Damn you, World Book Encyclopedia...

Daisy's picture

Hi. I'm really, really mad and I thought you guys might appreciate it.

This is the letter that I'm mailing them. It pretty much says it all.

To whom it may concern:

Upon looking up the word “love


the mouse that roared's picture

Good for you

for writing that letter. I've read heterosexist--or even anti-bi, but pro-gay--discussions in books, dictionaries, etc. too.

TeeAhr1's picture

right on

Good for you. You're probably right, in that if you alone send them a letter, it will probably accomplish nothing. On the other hand, if anyone else is interested in getting a word in, or perhaps sharing this information with others, here's how to contact them...

World Book, Inc.
233 North Michigan Ave., Suite 2000
Chicago, Illinois 60601
ph: 312.729.5800
TeeAhr1 (p. daniels) - Special Assistant To Mr. Wonka

Nikku's picture


That's the most insulting thing I've ever heard in my life! Kudos to you, Daisy. Homophobia in an encyclopedia is intolerable.

jdub's picture

If we're all going to be so p

If we're all going to be so pedantic about things, which a journal entry concerning a dictionary entry would imply, you should not say that "homophobia in an encyclopedia is intolerable" because according to Pedant's Parsnips:


As homo denotes 'same' and phobia denotes 'fear', homophobia should mean 'a common fear' or 'a fear resulting from a similar cause'. The meaning might be stretched to indicate a fear or dislike of blandness; in no way can it mean hatred of homosexuals.

"I can feel the hand of a stranger, and it's tightening around my throat."

stewie's picture

when you looked up "drama que

when you looked up "drama queen" did you see a picture of youself?
is it just me or is everyone's ego here made up of glass?
really really really thin glass?
just curious

what do YOU think love means?

NO-not what everyone else says or what some book says...
but what do YOU think it means?

they why oh why oh fffffufufufuufufufufufuufufufufufuufufufufuufufufufuufufuufuufufuufufufuccccking why would you leave it up to an encyclopedia to
define it for you?
no use getting all upset over it (:"

mayday's picture

Good letter.

I like that you did this.

And don't pay any attention to stutter boy up there. It looks to me like his post was more to slowly but surely learn how to say the word "fuck" than it was anything else. Eh, someone'll help him out.

Good job with the letter though!

jdub's picture

To answer your 2nd and 3rd question

No, it's not just you

"I can feel the hand of a stranger, and it's tightening around my throat."

Sirens call's picture


I don't see how someone having the strength and passion to stand up for something they believe in, makes their ego weak or fragile. If you don't hold the same view as her, fine, that doesn't make what she's doing any less admirable, or give you the right to tell everyone who agrees with her that they too are fragile.

That said, I think what you're doing Daisy, is great.


jdub's picture

Let me explain myself

My observance was not referring to this one isolated post, but to a phenomenon that I've noticed over the past year and a half. What I've noticed since becoming a member is that everyone seems afraid of hurting each other's ego/pride/feelings to the point of absurdity. I understand the whole "being respectful of others" rule that has established itself on this site and I believe it's a good rule. What it seems like, though, is that this rule has been taken too far. this just happens to be my opinion, feel free to disagree with me if you wish, it is your right afterall

"I can feel the hand of a stranger, and it's tightening around my throat."

armadillo's picture

I love it when people take action!

Hey, if it offended you Daisy, then by all means...report it. In my experience, I've found that if one person finds a problem with something, chances are many people have the same problem, but don't take the time to say something. The webster's dictionary will probably take your letter into consideration , because it's coherant and they probably really like to read - why else would they work for a dictionary company. ( oh yeah, $$$$$$$$)

elraye's picture

Symbols of meaning

Without a common basis of understanding there can not be communication. People would talk at each other without empathy. While it is true that the meaning of words change over time it is generally accepted that one will choose words that convey within the context of the time, society, and purpose for which they are intended. There are more than 600,000 words in the English Dictionary, more than any other language. I believe the French language has the fewest and relies upon inflection to transmit the feeling and/or context of the message.

