Thursday Dec 15 2022
Web Desk

Cambridge Dictionary changes definition of 'woman' and 'man'

Web Desk
— Hindustan Times
— Hindustan Times

The Cambridge dictionary has changed the definitions of "man" and "woman" and made it inclusive for people who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth, reported BBC.

The definition of "man" is now "an adult who lives and identifies as a male though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth."

The updated definition of "woman" reads: "An adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth".

The previous definitions assumed that sex and gender identity always adhered to one another. The new definitions, however, are inclusive of trans people.

The pushback and applause

The changes have been appreciated by many people online, but have also received a huge pushback from conservatives.

"Remember, if you can control the language, you can control the population, tweeted well-known political commentator Steven Crowder.

A Twitter user wrote, "They can change whatever they want but the science stays the same."

Another user wrote, "Once you can redefine the English language there is no argument you can't win! What people can't do with facts they will do with language."

"Changing language to fit the ideology. Postmodernism, what cancer," said another user.

Dr Jane Hamlin, the president of the Beaumont Society, a charity which supports transgender and non-binary people, said responding to the changes saying, “This is such good news. There has been so much misinformation and rubbish written about definitions of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ lately, but these definitions are clear, concise and correct. Congratulations to the Cambridge Dictionary team!”

Cambridge spokesperson

A Cambridge Dictionary spokesman said: “Our editors made this addition to the entry for ‘woman’ in October.

“They carefully studied usage patterns of the word ‘woman’ and concluded that this definition is one that learners of English should be aware of to support their understanding of how the language is used. The first definition at the entry for woman remains unchanged and continues to be ‘an adult female human being’."

He added that their dictionaries are written for learners of English and are designed to help users understand English as it is currently used.

“We regularly update our dictionary to reflect changes in how English is used, based on analysis of data from this corpus,” he added.