Stanford University earmarks ‘harmful’ words for removal

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As part of its Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative, Stanford University, a leading U.S. university, has published a list that calls for a number of words branded as “ableist”, “ageist”, “colonialist”, “culturally appropriative”, “gender-based” and so on to be replaced with other less harmful ones.

Here is a quick review of some of the items on the list:

The word “American” is among those to be scrapped and replaced with “US Citizen”. The reason?

“This term often refers to people from the United States only, thereby insinuating that the US is the most important country in the Americas (which is actually made up of 42 countries),” reads the explanation.

Words such as “blacklist” and “whitelist” are to be removed because of the negative and positive connotations ascribed to each of them respectively. “Whitelist” is to be replaced with “allowlist” and “blacklist” with “denylist”.

“Lunch and learn” or “tech talk” is to take the place of “‘brown bag’ because of historical associations with the “‘brown paper bag test’ that certain Black sororities and fraternities used to judge skin colour. Those whose skin colour was darker than the brown bag were not allowed to join,” the University wrote.

“Gangbusters” has been branded as a harmful word because it “unnecessarily invokes the notion of police action against ‘gangs’ in a positive light, which may have racial undertones.”

“Cancel” or “end” is up to pushing “abort” out because the “term can unintentionally raise religious/moral concerns over abortion.”

The use of “brave”, when used as a noun, was discouraged altogether because the “term perpetuates the stereotype of the ‘noble courageous savage,’ equating the Indigenous male as being less than a man.” Neither should “chief” be used as “calling a non-Indigenous person ‘chief’ trivialises both the hereditary and elected chiefs in Indigenous communities,” the authors of the list argued, adding that “calling an Indigenous person ‘chief’ is a slur.”

A person who would usually be referred to as “addicted”, should be described as “devoted” or “hooked”. To the mind of the authors, “addicted” “trivialises the experiences of people who deal with substance abuse issues.”

“Committed suicide” has been described as “ableist language that trivializes the experiences of people living with mental health conditions” and was earmarked for replacement with “died by suicide.”

Both “crazy” and “insane” were recognised as “ableist language”. It was ruled that these words should be replaced with “wild” or “surprising”.

Terms such as “cripple” or “handicapped” were required to be replaced with “person with disability”.

Although the list is password-protected on the University’s site, it can still be accessed via the Wall Street Journal’s website.

To see it, click here.

The publication of the 13-page long guide has been welcomed by some and criticised by contestants of “woke culture”.

Via  TVP World

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