If we were to follow your advice, we would probably resort to physical/objective measures to convey a thought. By the way how does one describe the smell of a flower? What words would be used to distinguish one smell from another? I believe that most of us would resort to a description based on our limited senses and smell can may only be associated with things that are currently labeled.

Any thoughts?


ACCgirl's picture


I applaud you for taking action. Who knows, since that's a well-written, respectable, and assertive letter of complaint, there's always the possiblity you'll be recognized and your point considered.

You should keep us up to date, if they reply or something.

sistinesylph's picture

I can understand your feeling

I can understand your feelings but to call it a "heterosexist act of hatred"? That may going a little too far. Maybe you were a little hard on them. That definition of love has been passed down in dictionaries for ages and to blame one, is like drinking a drop of water when really you need a gallon. In addition, there are many definitions of love, it does not take into account how one would feel about their best (same sex) friend.

Now that I have said that, I do appreciate your efforts and I think it is a valiant cause but remember that that dictionary is not the only one out there.

No disrespect and I'm sorry if I offended.


Paladin's picture


As Oscar Wilde's lover said, homosexuality is the "love that dare not speak its name."


Daisy's picture

Aw man, can you guys believe

Aw man, can you guys believe I actually said, "Your former customer"? Ha ha... Am I a spaz or what?

I may be naive, but I really was shocked to come across that, which may explain why the letter is so... Well. You know. I actually wrote a very polite, diplomatic version first, but then I thought, the chances are pretty slim anybody'll even see it, and if they do, who's going to care that someone "would really appreciate more sensitivity"?... And besides, what's the point of speaking mildly about something you really care about?

Right. So that's my reason for making it so over-the-top.


Did they love you or what?

Nikku's picture

I really liked it, Daisy. You

I really liked it, Daisy. Your words were very powerful, yet retained eloquence. It was very nicely put together. ^^

sistinesylph's picture

Eh, what do I know? Not much

Eh, what do I know? Not much, you're very understandable. Forget I said anything.


rowie's picture

dont worry about your letter

dont worry about your letter being harsh, its great and gets the point across. btw my oxford popular dictionary doesnt take this view, so its not all dictionaries.

"Im Namen der Menschlichkeit. Lieber blieben wir arm den blutbefleckt." - Friedrich Durrenmatt, Der Besuch Der Alten Dame

**you must be the change you wish to see in the world**

elraye's picture

The word GAY

Don't be so upset. The word "Gay" didn't exist until sometime around 1896 when a German sociologist coined the word to describe us. It has taken almost 100 years for the vast majority of society to even recognize that we are not mental cases.



give me a fucking break, no o

give me a fucking break, no offense but this ain't gonna
do shit. just being realistic. how many of you personally
did anything to actually HELP out people with
GLBT issues and problems in YOUR community?
or actually DID something that made a difference in
the peoples lives AROUND you , NO- not online hiding behind
a screen name and keyboard, NO- not winning "lil battles"
and patting yourself on the back since you "took a stand".
give me a fat hamsandwhich break, good for you!
they're gonna read that paper , crunch it up and be all like-
fucking fags think they own the world...
sure it's always good to pick our battles wisely but
how many of you would back up someone if they were
getting the shit kicked out of them?
how many of you would actually DO something instead of
passivly protesting and secretly crying about the issues
GLBT face on a daily basis?
how many of you would risk it all including your pride to
take a stand and "come out" to take action to make a
REAL difference for GLTB in our world- putting your own personal
fears and issues aside to actually make a difference
in other peoples lives?
good for you, you sent an angry letter.
i personally stood up to my everyone in my past because
of their fear, ignorance and bullshit regarding homophobia-
you don't see me asking for no fucking prize.
i risked it all, sacraficed it all
and i lost it all-
all to maintain the integrity of my sexuality and identity.
i just find it kinda ammusing when i read of peoples
injustices here , when i personally been through
enough shit for people to kill themselves over.

