INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Merriam-Webster has updated its dictionary entry on “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” a term many Asian Americans saw as antiquated and even racist.
The phrase was defined as a legitimate illness brought on by food seasoned with monosodium glutamate but “especially Chinese food.”
Merriam-Webster.com said the symptoms include numbness of the neck, arms and back as well as headaches and dizziness. Now, the definition has a detailed disclaimer noting the term as “dated” and "offensive.” It also contains a link to another entry - the more clinical term, “MSG symptom complex.”
An editor with Merriam-Webster confirmed the changes.