The Oxford Dictionary has decided to redefine the term “jihad” to better align with the prevailing spirit of linguistic inclusivity. The new definition reads: “Jihad – a term that means we just need to listen to Muslims more.” Critics argue that this move is the dictionary’s attempt to solve global problems with a hearty dose of political correctness.
The decision to reshape the meaning of “jihad” has left some language enthusiasts scratching their heads and others wondering if we can redefine other complex issues into feel-good catchphrases.
The Oxford Dictionary defended the move, claiming that they wanted to “reflect the evolving nature of language” and “encourage open dialogue.” They suggest that the new definition aims to erase any lingering negative connotations associated with the term and replace it with a warm invitation to understanding.
“Islamophobes might see it as wordplay, but we’re just trying to be more culturally sensitive,” said a spokesperson from Oxford Dictionary, whose previous works include turning “polar vortex” into “nature’s chilly embrace” and “taxes” into “mandatory charitable contributions.”
This linguistic shift has sparked a series of proposals to redefine other potentially thorny terms. Next on the list: “Fake news” may soon become “alternative facts for the oppositionally intelligent.”
While some applaud the effort to foster a more harmonious linguistic landscape, sceptics argue that no amount of redefining words can gloss over the complexities of global issues. As dictionaries continue their lexical gymnastics, one can’t help but wonder what words will be in for a makeover next. Perhaps “debate” will soon be synonymous with “politely agreeing to disagree.”