Paladin's picture


And what did you do, after you came out, to help the gay community? Anything?


Lost Angry Youth's picture

i did alot more then hiding b

i did alot more then hiding behind a fucking key board and
acting like some sort of fucking saint.
i may be a fucking asshole prick , but at least i ain't
like you guys.
playing nice and afraid of change-

T. Stanton's picture

Good For You

I used to write little articles for this website about 5 years ago. I logged on today to see what queer youth are up to... This was the first post I read.

Okay, so maybe you went a tiny bit over the top with the "heterosexist act of hatred" thing, but the sentiment is entirely valid. I would encourage you to look and see what version of that dictionary you are using. If it is an old version, I wouldn't fault them - IF they have since changed the definition. If it is a current version, more people should write in.

I don't think it was meant as an insult. My guess is, they wrote the definition way back when, and never got around to revising it... I like to give breeders the benefit of the doubt... But if it is brought to their attention by enough individuals, they have no excuse for not changing it.

What disturbed me more than your letter was Stewart's ranting.

Since I gave it to the breeders, I'll give Stewart the benefit of the doubt as well... Maybe he is very active in trying to make a difference in the world. Maybe he truly is involved in all aspects of the fight for equality. But, an intelligent activist would realize that alienating another activist - no matter how small his/her actions - is counter-productive to the cause. It's fine to encourage people to be more active. It's commendable to educate them on how to be more effective in the actions they do take. It is not acceptable to harass them for their actions.

We are all individuals. We belong to many different communities. No one is JUST gay or JUST lesbian. Some of us our lesbian, Jewish urbanites. Others are gay, Republican Southerners. Because of that diversity - which we all should respect - we choose to go about life in different ways, placing differing degrees of importance on the various components that make up our unique selves.

If Daisy is comfortable writing a letter, support her for that. You can disagree with what she wrote, or why she wrote it, but it's better than doing nothing. In fact, it's a culmination of those little acts that results in a healthy evolution (rather than a bloody revolution).

Keep fighting your fights. Fight them in the way that feels right for you. And even if we're fighting different battles, in different ways, and on different levels, we're still fighting the same war.

I believe in you!

T. Stanton

Paladin's picture


So you know, Stewart (and all his other incarnations) is our neighbourhood troll.


Lost Angry Youth's picture

for some odd reason i have a

for some odd reason i have a strong feeling that if
we were ever to be invloved in a GLBT rally-
and things were to get out of hand...

all the fags would run and cry
all the lesbians would scream BUT at least "try" to fight
and the only one's helping me fight?

the butch dykes (:"

oh i forgot, our country was forged with "hands across america"
and "peace loving hippie shit" ,
not wars or battles. nothing makes a statement louder
then violence.sorry to say, but it's true.

if the lil definition of "love" got to you the way it did and
my posts are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
offensive and disturbing to you and god forbid i "step on anyones toes"
because my absolute refusal to play nice and civil just like
everyone else does...
then i would hate to see what would happen in the event
of a REAL threat to our existance and personal identity.
shhhheeeeesh, what a bunch of drama queens.
i have personaly faught soo much in my short life and i am
still suprised at what people cry over- give me a break.

sure you can build up a person and make them feel strong
with "imagined victories" in their own mind-
but what happens when it's the real deal and something serious
occurs and they don't know how to deal with it.
am i such an asshole? am i such a prick?
if you guys think i am bad, i feel sorry for you guys
when some big ass "faggot hating mother fucker"
decides that your time is up and he has the ticket.
because as harsh as i am , at least if that situation
were to occur i would have enough courage and smarts to
handle it and come out alive. i have.
judging from alot of these threads and posts i can already
see that i am alone in the fight for what is right,
and that everyone else would rather hide behind the
"santuary" of the keyboard and play by societies
roles aready chosen for them. how sad really.
fine, hide in your "closets" be afraid of rejection ,
loss, hate, social dissapproval, afraid to be "different"
and who you truly are, put aside your personal right for sexual
self-expression and god given right to be with whomever you
choose, go ahead and trade your idenity for acceptence
if you must-
compromise and hide who you are , for the sake of approval and
acceptence of others -if it let's you sleep better at night.
i say if your folks or anyone don't approve of your
sexuality- FUCK THEM and take the world on by it's horns if you must.
you are who you are and thats that, no one has a fucking
right to say otherwise.

