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Scott Maxwell wrote:


"Someone has to stand behind the cash register at stores or restaurants.  Someone has to cook those fries at McDonald's."

Over the past week, several posts have bemoaned the supposedly sorry state of employment for structural engineers, particularly with respect to compensation and advancement.  Some seem to view their careers as being little more than "McJobs" [see news article below].  If they are right, we can all look forward to seeing "McStructural" in future versions of the dictionary.  However, since I view this line of thinking as being entirely bogus, I am more than willing to delegate all of the worrying to the well-represented "Chicken Little" faction amongst us!

Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas


... and would you like site visits with that?


Wednesday, November 12, 2003, 7:55 a.m.

Associated Press Writer

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- McDonald's may not be "lovin' it," but the editors of the Merriam-Webster dictionary say "McJob" is a word that's here to stay.

The 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, published in June, defines a "McJob" as "a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement."

The fast-food giant's chief executive, Jim Cantalupo, called the definition a "slap in the face" to the 12 million people who work in the restaurant industry, and demanded that Merriam-Webster dish up something more flattering.

But the dictionary publisher said Tuesday that it "stands by the accuracy and appropriateness" of its definition.

"For more that 17 years 'McJob' has been used as we are defining it in a broad range of publications," the company said, citing everything from The New York Times and Rolling Stone to newspapers in South Africa and Australia.  With more than 55 million copies sold since 1898, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate claims to be the best-selling hardcover dictionary on the market.

"Words qualify for inclusion in the dictionary because they are widely and commonly used in a broad range of carefully edited sources," said Arthur Bicknell, a spokesman for the Springfield-based publisher.

"McJob" is similarly defined in the American Heritage Dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's Dictionary, published by Random House.

The OED definition, which cites a 1986 story in The Washington Post, is: "An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector."

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