Go away, language police! | An Alternative View | Diana Diamond | Mountain View Online |

Local Blogs

An Alternative View

By Diana Diamond

E-mail Diana Diamond

About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

View all posts from Diana Diamond

Go away, language police!

Uploaded: Dec 31, 2022
The Information Technology (IT) Department at Stanford caused quite a tizzy when it published a guide on harmful language that should not be used at the university. And on its web pages. That 13-page list of words prompted a lot of giggles and became prime material for late night comedy shows nationally.

The “naughty” words included stupid, cakewalk, landlord, manpower, peanut gallery, blacklist, American, and a host of others which, the IT department concluded, could hurt people.

If you haven’t yet read why these words are offensive, here are a few brief explanations. And then I will go on to another list of possible candidates, which I hope you will have fun with.

Instead of “American,” we should say “U.S. Citizen” because there are other Americas. (I wonder what that does to MAGA hats?).
“Landlord” should be avoided because it is “gender binary”, i.e., it classifies gender into one of two categories. “Master bedroom” should be dismissed because it sounds like a designated room for the master of the house. Instead, it should be called ¬¬¬the primary sleeping room. “Blacklist” should be avoided because it assigns negative connotations to the color black.

We should not call a person “disabled,” but rather “a person with handicaps.” And a pregnant woman should be referred to as a “pregnant person” or “birthing parent”, although I can’t figure out why calling a woman carrying a baby inside her should not be called a pregnant woman.

Who makes up these rules? And why should you or I obey them?

I could take all these language suggestions like jokes – or a new trend on how the language police tell us we should use words, and do so carefully to ensure we are not injuring a person’s feelings. I don’t want to deliberately hurt people, but if their reactions are severely sensitized, I think it’s time for them to face the real world.

The more I thought of the many words we use, I was bothered because many everyday words are male-based. “HIStory” is not “HERstory.” But his-story is really OURstory. What makes past world events only HIStory?

And how about MANdate? Webster’s defines it as “an authoritative command.” And here, I agree in part, since men love to give authoritative commands, much more so than women.

How in the world did MENstruation get its name, when that doesn’t happen to a single man in the world? And how about MENopause, which also never occurs to a man.

I thought of a lot of other male words that we use: manslaughter, -menace, mansion, manager. I can think oof any words beginning with “women.”

All the female words that came to mind -- well, we have “womanizing,” which is what men do, and “feminist” an attitude by a woman which upsets many men, and “misogyny” – those men who don’t like women.

The Stanford IT guide also suggests we redefine some words. A prostitute is not the woman you think she is, but rather a person who makes money on sexual activities. And, a “homeless person” is no longer homeless, just a “person without housing.”

The guide tells us to avoid “straight” in talking about heterosexual men because it suggests others are crooked. That’s a bit too creative for me for a rationale to avoid the straight word.

‘Cakewalk” is a Southern term ascribe to black men who were dancing and performing and who got a piece of cake as their reward. IT prefers we use the word “easy” or “simple” as a way to describe a reward for entertaining.

As to women, the medical world sometimes differentiates a bit too much for women’s treatments. A friend of mine went to her physician for a knee problem and was told she had “housemaid’s knee.” Would he have said that to her husband who had the same problem – but the doctor diagnosed his as bursitis. Why that pejorative description of an ailment in females?

I had a GP who I went to with a urinary problem and he sent me to the PAMF Mountain View facility because they had female urologists who could better help me. Doesn’t the Palo Alto office have a urologist team, I asked. We do, but they don’t care for women’s problems. That was three years ago. A female urologist in Palo Alto’s PAMF denied that was true.

I thought attitudes toward women’s illnesses changed in the medical field, but obviously not. I remember that years ago anything in the pelvis area of a female was medically described as a “woman’s issue.” -- that evidently all doctors are not “trained” to handle. Amazing. We women are not some alien species cloaked in women’s mysterious bodies.

Language rightfully changes over time; we correct manty imp roper words (thank God the “N” word is disappearing because the public so disapproves of its use). We have a way to go, I admit. But we don’t need an informational technology department telling us what words are right or wrong to use. Or some political progressives who demand some uses of words be curtailed.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

Posted by Callie Westwood, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 8:00 am

Callie Westwood is a registered user.

Concurring...the PC police is overstepping its boundaries to ensure that no one's feelings are hurt or misunderstood.

