Stanford University Cancels Dozens of “Harmful” and “Potentially Upsetting” Words Including “American” and “Grandfather”
, 2022-12-25 06:58:40,
Stanford University has published a list of words and phrases that it plans to stop using on its websites and IT systems because they can be “harmful” and “potentially annoying.” The guidance was produced as part of the university’s Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (EHLI), which involved 18 months of consultation with stakeholder groups. Commonly used terms that are considered racist, sexist, or capable were addressed, as well as those that suggested cultural appropriation or violence.
The site listing the now taboo words and phrases comes with a trigger warning. “This website contains offensive or harmful language,” she says. “Access this website at your own pace.” Unsurprisingly, the list has drawn criticism, even ridicule from some quarters. Keep reading to know more.
Cultural appropriation, targeted callousness
The guide advises against 13 words and phrases for being “culturally appropriate” or misusing terms with certain meanings for ethnic groups. For example, the phrase “bury the hatchet” appropriates “a centuries-old tradition among some Native American peoples.” The committee advises replacing it with “call a truce.” A “pow wow” should be called a “meeting” and a “guru” an “expert” to avoid appropriating a Buddhist and Hindu term of respect.
Perhaps most controversially, the EHLI considered “American” to be “imprecise language” and said “US citizen” is preferred. “This (American) term often refers to people of the…
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