An Inclusive Litany

6/13/00

Stockport College in Manchester, England, instituted a ban on the words "gentleman," "history," "manmade," "lady," "Mrs.," and "postman," along with over two dozen other terms. Anyone caught using the terms could be denied admission or employment at the college. Gone too are terms like "normal couple," "man on the street," "mixed race," and "bird" when not referring to creatures that actually have feathers on them. The words "crazy," "mad," and "manic" are also proscribed, since they are offensive to those suffering from mental health problems. And nobody can be referred to as "slaving over a hot stove," since that "minimizes the horror and oppression of the slave trade."

Also, Britain's National Employment Service instituted a ban on the words "hard-working," "enthusiastic," "smart," and "reliable" from a newspaper ad, claiming they violated the 1999 Disability Discrimination Act. The ban, which also covered the phrase, "commitment and a desire to succeed are vital," was later rescinded amid a hail of ridicule.

No comments: