An Inclusive Litany

5/20/02

The London Metropolitan Police issued a ban on the word "nitty-gritty," based on the assumption that the word refers to the lice-infested debris left at the bottom of a slave ship after a voyage, and would thus be offensive to the descendants of slaves. According to the London Times, the phrase "good egg" has also been banned because the phrase "egg and spoon" is supposedly a racial slur ("coon") in Cockney rhyming slang. And some British educators, apparently afraid of offending epileptics, have abstained from using the word "brainstorm," favoring the rather messy substitute term "thought-shower."

[Ed.: When later asked whether they were offended by the word "brainstorm," many epileptics said something to the effect that they were offended simply to be asked such a stupid question.]

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