And so to the lunacy that springs from the fertile nurseries of ‘wokeism’ in the USA. Obviously gravely disappointed by the snail-like pace at which the politically correct language of the Leftwaffe is devouring the globe, students at one university in the US have taken matters into their own hands.
Surprisingly, given the essential nature of the Left, these students have decided to turn to the people, not something they are renowned for. These gloriously ‘Earnest Edwards’ and ‘Po-faced Paulines’ have gone the extra mile and eclipsed all politically correct stupidity recorded to date. Having exhausted their folly, they have now appealed for help from the common idiot.
Sneering at and tittering behind their hands at the hopelessly amateur efforts to date of Western society to exclude any element of English which might offend – for ‘black coffee’, read ‘coffee without milk’, for a ‘short’ person, use ‘vertically-challenged’ – the North Americans have, once again, demonstrated their intention to lead from the front.
According to Brandeis University’s ‘Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center’ (don’t ask me), the list of ‘potentially oppressive language’ (again, don’t ask me) constitutes part of the mainly student-led ‘anti-Blackness response program’. Now, be that as it may, and whatever that statement might actually be intended to mean, the list they have compiled – a work in progress – continues to grow based on suggestions from the community.
Nutters assisting nutters – what a gloriously democratic waste of everyone’s time.
What we have here, therefore, is a situation where the loonies of the Left have decided to fling open the gates of the asylum and invite those even less-balanced than themselves to join them in ganging up on the English language in order to strip it of anything anyone anywhere has an idea they don’t like for any reason. In essence, lest we forget the sombre, grim undercurrent that lies beneath, these dunderheads and ninnies are planning to do for the English language what Comrade Stalin did for the development of photoshopping before the invention of the personal computer, to say nothing of photoshop the program.
There is, I grant you, a serious element to all of this – the idea of rewriting history has reached new levels of absurdity with this attempt to eradicate the concept of causing offence from the world.
Irrespective of the fact that by trying to remove offensiveness these sad, lonely, socially-inept muppets are instantly offending the vast majority of the English-speaking world, the guaranteed abject failure of this project is rooted firmly in the fact that it’s so obviously open to ridicule that people worldwide will be checking to see that the date doesn’t, in fact, read April 1.
Oh, but for all the pointlessness of the task they’ve set themselves, at least they’ve put in the hours. There are five sections of the list: Violent Language, Identity-Based Language, Language That Doesn’t Say What We Mean, Culturally Appropriative Language, and the intriguingly-named Person-First Alternatives.
Leaving aside the fact that in compiling their list they’ve opted for the ‘song title’ form of punctuation, that of capitalising every word with no respect for grammar, it’s time to pull your eyebrows down from the ceiling back onto your face and stitch your cerebral cortex back into place as we consider these veritable gems of lunacy.
There is neither time nor space here for me to list anything like the plethora of pointlessness which these students have created and collated, but if you’re in the mood for a good laugh, I highly recommend you check the whole list out for yourselves:
Glory be to the perennially dozy!
Let’s just take a peek at some of the instant, modern-day classics. As a rule of thumb, the chances for the survival of society can be determined by how many people mercilessly rip the piss out of stuff like that now under consideration. People, don’t disappoint me now!
‘Rule of thumb’, incidentally, is on the blacklist (and it’s highly likely that ‘blacklist’ is, too). The rule of thumb, a phrase relating to a generally applied rule has been blackballed due to considerations related to violent language. You’re all intrigued, aren’t you? I know I was, and I learnt something due to the woke warriors of Brandeis as a direct result, so kudos to them.
Unfortunately, what I learnt – the reason for the inclusion of the phrase on the list, and therefore the reason for the exclusion of the phrase from our speech turns out to be less than convincing.
According to the woke, the ‘rule of thumb’ has its origins in an English law which decreed that a man was entitled to beat his wife with a stick, but only if that stick was no wider than his thumb, thus the ‘rule of thumb’ enabled wife-beaters to quickly ascertain whether the stick they had to hand was, in fact, suitable for chastising their wife or whether the wife in question would subsequently be able to sue for damages in court. Yeah, right.
