Friday, July 31, 2015

The word police on campus

"Language has been described as complicated, intriguing and beautiful.” So opens the University of New Hampshire’s “Bias-Free Language Guide,” whose unstated purpose is to make language a lot more complicated and less beautiful. “We offer this guide as a way to promote discussion and to facilitate creative and accurate expression,” the authors assert. “This guide is not a means to censor but rather to create dialogues of inclusion where all of us feel comfortable and welcomed.” 

Oh boy. So what is offensive? Well, the photo with the guide shows no one of European origin--not Irish, German, Serbian, French, Russian, or Finn. Everyone is thin, good looking and dressed alike in denim and white. No one is disabled. No males in the photo, although one person appears to be gender-neutral or transitioning.

Connect Students Image 1

Senior citizen, elder, and elderly have been banished from the guide—back to “old people.” When I was a college student I thought anyone over 25 was an old person. HA!  Micro aggression has been subdivided to micro-assault, micro-insult and micro-invalidation.

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