Writings > Lexical Leavings


Benjamin Barrett raises the issue of dictionary entries like the following:
なんぱ 軟派...
◇ 軟派する/(異性をひっかける)pick up a girl [a boy];(異性と遊び回る)play [《話》 run] around with a girl [a boy]. (ニューセンチュリー和英辞典)

(2) 異性を恋い慕う感情。「―を抱く」(広辞苑)

1a 《密接な関係にある》 二つ, 一対 (pair), 二人; 男女一組, 《特に》 夫婦; 婚約中の男女; ダンスの男女一組, ペア;...(リーダーズ英和辞典)
The point is that the references to 異性 and 男女 imply that words like 軟派, 愛情, and "couple" apply only to heterosexuals and exclude gay people.

I see that the entry for "couple" in Webster's Collegiate has been revised, presumably to avoid such discrimination and to reflect how the word is currently used:
1 a. a man and woman married, engaged, or otherwise paired (10th edition, 1993)

1 a. two persons married, engaged, or otherwise romantically paired (11th edition, 2003)

(September 6, 2003)