“An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector.” That’s The Oxford English Dictionary‘s definition of “McJob,” a term which has been in common use ever since Douglas Coupland popularized it in his 1991 novel Generation X (published the year I graduated from college, which was a dismal year to look for any other kind of job). The Financial Times reports that McDonald’s has launched a campaign to remove the word from the esteemed O.E.D. Now, the O.E.D. is obviously not out to slam McDonald’s; its experts closely follow trends in the English language. A word gets into the O.E.D. because it is in widespread use. McDonald’s could ask itself why it has become synonymous with dead-end, crappy employment, and seek to make life better for its workers. Instead, the company has launched a petition drive to persuade the O.E.D. to drop the term. A petition! As if it was a neighborhood association, rather than a multi-national behemoth. As corporate conduct goes, this is certainly more courteous than suing a ragtag bunch of vegetarian environmentalists, as the company did in the infamous McLibel trial, but the petition strategy is unlikely to succeed. The O.E.D. — along with other dictionaries that define the word similarly, like Merriam-Webster — isn’t likely to remove the term until it ceases to be in use. That is, until reality changes.