Stanford Publishes List Of Harmful Words

Stanford published a list of harmful words. It states that there are alternatives to the terms “racist, violent, and biased” that are utilized. The program will eliminate the offensive language from its webpages and IT systems.

Stanford Publishes List Of Harmful Words

The term “American” is included on a list of “harmful language” that Stanford University wishes to get rid of because it is “ableist, ageist, or racist,” and it advocates for the term “US citizen” to be used in its place.

Grandfather, brave, and master are also on the list of words the university intends to expunge from its IT systems and webpages, according to a plan it released in May.

The Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative will additionally work to inform the public of the effects that words that are “racist, violent, and biased” have.

It has outlined ten areas where ‘harmful’ speech can arise underneath the titles: ableist, ageism, colonialism, culturally appropriative, gender-based, imprecise language, institutionalized racism, person-first, violent and additional considerations.

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Some of the phrases and words that Stanford now thinks are too offensive to be used anymore
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Stanford University has published a list of ‘harmful language’ that it wants to eliminate because the terms are ‘racist, violent and biased’. Pictured, Stanford president Marc Tessier-Lavigne
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The University revealed the plan in May, and wants to remove the words from its IT systems and websites. Pictured, people walk on the Stanford University campus

It has also advised individuals to refrain from using the term “American” because there are 42 countries in the Americas and it indicates “that the US is the most important country in the Americas,” according to the list.

Names should be used instead of ‘chief’ or ‘Pocahontas,’ according to the culturally appropriate category.

It further requests that the term ‘abort’ be replaced to ‘end’ or ‘cancel’ rather than being associated with abortion.

The site also proposes replacing ‘Karen’ with a ‘demanding or entitled White woman,’ and a ‘child prostitute’ with a ‘child who has been trafficked’.

In its section on ableist terminology, the institution states that it will substitute ‘addict’ for ‘person with a substance abuse disorder’ and ‘committed suicide’ for ‘died by suicide’.

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Some of the phrases mentioned in the index, and the reasons for changing them

It also says it will replace the word ‘blind review’ to ‘anonymous review,’ ‘tone deaf’ to ‘unenlightened,’ and ‘handicap parking’ to ‘accessible parking’.

It also recommends in its gender-based subsection that ‘pronouns’ should be used rather than ‘preferred pronouns’, as the latter suggests that ‘gender identity is a choice’.

It also recommends against using words that finish in man or woman, such as “freshman” or “congresswoman,” because they are not inclusive.

Because of the “negative connotations to the color black,” it is stated in the section on institutionalized racism that the terms “black mark” and “black sheep” are not used.

Additionally, it asserts that “legacy status” rather than “grandfathered” is used because of “roots in the ‘grandfather clause’ adopted by Southern states to deny voting rights to Blacks.”

Additionally, phrases like “pull the trigger” and “killing two birds with one stone” are discouraged since they are thought to have “violent” overtones.

Other recommendations involve altering ‘immigrant’ to ‘a person who has immigrated’ and ‘prisoner’ to ‘a person who is/was incarcerated’ in order to avoid defining someone by a single attribute.

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Some of the words considered ‘harmful’ from grandfather to brave

Original: walk-in

Swap: drop-in, open office

Reason: ‘Ableist language that trivializes the experiences of people living with disabilities’

Original: grandfather

Swap: legacy

Reason: ‘This term has its roots in the “grandfather clause” adopted by Southern states to deny voting rights to Blacks’

Original: guru

Swap: expert, subject matter expert (SME), primary, leader, teacher, guide

Reason: ‘In the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, the word is a sign of respect. Using it casually negates its original value’

Original: brave

Swap: none/do not use

Reason: ‘This term perpetuates the stereotype of the “noble courageous savage,” equating the Indigenous male as being less than a man’

Original: man hours

Swap: person hours, effort hours, labor time

Reason: ‘This term reinforces male-dominated language’

Original: American

Swap: US Citizen

Reason: ‘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)’

Original: whitespace

Swap: empty space

Reason: ‘Assigns value connotations based on color (white = good), an act which is subconsciously racialized’

Original: prostitute

Swap: person who engages in sex work

Reason: ‘Using person-first language helps to not define people by just one of their characteristics’

Original: kill(ing) two birds with one stone

Swap: accomplish(ing) two things at once

Reason: ‘This expression normalizes violence against animals’

Original: trigger warning

Swap: content note

Reason: ‘The phrase can cause stress about what’s to follow. Additionally, one can never know what may or may not trigger a particular person’

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Zzzzzzzz…

    Oh, uh, I just woke…what gives this pompous toad the right to attempt to change ANY words in the Oxford English Dictionary?
    Just like the math-turbationists pressing for implants and dodgy moving metal units to replace humanity…to the stocks with you Sir!!

  2. Who would spend $200k for a four degree from this asinine university?

    I got two offense words for Stanford, and it’s not Merry Christmas.

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