The Concise Oxford Dictionary has offered a compromise in its long-running quarrel with Jewish groups over its inclusion of the word "Jew" as a racial slur.
The Jewish campaigners say they welcome the change but believe it's not enough.One disputed entry defines "Jew" as "1. person of Hebrew descent; person whose religion is Judaism . . . 2. (derog., colloq.; R) person who drives hard bargains, usurer. . . . "
And as a verb: "(derog., colloq.; R) cheat, bargain with (person) to lower his price."
"Derog., colloq.; R" stands for "derogatory, colloquial, racially offensive."
According to a letter from S.J. Tulloch, senior assistant editor of the dictionary, to the Council of Christians and Jews, the next edition will add: "The stereotype, which is now deeply offensive, arose from historical associations of Jews as money-lenders in medieval England."
The aim, Tulloch wrote, is to put things into context.
But council director Canon Jim Richardson said he wished the dictionary simply would drop all the pejorative definitions.
Richardson, an Anglican clergyman whose organization fosters Christian-Jewish understanding, said, "She (Tulloch) said it was in common practice. We actually doubt that and ask: Is it really in use? Couldn't it be left out?"