'Black Friday' & 'Black Death' have always sounded ominous and with Stanford IT's new guidelines, to be 'black-balled' is obviously unacceptable as a noted description of an individual.

And like monkeypox (which was renamed 'MPX' to eliminate any perceived stigma), 'Yellow Fever' should also be assigned a new medical name.

And as for the proper use of pronouns these days, let's not even go there.

In the future, will the Stanford IT Department create a 'non-binary' code?


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 8:10 am

Bystander is a registered user.

This dreadful trend has been going on for years.

Hupeople thinking it is hupersonity's job to be hupersone to change language that has served us well is a step backwards, not forwards. If you don't like a certain word, don't use it, but don't tell the rest of us what we should or shouldn't say/write or even think.

And when it comes to biology, women give birth, men don't. Denying that simple fact is problematic and will not make life or language any easier.

The master of a trade was the one who taught the trade to apprentices who worked as journeymen until fully trained and were able to do a masterpiece to show that they had mastered their trade. We look at art such as the Mona Lisa and David, and consider them masterpieces. Master is a verb used at such times as mastering the piano or a child mastering how to ride a bike.

North Americans live in North America and could be Canadian in citizenship but the lifestyles are similar and the nuances often confuse those who live on other continents. American English is spoken by those who live in North America and can also confuse those on other continents.

The word handicap is already being phased out in many countries as carrying a stigma, so promoting it as an alternative to disability is not such a good idea. The word of choice now apparently is special needs, or alternative needs.

As we stumble our way into the future of vocabulary, it is better to widen our choice of words rather than limiting those which we use. A wide vocabulary was once a sign of education and intelligence. Dumbing that down is quite likely to be another word that is becoming overused, woke.


Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 8:19 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

I laugh off the language police. I say what I want to say - freedom of speech. These progressive words are the least threatening thing progressives are doing. Progressive politics in general are very threatening. They have a skewed mindset to the detriment of society.


Posted by John Donegan, a resident of another community,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 8:55 am

John Donegan is a registered user.

All you need to do to mock unhinged Lefties is to quote them verbatim. They are completely oblivious to how ridiculous they sound. And they wonder why conservatives don't take them seriously, while the more thoughtful liberals deny any association with them.


Posted by Mildred Decker, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 9:37 am

Mildred Decker is a registered user.

These new verbal guidelines were established to eliminate the various stigmas associated with health conditions, racial backgrounds, and sexual orientations.

For example...'Sexually Transmitted Disease' (STD) replaced the term Venereal Disease (VD) decades ago, 'Asian' has replaced Oriental, and 'non-binary' is now a convenient LGBTQ+ inspired catchphrase for anyone who identifies outside of their birth gender.

These changes in prescribed vernacular have been adopted to pacify a minority of the population and one must be very careful nowadays not to offend them.

I was repremanded several weeks ago by a manager at work for using an improper pronoun when I referred to a transgender customer who had a beard, wore women's makeup, a designer label dress and high heels as a 'he'.

Some people are very sensitive nowadays and the 'politically-correct' police are out there en force issuing petty citations.


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of another community,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 1:03 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Stanford's primer on robotics takes all the fun out of language. It sanitizes it to the point of meaninglessness. Ghettos still exist. Now we're not allowed to have grandfathers. I once worked in the trades. Oh wait is that a bad word? I mastered all of the skills required in order to work in that trade. Still bad and wrong? White space was the area that was not covered by ink. Still a bad phrase, send me to hell bad? Slavery is a word. It still exists on this planet. Ceasing the mention of it by name does NOT make it go away. Most of the terms they choose to take exception to have meaning within proper contexts. I am too old to learn a new language. Especially "language according to Stanford". As for hyphenated othering, I have always balked at that. Just because one presents as a type of "color" doesn't mean they came from here. I have a relative (by marriage) who was born and raised in Japan but everyone calls him Asian-American. Why do we refer to people as being a certain color when most of us are too ignorant to hitch the hyphen right? In what context is it NEEDED to explain one's color and where they were born? Objectification is more insulting by Stanford's attempt to clean up their act by sanitizing their speech. That's not the problem. It's not what they're saying that's a problem. It's what they WON'T say. Here's a phrase that's missing: "shuck and jive" which means fraud. Stanford knows a lot about fraud, lately. And we can still call it shuck and jive, according to them. How about the urban dictionary that defines rape as utterly decimated? It didn't even make the cut under ANY meaning. What to leave in, and what to leave out ... golly gosh, we're all just howdy doody fans and miss nancy's pupils in romper room. Clean as a whistle and ready to dictate what's offensive and what isn't. But Diana makes me wonder ... are there any female proctologists? *cough* *cough*


Posted by Bill Lange, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 3:29 pm

Bill Lange is a registered user.

