Apple Dictionary Definition of 'Gay' Includes 'Stupid,' Student Alerts CEO Tim Cook

Student writes to CEO Tim Cook to get slang definition taken out.

ByABC News
November 12, 2013, 1:20 PM

Nov. 12, 2013— -- Sometimes the dictionary definition of a word just doesn't cut it.

Ask Becca Gorman, a student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts, who was writing an essay about gay rights when she saw something that she found offensive on her MacBook. When looking up the definition of the word "gay" on her laptop, she saw that Apple's dictionary also included its informal definition, meaning foolish or stupid.

"It was just insulting," she told ABC News affiliate WCVB. "I couldn't even understand why that would be there."

Gorman, whose parents are lesbians, wrote an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, saying that she objected to the inclusion of gay's informal definition. "I'm sure he did too, being [part of] a gay-friendly company."

She got a call from an Apple representative about an hour after she sent her email.

"They told me it's so hard to track the dictionaries they're getting sources from," said Gorman. The representative was also shocked at the offensive definition, and that the company would look into the problem.

"It was just insulting. I couldn't even understand why that would be there."

Cook recently wrote an Op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, advocating Congress to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. "Protections that promote equality and diversity should not be conditional on someone's sexual orientation," he wrote. "So long as the law remains silent on the workplace rights of gay and lesbian Americans, we as a nation are effectively consenting to discrimination against them."

Despite Cook's stance, as well as Apple's own extensive anti-discrimination policies, the definition is still in place in Apple's dictionaries. Apple did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Though Gorman was surprised to get a quick response from Apple following her email, she is prepared for a long road ahead before the definition gets removed. "I feel like we're going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it," she said.