i would get the press, the media, and even political
leverage to make a REAL difference and permanently
change the meaning of love to universally fit it's
true meaning. not just man+woman=love or mommy+daddy+kids=love,
but something it really stands for and not soo rigid.
look-if michael fucking jackson can get his name changed to
the king of pop, or the development of 99 inch.plasma screens
are possible...anything is.
see why there are no more "supersize" french fries anymore
at mickey d's and how fat people tried to sue mcdonald's
for them being willpowerless fat assess without the
ability to make their own descisions for what the
healty ammount of fast food one eats?

make it a national protest and have millions even billions
protest the encylopedia until they changed it, e-mail/im everyone
and have them rip out that page, create a buzz, fuel a frenzy
make a statment and create a stir strong enough for
lasting change.not just a victory in ones mind.
but actual change where you helped contribute to the
redefinition of love for our century.
shit , play big or don't play at all...

maybe i am passed the "mommy & daddy hate me
because i am gay" or "oh, my god..my best friend used the F-word!
(FAGGOT!)" and that i am just wasting my time here looking for
people at my level.
i have sacrificed everything for my personal existance & identity,
so nobody here has any right to fucking cry about trivial shit.
K? (:"
when i do create a frenzy you will be sure
LOST ANGRY YOUTH will be at the source of it and there
will be lasting change for everyone.

even for the sheep (:"

Paladin's picture

Strong words, but empty.

You still haven't answered my question other than saying "more than hiding behind the keyboard". What more??? Maybe you have the intentions to change things, but so does everyone here, and you haven't mentioned anything you've done to help, just put down what everyone else has done.

You're a hypocrite (as has been pointed out by Siren's call). You say some or all of us are hiding behind our keyboards. Well wtf are you doing? I don't see you out there getting the "millions"/"billions" to protest this encyclopedia. Daisy's letter may be a drop in the ocean, but it's a hell of a lot more than your ranting about what you'd do if you were only god.


sexbottlerocket's picture

all this reminds me of a youn

all this reminds me of a young man i once worked with, there was a charismatic energy behind all that anger.he played a active role in the eminem contraversey and protest in the winter of 2000.the last time i heard of him there has been many assassination attempts on his life(suprised?)one- when planning a large scale hijacking of a television station in chicago to "out" many high status military officals and generals-labeling them in his own words - "two faced fucking bastards" after being dishonorably discharged from the military.he suspected his sexuality was behind the cause.
i may be wrong,but the term LOST ANGRY YOUTH
rang a bell and was the young mans motto back when i knew him.
of course it's most likely not him, the young
man i knew is rumored to be dead.

Paladin's picture

How sad

That's funny. At the time you made this post, I'm pretty sure that the person you replied was not called LOST ANGRY YOUTH, but was called something else. I might have been wrong though, given how much his name changes (not his personality, unfortunately).

Yeah, if anyone here would hijack a TV station, I would guess him.

But he can't be the guy any way. You mentioned someone with charismatic energy, and our Lost Angry Youth has none.



ah , how sweet *sigh* "OUR

ah , how sweet *sigh*

"OUR" lost angry youth < blush>
now stop that- you're embarassing me!

your new name is PALDY and you are as much of a douche
as DOG BOY (:"

Lost Angry Youth's picture



Lost Angry Youth's picture

i was really pissed off when

i was really pissed off when i wrote that-
no excuses i was just mad

Sirens call's picture


"i may be a fucking asshole prick , but at least i ain't
like you guys. playing nice and afraid of change-"

Oh? And what change have you ever facilitated? Every empty word you write leaves me less and less inclined to believe you. In fact, the only change I believe you have caused, is the change to this site, and it hasn't been one for the better.

