How to get into Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

I t’s not that hard to get into the Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary.

This was what com­mu­ni­ca­tions peo­ple found out af­ter the con­tro­versy over its def­i­ni­tion of “duterte,” ap­par­ently taken from the last name of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte.

Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary said “duterte” meant the fol­low­ing:

As verb: to scam, trick, con, or use un­scrupu­lous means to an end; to be­tray.

As ad­jec­tive: de­cep­tive, sly, fake, cor­rupt, crooked; treach­er­ous; of low qual­ity.

As noun: a scam, sham, or rip-off; a traitor. Mala­cañang, of course, got up­set and Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo quickly branded the Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary def­i­ni­tion as “false news.” Panelo came up with his own def­i­ni­tion of “duterte” say­ing that, if the word re­ferred to Pres­i­dent Duterte, it should mean “hon­est, in­cor­rupt­ible, po­lit­i­cally-willed per­son, coura­geous, self­less, hon­est, trans­par­ent, and all good things that come.”

Panelo then be­lit­tled Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary and said, “Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary? Sino bang may gawa noon? (Who did that?)”

So, what is Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary? It’s a pop­u­lar web­site that comes out high in the search re­sults when you look for a word or phrase. Its web­site at Ur­ban­dic­ warns that it is not suitable for all au­di­ences as its con­tent is “fre­quently pre­sented in a coarse and di­rect man­ner that some may find of­fen­sive.” It said the dic­tio­nary is served “as is” and “as avail­able.” In other words, it’s up to the reader to use it or not.

One gets into Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary when his or her name and a def­i­ni­tion are sub­mit­ted for in­clu­sion. It is a crowd­sourced dic­tio­nary, mean­ing any­one can put for­ward a word. The web­site re­jects in­side jokes and def­i­ni­tions nam­ing non-celebri­ties. Once posted, any­one can add background in­for­ma­tion.

Al­though the first def­i­ni­tion of “duterte” was still on the web­site as of Satur­day, Aug. 24, 2019, new def­i­ni­tions have been added, in­clud­ing this:

v. To do some­thing and to do it right, to fin­ish projects without any form of mis­chief.

n. Em­bod­i­ment of a politi­cian who shies away from tra­di­tional pol­i­tics. n. An hon­est politi­cian who hates cor­rup­tion. n. A pro-poor politi­cian.

Sen­tence ex­am­ples: Wow! The air­port is fin­ished! Na-duterte tayo! That politi­cian is like a Duterte. He loves the masses.

One limitation of Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary is that, while its ed­i­tors can re­move a word or def­i­ni­tion, it can­not re­view all con­tent pub­lished to the web­site or cre­ated by users ac­cess­ing the web­site.

If you find your name in this dic­tio­nary, you might as well use it to your ben­e­fit. If you dis­agree with the def­i­ni­tion, let its ed­i­tors know. You can come up with our own def­i­ni­tion, like the one who posted an ad­di­tional mean­ing to “duterte.”

On the ba­sis of that, Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary can­not be an au­thor­i­ta­tive and au­then­tic re­source. A crowd­sourced web­site (Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary and

Wikipedia are ex­am­ples) will al­ways carry the risk of pre­sent­ing data that is not ver­i­fied or true. Us­ing its con­tent in school pa­pers or of­fi­cial doc­u­ments makes one look stupid.*

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