Thursday, July 21, 2011

Romanian Gypsies seek dictionary definition change

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — What's in a name? An insult, according to Romania's Gypsies who are pushing for the nation's leading dictionary to add "pejorative" to its definition of the word "Gypsy" as "people with bad habits."

Roma, or Gypsy, rights groups have pressured the editors of the DEX dictionary to change that particular definition. Romanians use "Gypsy" to describe someone who is uncouth or dishonest.

Dictionary editor Eugen Simion told the Romania Libera daily Wednesday the change would be made, but warned it would not wipe out use of the word's pejorative meaning among Romanian speakers.

Romania's estimated 1.5 million Gypsies have lobbied to be called Roma, to avoid the negative connotations connected to the word "Gypsy." The group suffers widespread discrimination.

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