The Case of the Anti-Israel Dictionary



reader Andrew has forwarded a mail from a friend of his, who points out

that when you look up the word “annex” in the UK version of, this

is what you get:




an addition that extends a main building



take illegally, as of territory: “The Israelis are annexing more and more territory on the West

Bank “

2.   take

(territory) by conquest: “Hitler annexed Lithuania

3.   attach


His friend


Even more offensive than the

suggestion that Israel has illegally taken territory on the West Bank

and that it is continuing to take more and more is the juxtaposition of

verb 1 next to verb 2.  The implicit comparison of Israel with

Nazi Germany is about as repugnant and offensive as it gets. 

In fact, if you read it closely, Israel appears in a somewhat worse

light than Nazi Germany i.e. Israel stole territory, Hitler won


Apparently, the “dictionary” employed by

(at least in the UK ) is WordNet 2.1 Copyright 2005 by Princeton

University .

Different versions of the same software

seem to give slightly different definitions.


anyone come across this ‚Äúdictionary‚Äù before?  

Indeed, has anyone ever seen such perverse use of dictionary


No and no.

Andrew’s friend suggests writing to both Ask and

Wordnet/Princeton Uni to complain. I’ll be doing that, and I encourage

you to do the same.

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