30 Nisan 2018 Pazartesi
Dictionary's Anti-Women Meanings Can Stay
türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper, 29 April 2018)
"I know I hate her, I'll think of a reason (and a word) later."
In Ankara, the Turkish Language Council (TDK) was asked by
a citizen to remove certain words in its dictionary whose slang
meanings are demeaning toward women. The words in question,
with their accepted and slang meanings:
"müsait": favorable, convenient/ready to flirt.
"esnaf": artisans/women on the path to ruin.
"teslim etmek": to deliver/for a woman to give herself to a man.
"serbest": free/flighty, loose woman.
"oynak": unstable/flırtatious woman.
"kötüleşmek": to deteriorate/woman who behaves contrary to
"kötü yola düşmek": become corrupt or bad/woman who becomes
"yollu": having such and such roads/woman of suspect character.
"boyalı": painted/woman who wears excessive make-up.
TDK refused the citizen's request and the case went to court. A
judge decided that the slang meanings should be removed from
the TDK dictionary. TDK, though, appealed the ruling and
prevailed. The higher court noted that a word's meaning is given
in a dictionary according to, in order: widest usage, figurative,
slang, sarcasm, insult and any others, along with the word's use
in a proverb or saying.
The higher court found that the words' meanings with regard to
women were not put there to demean or to lay the groundwork
for violence against women. Rather, "words in a dictionary reflect
their use in the community, whether good or bad, right or wrong.
Slang or insulting meanings of words ought to have a place in a
dictionary but their use in conversation may be against the law."
Continuing, the higher court stated that it would not be possible,
actually or legally, to remove all the words that constitute insults
in the Turkish penal code from dictionaries.