Your politically correct guide to language

NY Mag has a copy of The University of New Hampshire’s bias-free language guide. Some examples:

Preferred: people of advanced age, old people*

Problematic/Outdated: older people, elders, seniors, senior citizen

*Old people has been reclaimed by some older activists who believe the standard wording of old people lacks the stigma of the term “advanced age”. Old people also halts the euphemizing of age. Euphemizing automatically positions age as a negative.

Preferred: person living at or below the poverty line, people experiencing poverty

Problematic/Outdated: poor person, poverty-stricken person

Preferred:  person of material wealth

Problematic: rich

Being rich gets conflated with a sort of omnipotence; hence, immunity from customs and the law. People without material wealth could be wealthy or rich of spirit, kindness, etc.

Preferred: people of size

Problematic/Outdated: obese*, overweight people

Preferred: person who is blind/visually impaired

Problematic: blind person, “dumb”

Preferred:  U.S. citizen or Resident of the U.S.

Problematic: American

Preferred: White people, European-American individuals

Problematic: Caucasian people

Preferred: Folks, People, You All, Y’all

Problematic/Outdated: Guys (when referring to people overall)

Preferred: Other Sex

Problematic/Outdated: Opposite Sex

Preferred: Children who are gender non-conforming, Children who are gender variant

Problematic/Outdated: Girlie or Tomboy

So the sentence:

“Guys, I had lunch with Sheldon Adelson, an American senior citizen who hates anybody who is not Caucasian, and he insisted we go Dutch, even though he is really rich and I am poverty-stricken.”

would have to be:

“People, I had lunch with Sheldon Adelson, a US citizen of advanced age who hates anybody who is not a European-American, and he insisted we go Dutch, even though he is a person of material wealth and I am a person experiencing poverty

I wonder how many staff ours went into the salaries of the language police who produced this.

 

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