Jaguar Has Asked The Oxford Dictionary To Redefine ‘Car’

Jaguar Has Asked The Oxford Dictionary To Redefine 'Car'

Jaguar doesn’t agree with the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of ‘car’. So it’s decided to submit a formal application to have it changed…

What’s A Car? 

If someone asked you to define a car, how would you go about it? You might describe the shape and physical characteristics. Alternatively, you might instead decide to focus on utility and function. Well, as it stands, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines a ‘car’ as ‘a road vehicle powered by a motor (usually an internal combustion engine) designed to carry a driver and a small number of passengers, and usually having two front and two rear wheels, esp. for private, commercial, or leisure use’. This isn’t dissimilar to the separate definition found in the Oxford Dictionaries, ‘a road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.’ Jaguar doesn’t like either.

Defining The Future 

What Jaguar doesn’t like about the existing definitions is their bias towards internal combustion engines (ICE). It believes the rising prevalence and popularity of alternative powertrains demands an update. David Browne, head of Jaguar’s naming committee, believes the current definition is outdated. He said, “a lot of time and thought is put into the name of any new vehicle or technology to ensure it is consumer friendly, so it’s surprising to see that the definition of the car is a little outdated.” He added, “we are therefore inviting the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionaries to update its online classification to reflect the shift from traditional internal combustion engines towards more sustainable powertrains.”

It may sound cynical, but the application submitted by Jaguar might have something to do with its upcoming models. It’s launched the all-electric I-Pace and will soon roll out and electric version of its XJ Saloon. In addition, it’s secured a significant government loan to invest in electric vehicles and even battery production. That said, it’s inevitable that electric, hydrogen and hybrid vehicles will become increasingly common on roads throughout the world. Quite how much of a transition will be made, and how quickly, remains to be seen. Nevertheless, it’ll make little sense to define cars by their use of fossil fuels when they cease to require them.

If you support Jaguar’s bid, you can support them by using #RedefineTheCar on social media. We’re sure they’d be grateful…

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