Everyone has a reason to be offended depending on their ethnicity or inclinations.

A 'black-mark' on one's record might be considered an afront to African Americans while the term 'white-wash' could easily be construed as offensive to overly sensitive Caucasians who have a tendency to cover-up their questionable activities.

In accounting, it is better to be 'in the black' rather than 'in the red' so Native Americans have a potential gripe as well.

Being called 'yellow' (as in cowardice) might not bode well for some Asians and the term 'sissy' could potentially be construed as offensive to effeminate gay men.

Where does this all end? The answer may lie in that old childhood phrase, "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt."

Or simply consider the source and move on.


Posted by Josephine Whitlock, a resident of Los Altos Hills,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 3:42 pm

Josephine Whitlock is a registered user.

"...I referred to a transgender customer who had a beard, wore women's makeup, a designer label dress and high heels as a 'he'."

Gracious...if he was actually a man what other term could you have possibly used?

My now adult granddaughter used to pretend that she was Woody Woodpecker
as a child but no one ever considered her to be a real bird.


Posted by Jennifer Caine, a resident of Stanford,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Jennifer Caine is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of another community,
on Jan 1, 2023 at 5:07 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Josephine it's hard to wrap your head around choosing a pronoun to refer to a person when the physical appearance doesn't match whatever else is informing you of their gender. For those special occasions, I try to be mindful and either refer to them by name if I know it, or "they" or "this person" if I don't. Some people choose to live "non-gendered" altogether and it's OK not to understand. I just try not to insult a person. As for the woodpecker thing, I had a similar thing going on. The 5 y.o. insised she was a puppy named Jukie. She grew out of it but I guess it was my first experience with someone who was "trans-species" and really wondered how far it might go before needing therapy. For me, not the kid.


Posted by Carlton Jeffries, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 7:26 am

Carlton Jeffries is a registered user.

"...it's hard to wrap your head around choosing a pronoun to refer to a person when the physical appearance doesn't match whatever else is informing you of their gender."

^ I simply avoid interacting with these types of individuals and all things considered, it is really not that difficult.

"Some people choose to live "non-gendered" altogether and it's OK not to understand. I just try not to insult a person."

^ It is also bizarre to expect others to acknowledge what doesn't actually exist except in the mind and imagination of the 'non-gendered' individual.

My granddaughter used to 'pretend' that she was a bunny rabbit as a child but as she grew older, she eventually abandoned her 'trans-species' fantasy of trying or wanting to be something that she is not.

Others can easily do the same if so inclined.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 8:20 am

Bystander is a registered user.

We are entering what used to be called the Twilight Zone. When reality is not what is presented and what we see cannot be mentioned. We are setting up problems for those being raised in this time of lack of common sense.

People being offended by language is nothing new but in the past it was their problem and now it is supposedly our problem. As Jordan Peterson has said, if we are unable to offend then we are unable to think. Every time we enter a conversation beyone the banale, we are exploring the possibility that our views will not correspond with others. We either acknowledge that or we shouldn't be involved in meaningful discourse. We can't live our lives with expectations of not being offended. We shouldn't live our lives expecting everyone else to alter their language so that our delicate sensibilities are not hurt. If you are hurt by my words perhaps it is not my words that are at fault but your sensibilities.

The old phrase, grow a pair, comes to mind.


Posted by Efren Torres, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 8:20 am

Efren Torres is a registered user.

In America, everyone should feel free to be whoever they want to be but within the context of societal acceptance and aknowledgement.

And mass societal acceptance and acknowledgement of those whose personal gender identities border on the edge of reality will take some time, especially among the more conservative populaces and their inherent voices.

As for the PC name games, this endeavor is merely 'white-washing' the various prejudices and bigotries that are already and firmly in place.


Posted by Bill Bucy, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 8:42 am

Bill Bucy is a registered user.

Truly the most ridiculous construction arose during the runup to the SCOTUS abortion decision when some started talking about 'pregnant people' rather than 'pregnant women'. Ignoring science benefits no one.


