deal of that you never miss for everyday use. If you need a short entry for ‘male’ and ‘female’ for a pocket dictionary, reproductive biology has snappy answers. Use a small dictionary to check your spelling, finish the crossword, or settle Scrabble squabbles. But if you look up a common word to find out what it really means, you probably want a big one.


Wow. I think I’ve heard this warped idea described in general terms but never with that specific reference. This is just one more data point to make me wonder how I ended up on Bizarro World.


It’s a direct callback to the Nazi term “Cultural Bolshevism”. The other code phrase you’ll see them bring up in connection with this conspiracy theory are disparaging references to the “Frankfurt School”.


Sheesh, what a maniac.


Reading a longer article in the Washington Post, he has a long history of making nasty threats like this and has been talked to a number of times by the FBI and others.

He is clearly mentally disturbed. Problem of course is knowing if or when he will cross over into acting on his opinions.

He is on medication but apparently refuses to take it claiming he is “fine” which is a recipe for disaster eventually.

When I worked for a particular government agency, we got calls like this now and then. One woman was persistent in very odd, mildly disturbing calls then one day, she started making threats to kill the vice-president. NO idea why that target but that moved it way up the scale.
Secret Service got brought in. They arrested her (while she was calling us yet again to threaten him) and she was held for psychiatric eval.


Why? Because a man can’t possible be hateful to the point of blowing shit up? Fuck that noise. Stop equating violent misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia with mental illness. It helps no one and is 99.9% of the time not true. All you’re doing here is making excuses for people who are seeking to hurt others and helping to stigmatize the people who ACTUAL suffer from mental illness.