Fresh from mealy-mouthed praise of kinder, gentler lobster-killing techniques, the animal rights activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are now targeting a new victim: the English language. The Boston Herald reported on Friday that PETA sent a letter to dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster, demanding that the definition of “circus” be twisted to accommodate PETA’s hatred of circuses that employ animals (you know, the kind of circus that kids like).
Amusingly, the Herald‘s own readers have beaten us to the punch. In a poll accompanying the story, the most popular description for PETA included the words “loopy, dangerous, and freaky.” If Merriam-Webster really wants to tell the truth about animal-rights clowns, then it should consider adding this entry:
ethical (adj.) — as used by animal-rights groups: a proclivity to kill animals and advocate violence