Posted by Judy Abrams, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 8:43 am

Judy Abrams is a registered user.

> "...don't tell the rest of us what we should or shouldn't say/write or even think."

Agreeing 100%.

@Mildred Decker...it was very inappropriate for your supervisor at work to reprimand you simply for referring to a bearded man fully attired as a woman as a 'he.'

Perhaps 'neither' would have been a more accurate term.

With so many fringe groups playing the victim card, our future dictionaries might have to be completely re-tooled with a notation of 'disparaging' added to all of words that the Stanford IT Department now considers unacceptable language.


Posted by John Donegan, a resident of another community,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 9:09 am

John Donegan is a registered user.

It is reassuring that even in very liberal Palo Alto, no one seems to support the foolishness coming out of Stanford. Perhaps some level of consensus is still possible in these bitterly partisan times.


Posted by Gerry Tate, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 10:07 am

Gerry Tate is a registered user.

During the upcoming 2023 & 2024 Pac-12 football seasons, the Stanford Cardinal will be playing the Notre Dame 'Fighting Irish.'

Since Notre Dame has no intention of ever changing its team name or mascot,
will erudite Stanford IT attendees (out of sheer politeness) be referring to the 'Fighting Irish' as 'pugnacious peoples who migrated to the United States from Ireland?'


Posted by Leona Walters, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 11:29 am

Leona Walters is a registered user.

"@Mildred Decker...it was very inappropriate for your supervisor at work to reprimand you simply for referring to a bearded man fully attired as a woman as a 'he.'"

> What other choices did she have? This sounds more like an individual fashion statement and gender-identity preference on the part of the customer.

Who else would sport a beard while wearing women's clothing, make-up, and high heels in public?

Perhaps the Stanford IT Department can steer us in the right direction because its guidelines also discourages asking for someone's 'preferred pronouns' since that phrase "suggests that non-binary gender identity is a choice and a preference."

> If this aberration is not a choice or preference, then what is it scientifically speaking?

Ask Stanford.




Posted by Jason Williams, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 12:02 pm

Jason Williams is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Neal, a resident of Community Center,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 4:11 pm

Neal is a registered user.

Referring to oneself as American if you live in the USA is more than appropriate. The United States of America is the only country in the world with America in its name (American Samoa is close, but no cigar.) It would be extremely awkward to refer to myself as a United States of America American. In my travels abroad my foreign contacts and friends call me an American. Not a North American. It's common knowledge around the world that American refers to the United States of America.


Posted by Christopher Walsh, a resident of Stanford,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 4:41 pm

Christopher Walsh is a registered user.

Good point Neal. The novel and movie 'The Ugly American' targeted the failures of the United States diplomatic corps circa 1950s SE Asia and most countries associate 'American' (ugly or beautiful) with United States citizenry.

The Canadian-American and Latin-American continental countries have their own respective names that are associated with their citizens.

A 'We Are All Americans' themed anthem is perhaps best reserved for a hypothetical Woody Guthrie song but only if he happened to share the same sentiments.


Posted by Bruce Roberts, a resident of Woodside,
on Jan 2, 2023 at 5:19 pm

Bruce Roberts is a registered user.

@Neal & Christopher Walsh...

Perhaps this is one of the underlying reason for our nation's immigration crisis.

Aside from the promising socio-economic opportunities that the United States can offer, there is also a sense of pride that comes with being a prospective American citizen compared to being one in some other 3rd World Pan American country.


Posted by ndn, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 3, 2023 at 12:05 pm

ndn is a registered user.

When at 6 years old I read the word prostitute in my local newspaper I asked my mother what was the meaning of the word was. My smart, educated, science researcher mother answered nonchalantly " oh, it's a lady with many husbands". Today I would have to correct her, I guess she would have to put the naked truth on display for me and say "person who makes money on sexual activities".
Then she and I would have had a lot to talk about.

I went along with some of the word critiques but the reading of words that are thought of having a "male" characterization is just totally wrong (to name just a few):
mansion (f), history (f), mandate(neutral, from comandare), menace (f), manager(neutral)....have nothing to do with masculinity. Some are factually feminine forms which correspond to a latin case! (what about looking it up, so not come across as ignorant?)
One of my favorite yarns " Manos del Uruguay" (Hands of Uruguay) perhaps should translate their name as to not give flutterings and tremblings....but then if in so doing giving in to colonialism.

