Academic Doubleplusgood Groupspeak Explained Online
I remember reading a bit at Simple Justice a few weeks back regarding discussions on race. Scott Greenfield did one of the best jobs summarizing how we WILL have a discussion on racial issues in the United States--when we realize that "in a real discussion, offense will be given. Offense will be taken." and that we needed to stop whinging, moaning, and crying over every sanitized word approved for use in reference to the subject.
It's gotten worse. Now we not only have to comply to their rules of how and where to speak, we're given handy lists in advance to know what terminology is "problematic" and what is "preferred."
The University of New Hampshire's "Inclusive Excellence" program has released a bias-free language guide for parties to know what words and terminology are offensive to everyone with a decent sense of moral fairness and how to best change your language to affect those who would be offended by the very utterance of shameful, harmful words.
This goes beyond the traditional notion of no racial slurs or homophobic terminology, mind you. The "Bias Free Language Guide" conflates terminology to a ridiculous degree--saying that calling the United States "America" is problematic as it excludes Canada and Mexico (which are North American), and that "person of size" should be used because "obesity medicalizes a person's body image." You are not to call a person "rich" because it imputes a sense of "omipotence," so use "person of material wealth." Saying that a person is "homeless" is problematic because it makes their lack of a residence appear to identify them, so you have to say it's a "person experiencing homelessness."
I can't let this continue--this continual sanitization of our language and the destruction of that which actually defines our very existence. I'm also loath to say it, but kids are also being taught now that words in the dictionary don't REALLY have those meanings because dictionaries were written by people in a disparately advantaged wealth environment and lack the perspective of those without the benefit of institutional privilege.
In case you don't speak PC, that means it's written by rich white people.
When I was a Junior in high school, I had the benefit of an incredible Advanced Placement English teacher who took an entire day after hearing a student utter a "curse word" to teach us why words had certain meanings, and how different cultures reacted to different "Bad words." It was eye opening and definitely taught me a couple of very important lessons that day: 1) language is going to be offensive at times, and nothing will stop that, and 2) the act of language being offensive depended more on the person and the place than the actual word itself. That's what gets me about all the continued hullabaloo over what words a person can or can't say is receiving: while people are wrapping their arguments in terms of "inclusivity" and "equality" what they're really doing is insulating themselves and their precious feelings from ever being hurt.
The University Of New Hampshire's "Inclusive Excellence" list does not promote inclusivity, not at any spot other than their precious special snowflake rules on the world's stage. It doesn't advance debate. It's not a substantive means of protecting others or promoting a fair discussion. It is a list of Bad Things We Can't Say Because They Make You OFFEND, and needs to be ridiculed as such.
And I'm never sending my kids to the University of New Hampshire.