See the Offensive Way Apple's Dictionary Defines 'Gay,' and Meet the Teen Intent On Changing It

If you have an Apple laptop, click on their Dictionary app. Make sure you are on the dictionary tab on the top left, then search for the word "gay." The first two definitions of the adjective seem harmless. The first is "homosexual," and the second is "lighthearted and carefree."

The third definition will shock you. Apple says the informal definition of gay is "foolish; stupid." They even use it in a sentence: Making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule.

Fifteen-year-old Becca Gorman first discovered Apple's definition after she searched for the word while working on a research project. The Sudbury, Mass. girl has since written to Apple, asking them to change the hurtful definition. They, of course, are dragging their feet. Both of Becca's parents are lesbians, which made the definition offend her even more. It should offend us all.

It shouldn't take a high school student to bring to light something this blatantly offensive. But it's not hard to see why Apple included the definition in the first place.

How many times have you heard someone say: "Hey man, come out Friday night or you're gay" or "I can't believe I have to pay this ticket, and for the gayest reason!" Chances are you have often, perhaps even on a daily basis — or more.

This is a chicken or the egg scenario. Apple certainly didn't invent the modern-day offensive use of the term, but they're perpetuating its use as a slur. By keeping the definition up, they are compounding the improper situational use of "gay." It should be taken down immediately.

Apple taking it down, however, will not do the real work that needs to be done. We all need to work to take the informal use of the word out of our everyday vernacular. All it takes is pausing to think about what we are about to say before we say it, and stopping others when they use the word in a subtle but nonetheless derogatory way. Millennials should lead the charge.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Alexander de Avila

Alexander is a Political columnist at PolicyMic. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College's school of Government, focusing his studies on international politics and the impact of emerging technologies on government and war. He has experience working at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and as a research assistant at TSKB in Istanbul exploring alternative energy sources.

MORE FROM

Scientists just spotted 2 black holes flirting and dancing like awkward middle schoolers

The two could someday merge to become one.

I can't stop laughing at this amazing iOS 11 glitch that basically turns your texts into Jaden Smith tweets

One iOS 11 bug — god, I hope this is a bug — stands above the rest, and I can't stop laughing.

This biohacker implanted a transit card into his skin so he never has to get out his wallet

His name is Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, and he's got multiple chips in his arm.

NASA just clapped back at Anonymous after its alien conspiracy theory went viral

A NASA scientist debunked the baseless claims on Twitter.

Just seeing your phone can make your brain's cognition worse, according to a new study

There's only one way to stop getting distracted by your phone.

China may have achieved a seemingly impossible renewable energy goal

For seven days straight, China says it powered an entire province using only non-fossil energy sources.

Scientists just spotted 2 black holes flirting and dancing like awkward middle schoolers

The two could someday merge to become one.

I can't stop laughing at this amazing iOS 11 glitch that basically turns your texts into Jaden Smith tweets

One iOS 11 bug — god, I hope this is a bug — stands above the rest, and I can't stop laughing.

This biohacker implanted a transit card into his skin so he never has to get out his wallet

His name is Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, and he's got multiple chips in his arm.

NASA just clapped back at Anonymous after its alien conspiracy theory went viral

A NASA scientist debunked the baseless claims on Twitter.

Just seeing your phone can make your brain's cognition worse, according to a new study

There's only one way to stop getting distracted by your phone.

China may have achieved a seemingly impossible renewable energy goal

For seven days straight, China says it powered an entire province using only non-fossil energy sources.