Stanford University has entered the brave new world of language policing. Only you can’t use the word “brave” in this colorful new world. You can’t say “tribe.” You can’t say “he,” but should say “they” to refer to s singular male.
The university wants its campus community to stop using certain words and use other words that it says are not offensive. For instance, people should not say dumb, and should not say someone is an addict. They should not say someone committed suicide, when it’s more accurate, according to Stanford, that they “died by suicide.”
Among the more controversial entries in the new language guideline is the discouragement of the word “American.” Instead, the university wants you to use the word “US citizen.” Why? “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).”
This “Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative” is a project to address what the campus sees as harmful language in IT at Stanford in fulfillment of the “Statement of Solidarity and Commitment to Action” published by the Stanford CIO Council and People of Color in Technology group in December 2020.
The goal is to eliminate many forms of harmful language, including racist, violent, and biased (e.g., disability bias, ethnic bias, ethnic slurs, gender bias, implicit bias, sexual bias) language in Stanford websites and code, the university report states.
Some of the words that are now discouraged are:
addict – say person with a substance abuse disorder
addicted – say hooked, devoted
basket case – say nervous
blind review – say anonymous review
blind study – say masked study
committed suicide – say died by suicide
confined to a wheelchair – say person who uses a wheelchair
crazy – say surprising/wild
cripple or crippled – person with a disability
dumb – say non-vocal, non-verbal
handicap parking – say accessible parking
insane – say surprising or wild
lame – say boring or uncool
mentally ill – say a person living with a mental health condition
OCD – say detail-oriented
The list goes on. You cannot say “Karen,” but should say “demanding or entitled White woman,” the document says.
Read all about the dumbing down of America by the language police at Stanford University at the PDF below: