Shakespeare once wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". Would a biker smell just the same?
Considering the recent talk in motorcycle media about Oxford Dictionary adjusting its definition of "biker", it's interesting to read people's take on the connotation.
"a motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang"
"a motorcyclist, especially one who is a member of a gang, or group."
With a stroke of a few keys, the number of bikers in the world increased ten-fold.
So does anyone put credibility into the hands of Oxford Dictionary or Merriam-Webster Dictionary?
How many times have you heard someone say, "It's a real word, it's in the dictionary"?
As if somehow, a group of uptight lexiconians in wool suits and tobacco pipes are sipping tea and nibbling on crumpets can decide how each of us as individuals will be classified in social rankings.
Does a word have to be in the dictionary before we're allowed to use it?
Labels only serve to judge others. Yet, groups who publish dictionaries make their living defining the labels, and have the power to affect society, if we choose to give them that power.
How did the idea evolve that "biker" is associated with black leather and half-helmets, while "motorcycle enthusiast" is associated with ATGATT and day-glo colors? If a motorcycle gang member wore ATGATT with a chartreuse jacket, does that mean he doesn't kill people anymore?
A guy photographed above is a friend of mine. If you didn't know him, you'd probably stay the Hell away from him. But if you did, you'd know he's as gentle, educated, and well mannered as the best of us.
If you're comfortable with who you are, you'll make your own rules. We don't need Oxford Dictionary to decide what's proper. "Rider", "biker", "motorcycle enthusiast", "motorcyclist"; it all smells just as sweet.