Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

Definition of words in a dictionary v freedom of speech: when worlds collide.

Young woman's handcuffed hands typing on computer keyboardThe Brazilian Federal Public Ministry filed a civil public complaint in the end of February aiming at the removal from the market of one of the most renowned and important dictionaries in Brazil – Houaiss Dictionary  – under the argument that it contained “prejudiced and pejorative expressions” to define the word “gipsy” (“cigano”, in Portuguese).

The initiative was from the Federal Public Prosecutor from the city of Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais, Mr. Cléber Eustáquio Neves and the action was motivated by a representation filed by a gipsy back in 2009, which alleged that the Dictionary was discriminating its ethnic group. Continue reading

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