But don't worry, everyone can see how you've rallied behind them, you've been supportive, you haven't hidden behind your keyboard calling people names or littering the site with your disgustingly detailed sexual conquests. No, not you. In fact, it is clear to us all that you will single-handedly unite all gay and lesbian people throughout the world... You will be responsible for an uprising!!!

See? Everyone believed me, almost as much as they believed you. So yeah, how about you actually tell us what you've done, give us some details...maybe even facts?! *gasp*

Daisy, in her own small way has at least done something for the gay community, whereas you, for all your bravado have yet to prove you've done anything other than attack our own small community here on Oasis.

Perhaps you are "just wasting [your] time here looking for people at [your] level." I'm pretty sure nobody's ready to stoop that low.


ally_hawk1ns's picture

Republican Southerners????

ahem..im a complete liberal,and i live in Dixie(Alabama)even if thats not what you meant,i was still offended.i apologise if my offendedness offends you.lol..woo..try saying that 5 times fast..

lilpointguard's picture

gosh its awsome that u did th

gosh its awsome that u did this. We need more ppl like you. I absolutely loved the letter, powerful and meaningful. Ive never read the definition of love. cant believe it said that.

FlameFish08's picture

ive never actually looked up love in the dictionary, but i guess i always assumed that it was "gender friendly". this pisses me off to the max and im glad that you wrote a letter. its good that you take action on things tat need to be corrected. thank you for that.

jeff's picture

My only comment...

would be, did you make sure you were using the latest version of the encyclopedia? Don't want to ding people on stuff they already fixed.

Because that type of definition seems to not be anywhere else.


soyunmaricion's picture

Daisy, you make me proud.

Personally, I dont care if it really did it any good in the long hall. And, to tell you the truth, it actually did some good. A WORLD of good if you will. It shows others (my self included, a soft spoken loser who lets people walk all over him)that even if you cant make or break the revolution, you can at least start it, or add a twig or a leaf to the fire. Think of this crude analogy to help you (I cant think of a better one): Take a brawny paper towel. Get it wet and add a tiny stone to it (the tiny stone being Daisy's letter). Then keep adding stones, and stones, and stones into it until it finnally breaks (the breaking resembleing equality). I dont personally know Daisy (and this has NOTHING to do with her being nice to me when I first joined here), but she's made me the proudest I have been in a VERY long time. And its people like "lost angry youth", who, maybe unintentionaly, are "taking stones out of the paper towel", making it that much harder for us to, so to speak, "win." How in the name of god to you presume that we can fight "the enemy" if we cant come together as a team, instead of fighting each other? People can say we're all together, us "gays" or "dykes" or any of that bullshit, but since we're all such different people, we're going to have to put our differences aside and learn to accept others points of views (like that Daisy's idea of writting a letter might have sounded stupid to lost angry youth, but it was a good idea to her) if we ever want people to do just that: except our views and our, for lack of a better term, "life style." Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go email Daisy and build her up a bit, then heheh try to find something like this for me to do. :)
I am truely inspired =)

Buffy isnt just a tv show; its a life style.

Ebony's picture

*claps*Good for you, Dais


Good for you, Daisy :D

Yeah, upon being realistic, I know that it probably won't do much, but the fact that you're making an effort is awesome! Keep it up and maybe someone will listen. Maybe one day we can organize a gay rights rally or something.

I have superpowers's picture

Hello Daisy, this may sound a

Hello Daisy, this may sound as a cleche but "You go girl". That is sad and pissoff worthy. Iam going to check every dictionary slash encyclopedia for the definition and make sure its gay friendly before I look any of my definitions. Also why wuould a girl like you need to look up Love?

goatchunx's picture

If you think that's bad, chec

If you think that's bad, check out the engrained attitudes pervalent in society.

You have my support. Fred Phelps has my hatred.

saavedro's picture

go you!

you tell 'em. FIGHT THE SYSTEM!!!!
(marches around acting defiant for a while). yeah. that was fun.