Doublespeak, nonsense and bullshit

I’m maybe a bit old fashioned, but any time that people start talking about deliberately not using specific words, I start thinking of book burnings, newspeak, censorship and indoctrination.

All of which I file under ‘bad’ in the great Ed list of things.

Even when it’s apparently well meaning sociologists proposing the bans.

I’ve known a few sociology students, and I’m fully aware that they’re often very smart and well intentioned. It’s just that I’ve found that their grand theories often get me very annoyed, and have massive holes in them. I was often to be found trying one line putdowns to their brilliant, world improving plans.

“Yeah, that’s compulsory deseizing of property you’re talking about, based on someone’s political beliefs. Not a good idea.”
“Ah, eugenics. Great idea, it’s a wonder that it’s never been tried before.”
“Well yes, the hug will be appreciated, it makes it easier for them to get you into arms reach for the stabbing.”
“I see your point, but it’s rather based on the assumption that they’d use this free soap. Considering that you don’t, I don’t see why they would.”

Good times.

Much the same sort of reaction bubbled back to the surface upon reading this Telegraph article.

Publishers and universities are outlawing dozens of seemingly innocuous words in case they cause offence.

Banned phrases on the list, which was originally drawn up by sociologists, include Old Masters, which has been used for centuries to refer to great painters – almost all of whom were in fact male.

It is claimed that the term discriminates against women and should be replaced by “classic artists”.

The list of banned words was written by the British Sociological Association, whose members include dozens of professors, lecturers and researchers.

The list of allegedly racist words includes immigrants, developing nations and black, while so-called “disablist” terms include patient, the elderly and special needs.

“Ah, newspeak. If only there was a seminal an outstanding work by an exceptional author fully exploring the methods of such a thing, and the limits it imposed upon the population. Why, it might even touch upon the opportunities for abuse by a self appointed elite…”

In short: not a good idea. Move on.

2 thoughts on “Doublespeak, nonsense and bullshit

  1. When do we get to see the “Great Ed list of things”?

    Bet I could guess at least a dozen things that would be added to the bad column…

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