Three words have been removed from the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary after a successful campaign by Mongol Identity, a Mongolian advocacy group which vociferously criticised and campaigned against Max Verstappen after he called Lance Stroll a “mongol” last year.
The group launched its latest campaign on World Education Day on 24 January and told Formula1News.co.uk that the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary has agreed to remove “mongol”, “mongoloid”, and “mongolism”.
“Having reviewed the evidence for the words ‘mongol’, ‘mongoloid’, and ‘mongolism’, we have decided to remove these terms from the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. The terms are no longer widely used and therefore not helpful to current learners of English,” the publisher of the dictionary said.
Speaking to Formula1News.co.uk, Uuganaa Ramsay, founder and director of Mongol Identity, said they are now urging other dictionaries to follow suit.
“We hope that this is clear evidence of how outdated the term is and the word ‘Mongol’ shouldn’t be used as a slur in the 21st century,” Ramsay told this publication.
“When Max Verstappen made his comments [used the slur against Stroll], Mongol Identity found some people on social media defended his use of the word by saying ‘Mongol is in the dictionary and it means someone who is stupid or someone who has Down Syndrome.’
“Dictionaries are essential reference tools, and the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is a key learning tool, used in libraries and schools around the world.
“Although some definitions are often labelled as ‘offensive’, there is seldom enough information in those definitions to ensure that readers understand how offensive, racist and discriminatory these uses are.
“The entry for Mongol with a capital ‘M’ will remain in the online Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary; in the print edition of the dictionary, it is given in the appendix of geographical names, where it will remain referring to people of Mongol origin and the culture.
“Mongol Identity is calling on other dictionaries around the world to follow suit to update their dictionaries on the definition of the word ‘Mongol’ and ending the historical, outdated, inaccurate misuse of the term ‘mongol,’” Ramsay added.