Rather pointlessly, the woke warriors have decided to use mythology to justify their outrage. The problem is, of course, that the ‘rule of thumb’ existed in the English language long before the imagined law relating to restrictions connected to wife-beating was supposed to have been written.
Another problem is, of course, that there is no record of any such law being codified, making the provenance of it extremely unlikely. Here, it seems that the anti-injustice commandos have got the wrong end of the stick. Whether that happened accidentally is neither here nor there, but the whole thing appears to be nothing more than a useful fantasy. If we are to apply logic, then we have to consider the idea that in a wholly patriarchal society where men were allowed to physically attack their wives for any perceived infraction, the chances are that the law would not bother to specify any restrictions on instruments used.
Raising the bar as far as obtuseness is connected to the widespread concern about domestic violence in post WWII USA. In the 1970s a women’s rights activist started the ball rolling with reference to the myth connected to thumbs and weapons of abuse in 17th century England. This was seized upon as evidence of the existence of an English law and the idea snowballed.
Interestingly enough, the ‘rule of thumb’ has now returned to feminist debates like a boomerang, this time used as evidence of how inaccurate statements can have an effect on social campaigns. Regrettably, the ‘right-on rebels’ who put the list of ‘Violent Language’ together relied on convenient legend rather than actual evidence. Typically, if somewhat ironically, they have seized the legend of a stick and adapted it to the task of beating that part of society which lack political correctness.
Moving on, hard though it may be to comprehend, the ‘correct crew’ manage to reach a new level of absurdity – the recommendation of the phrase ‘outdoor eating’ to replace the apparently unacceptably offensive ‘picnic’. Eh?! What?!
Yes, the word ‘picnic’ long known as having originated from the 17th century French ‘pique-nique’, denoting a social event at which each guest contributes to the meal, has been revamped by the politically-correct enforcers of Brandeis.
Yes, according to the less-intellectually able, blinkered little snowflakes (sorry, not ‘little’, ‘miniature’? ‘diminutive’? Or are those just as ‘sizeist’?) they appear to breed in Massachusetts, ‘picnic’ is offensive. Offensive? ‘Picnic’? Is this somehow connected to problematic ants?
Ignoring the whole English-speaking world’s comprehension as regards the word, the cerebrally-dented undergraduates of Brandeis have decided on a rather peculiarly exclusive meaning of the word ‘picnic’.
According to the Brandeis Muppet Show, back in the days when lynching was a regular occurrence in the USA (and let us just recall that an estimated 4,000 blacks were lynched in the USA between 1882 and 1962), some racists took along food and drink to consume, turning their participation at an illegal, organised, racist murder into a form of relaxing entertainment.
That behaviour is obviously nothing short of odious, but to deliberately replace the original meaning of a word in order to draw attention to a heinous aspect of American life, and then promptly encourage people to experience guilt for something which they are not responsible for is hardly the answer.
Lord knows what will happen to menus and cook books of the English-speaking world if it ever becomes common knowledge that Hitler liked eggs!
I know what you’re all thinking, believe me. Those same thoughts are racing through my mind as I write this: can this really be true? Are these people really crazy? Whoops! Sorry... ‘crazy’ is out, too.
Yes, ‘crazy’ a word which dates (in the sense of being full of cracks) from the 16th century is now considered, at least by those with nothing better to do with their time than pick at the dead, inoffensive past, to have fallen into the category of ‘Ableist language’. As you might well expect, this part of the list is full to the brim of the sort of things which only an undergraduate with a puffed-up opinion of their own, earth-shattering importance, would think of.
‘Crazy’, ‘insane’, and ‘wild’ are rejected by the puffed-up brigade as potentially contributing to the stigmas connected to disabilities, mental health, and more. The alternatives that they suggest are such, however, that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry! For the three afore-mentioned adjectives the proffered alternative is the following:
“That’s bananas, wow!”
