Everything Is Problematic, University Guide Explains

By Published on July 31, 2015

The University of New Hampshire has a “Bias-Free Language Guide.” As the document assures its readers, it “is not meant to represent absolute requirements of language use.” (Universities have tried imposing absolute requirements of language use, only to be struck down on First Amendment grounds.) So the guide should be understood not as an attempt at censorship, which would be illegal, but as a cutting-edge statement of p.c. language norms. It indicates that the list of terms that can give offense has grown quite long indeed.

Some of the assumptions in the guide may confuse readers. For instance, the guide instructs, “avoid stereotypes and words that are derived from negative assumptions e.g., using the expression ‘going Dutch’ for ‘splitting the bill.’” The document does not delve into the question of whether splitting the bill is itself a bad thing. But mostly, the list is just extremely long. Some excerpts of preferred and problematic terminology for the politically correct UNH community:

Read the article “Everything Is Problematic, University Guide Explains” on nymag.com.

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