PETA wants Merriam-Webster to redefine "circus"

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Mon Jun 26 15:09:45 UTC 2006

Even better is the side bar:

"How should PETA be defined in the dictionary?

A socially conscious group committed to defending animal rights

A loopy, dangerous and freaky organization

A mainstream group that works within the system

A hobby for moonbats and rich liberals with nothing better to do "

Note the use of "moonbats", which is often seen in conservative blogs to
describe those who have gone over the left-wing edge.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of James callan
> Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 9:28 AM
> Subject: PETA wants Merriam-Webster to redefine "circus"
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       James callan <james.callan at COMCAST.NET>
> Subject:      PETA wants Merriam-Webster to redefine "circus"
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> -----------------
> PETA activists are cracking the whip on Springfield-based
> Merriam- Webster, demanding that the definition of "circus"
> be rewritten to label the big top as cruel to "captive"
> animal performers.
> The dictionary currently defines a circus as "an arena often
> covered by a tent and used for variety shows, usually
> including feats of physical skill, wild animal acts, and
> performances by clowns."
> But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - known for
> caging naked women to protest the wearing of fur and
> protesting the living conditions of pet store iguanas - wants
> a new entry.
> The definitions in question, from
> localRegional/
> Current Webster's definition:
> circus - n. An arena, often enclosed in a tent or building
> for performances by acrobats, trained animals, clowns, etc.
> PETA's proposed definition:
> circus - n. Historically, a spectacle that relies on captive
> animals who are torn from their families and friends in
> savannahs, rainforests, or deserts and transported in chains;
> tiny, barren cages; or train cars from city to city. They are
> forced to perform painful, confusing, unnatural, and
> frightening tricks under the constant threat of punishment
> with whips, bullhooks, or electric prods. Modern circuses
> include only willing human performers, such as acrobats,
> contortionists, fire-eaters, trapeze artists, trick cyclists,
> and clowns.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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