Oxford Dictionary apologises for choosing 'bloodbath' as word of the day
The Oxford English Dictionary has apologised after an advance selection procedure chose "bloodbath" as its word of the day on December 18.
Defining the word as "a battle or fight at which much blood is spilt; a wholesale slaughter, a massacre", the choice was heavily criticised by Twitter users in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, the Guardian reported.
"Tasteless and gross," one user wrote.
Another user wrote, "Seems in very, very poor taste in light of recent events."
The OED, which emails its choice of a word of the day every day, has now issued an explanation for picking "bloodbath."
"We would like to apologise unreservedly for the publication of bloodbath as the word of the day on 18 December 2012," OED's website read.
"The OED word of the day is selected months in advance by an editorial committee, and is distributed automatically each day.
"The timing - is a coincidence of the worst kind, and we apologise for any distress or upset caused by what might seem to be a highly insensitive choice," it read.
The company said that it hopes to show with their words of the day that even seemingly commonplace words can have interesting etymologies but now had taken "bloodbath" down from their online homepage and were taking immediate steps to review their scheduling and selection policy.
Twitter users took the apology with good grace.
"Personally, no apology is necessary. I found the linguistic analysis a much-needed step back from the recent horror," one user wrote.
"Thanks for the response. Relieved to hear it was an unfortunate coincidence and not intentional," another user wrote.
A third wrote, "Hard to believe some people would Tweet to @OEDonline abt their unfortunate Word of the Day, but not the @NRA. Priorities people!"