What on earth is going on?! The lack of coherent thought, once again brings to mind the idea that this can be nothing but a prank. But again, apparently, it’s not. Just pause for a moment and consider what we’re being encouraged to do here. In place of crazy, originally meaning ‘cracked’ and providing a perfect image of a lunatic’s brain, in place of the Latin for ‘not healthy’, and in place of an adjective relating to the idea of ‘uncontrolled’, ‘untamed’, and ‘undomesticated’ we are being told by a bunch of self-important nerds (speaking, somewhat arrogantly, for others all the while), that we should instead rely on the snappy phrase ‘that’s bananas, wow!” This is beyond crazy, insanity, and it’s certainly wild.
I can just about hear Patsy Cline, soulfully crooning ‘That’s bananas, wow!’ I can hear the opening chords to The Rolling Stones as Jaggers warbles about ‘That’s bananas, wow! Horses’ not being able to tear him away. See what I mean? OK, I’ve taken it to an extreme, but so did they.
The list, as I mentioned, is a source of both humour and outrage. These people have managed to wedge themselves so far up their own being that they have truly lost touch with reality. This is exemplified by two disturbing facts.
The first is that the contributors to the list of ‘Offensive Language’ have decided that the term ‘disabled person’ is too offensive to be tolerated. In its place what they recommend is: ‘a person with a disability’, thereby underlining that whether or not we believe in the concept of fifty shades of grey, we can stand assured that there are, at least in Brandeis university, at least fifty shades of emphasis connected to English words and phrases with which nuances can be taken to infinite lengths.
The second fact compels us to return to the presumably unintentional humour that these ‘Earnest Edwards’ and ‘Po-faced Paulines’ have provided for the world through the act of creating their world-beating, politically-correct list of English. The fact is that the compilation of the list obviously strained the already diminished brainpower of the students concerned. As a result, whilst they recommend the removal of ‘picnic’ due to an incredibly obscure premise which connects eating ‘al fresco’ to the illegal, organised, racist hangings of black people, they don’t seem to have a problem with any form of the verb ‘lynch’.
As if that weren’t enough of an embarrassingly politically incorrect anomaly, there is another, an even better one, waiting in the wings.
Over the past decade or so, a new phrase has entered the English language. This phrase came straight from the demented minds of North Americans who has started to recognise the impact that might be expected in the US of the potential minefield of people taking offence and then, par for the course as far as the US legal system is concerned, suing the person responsible for the ‘trauma’ they suffered as a result. The fear of being sued for millions or billions of dollars for something now suddenly deemed objectionable has led to all sorts of actions, including the editing or deletion of things once considered classic examples of television or film. At the thinner end of the wedge, one sticking plaster solution to these modern snowflake dilemmas has come in the form of a content warning – in essence an electronic placard placed to absolve the producer of the material from any ugly scenes that might well cost them a packet.
A popular alternative for ‘content warning’ is, of course, ‘trigger warning’, suggesting, as it ably does, that were a snowflake to proceed with watching the film (or whatever the trigger warning might apply to), they might well suffer the unfortunate experience of having a physical or mental reaction ‘triggered’ by what follows.
Never mind my personal opinion on all of this, concentrate instead of the deft manner in which the snowflakes of Brandeis (rapidly turning to slush it must be said) have shot themselves in both feet with this one.
‘Trigger warning’ that tattoo of wokeness, the badge which heralds the actual existence of snowflakes, is out, too.
Guess why... yes, that’s right, ‘trigger’ the word which entered English from the Dutch word ‘trekken’ meaning ‘to pull’ has been deemed to have too strong a connection to guns for many people.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have reached absolute zero. We have identified the existence of people who are so politically correct that they have removed the language they inspired to protect themselves and others like them from offence because that language, designed to protect, is constructed of elements which themselves might cause the same people to be offended.
We have reached the centre of the black hole.
Like I said – you couldn’t make this up.