The words banned by Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights are “Citizen” and “Brown Bag.” Their employees are forbidden to use either of these words in any documents or even in idle conversation. They suggest using “Resident” in place of citizen, and “Sack Lunch” or “Lunch-and-Learn” in place of Brown Bag.
The employees were told the word "citizen" should be avoided because many people who live in Seattle are residents, not citizens.
"They are legal residents of the United States and they are residents of Seattle. They pay taxes and if we use a term like citizens in common use, then it doesn't include a lot of folks."
The employees were also told the term "brown bag" has been used historically as a way to judge skin color.
"For a lot of particularly African-American community members, the phrase brown bag does bring up associations with the past when a brown bag was actually used to determine if people's skin color was light enough to allow admission to an event or to come into a party that was being held in a private home." Oddly enough, I have been on this planet for over ¾ of a century and this is the first time I have ever heard of this. Perhaps I led a sheltered life, but at least I learned one new thing today.
This would indicate to me a department of government that either has way too many employees, or has completely run out of things to do. It would appear that some employee of the Seattle Office of Civil Rights was instructed to “do something today,” so he did.
Seattle, however, isn't the only city with an eye on potentially disruptive words. The New York Post reported in March 2012 that the city’s Department of Education avoids references to words like “dinosaurs,” “birthdays,” “Halloween” and dozens of other topics on city-issued tests because they could evoke “unpleasant emotions” among the students.
For example, Dinosaurs conjures the topic of evolution, which could rile fundamentalists and birthdays are not celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Halloween, meanwhile, suggests an affiliation to Paganism.
Officials said such exclusions are normal procedure, insisting it’s not censorship. I wonder how President Obama’s paid liar, Jay Carney, would have handled this situation.
With all that being said, and their assurance this word-ban should not be viewed as censorship, we can all relax and look at the bright side of this issue. If this word-ban were to continue, our dictionaries will get smaller and lighter and easier to carry. Children in spelling bees will have fewer words to worry about being able to spell correctly. Our Presidents will have a much easier time reading speeches off their Teleprompters, and immigrants to this country will have a much easier time learning the language because there will be fewer words to learn.
Almost every child will have the same basic vocabulary, and none will feel inferior for not knowing or understanding words used by their peers.
Most of us are fully aware that “Every action has an opposite and equal reaction.” Because the censorship aspect could be viewed as a negative, then everything else about these new rules should be a positive. I can see so much good coming from these new rules I can almost forgive the utter stupidity that was involved in making these rulings.
If by chance you ever find yourself bored with nothing to do, just thumb through a dictionary and scratch out the words that you have never used, and probably never will use. Why in the heck should there be three or four words that all mean the same thing? We really do need to trim down the size of our dictionary.
The more words we eliminate, the lower the probability of offending someone. We can all use just the words that have passed the PC Police test and are on the approved word list. This would virtually eliminate the need for the PC Police to monitor everything we are saying and writing.
We may occasionally find ourselves struggling to convey our exact meaning to someone using just the approved words, but a new language will evolve and life will be simpler.
This language thing most likely begins with some poor caveman who was getting dirty looks from his mate about all the bones littering the cave floor. In frustration his vocal cords contracted and a sound came out of his mouth that sounded very much like “Yes dear,” and that is how this whole language thing started.
From that simple beginning, the need for the PC Police was created and became what it is today. We all need to concentrate on making their jobs easier and just use as few words as possible in our daily communications.
Thanks for reading and comments are welcome.