If we are to take off from the dictionary all the words that contain man/men, e.g. manufacture, mandible, portmanteau, immanent, emanate
chaos is not even a good word for the result. Maybe we should just accept words in which we convey our collective bias, like maniac, manure, inhumane (acceptable for men only, right?).
And while we entertain ourselves in academic discussions of the acceptable contemporaneous language we are doing nothing at all for women (sorry, about the "men" the word) and while substitutions of terms historically used to denigrate people are very welcome and a long time to come, stupidity should not replace the actions that render life a bit better for humanity and in particular for women (again, sorry for the word).


Posted by ndn, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 3, 2023 at 12:36 pm

ndn is a registered user.

[Post removed; successive comments by same person are not permitted.]


Posted by Lourdes Montoya, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 3, 2023 at 3:44 pm

Lourdes Montoya is a registered user.

We are a very 'politically-incorrect' family at home and jokingly disparage nearly everyone including ourselves and our ethnicity.

Nevertheless, we tell our children to keep these sentiments at home because certain wordings and stereotypical ridicules can often be misconstrued by others.

As for the transgender issue, these non-binary types are entitled to full equality under the law but not 'woke' entitlements and/or special privileges just because they are peculiarly different from the mainstream binary population.


Posted by PH, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Jan 4, 2023 at 9:14 am

PH is a registered user.

Stanford IT has issued an "update" regarding the policy here: Web Link


Posted by Carol Moran, a resident of Woodside,
on Jan 4, 2023 at 9:59 am

Carol Moran is a registered user.

Stanford IT offered an update because its progressive new wording policy is being ridiculed throughout the nation and in the news media.

Extreme wokeness has gotten way out of hand, to the point where it trivializes our very existence.

Everyone has their personal prejudices and this prejudice is often nourished by distasteful interactions with people we either don't like or don't approve of.

No one ever said the world was perfect and even ethnic minorities and members of the LGBTQ community have their personal prejudices towards other members of the global community.

That old Coca Cola commercial where participants are holding up Coke bottles
and singing "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony" is farcical given today's social and economic scenario.


Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 4, 2023 at 10:58 am

Online Name is a registered user.

The ridicule is not only national but global. While the tone-deaf absurdity of its NewSpeak is amusing to lots of us as we come up with new usage and questions about the list, it plays right into the anti-education /book banning schtick of many conservative commentators.


Posted by Wyatt Cross, a resident of Stanford,
on Jan 4, 2023 at 12:09 pm

Wyatt Cross is a registered user.

> "While the tone-deaf absurdity of its NewSpeak is amusing to lots of us as we come up with new usage and questions about the list, it plays right into the anti-education /book banning schtick of many conservative commentators."

^ The majority of conservatives are not anti-education or book-banning advocates.

The key reference points to consider are academic relevance and the potential damages of early childhood indoctrination promoting alternative lifestyles that run contrary to sound Christian/Muslim religious values and morality in general.

Public schools should not be promoting or advocating LGBTQ lifestyles along with BLM and 1619 grievances. This overly biased slant is best left to college curriculum.

The book "My Two Dads" should not be accessed on the elementary school level as it promotes the acceptance of non-conventional child-rearing practices and gay marital unions


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 4, 2023 at 1:04 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

The language police are taking over from the grammar police. In particular the absurd list of pronouns and whether or not they should be listed on name badges or on emails.
Personally, I find it difficult to remember someone's name and on top of that attempting to remember a pronoun that is different from what used to be called the obvious. I will continue to use whatever terms come to mind when communicating because communication should be able to get the message across without being criticized.

If my landlord happens to be male, I can call him landlord. If my landlady happens to be female, I can call her either because quite simply the term is understood by all and the gender is immaterial to anyone other than someone who is policing language.

As with everyone else, the term African American is understood for what it is, except of course for someone visiting the country from Europe who happens to be black and doesn't consider themselves to be African or American but black.


Posted by Joselyn Mack, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jan 4, 2023 at 1:16 pm

Joselyn Mack is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Aron Kaufman, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jan 5, 2023 at 7:56 am

Aron Kaufman is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 5, 2023 at 11:47 am

Online Name is a registered user.

"Public schools should not be promoting or advocating LGBTQ lifestyles along with BLM and 1619 grievances. This overly biased slant is best left to college curriculum.

The book "My Two Dads" should not be accessed on the elementary school level as it promotes the acceptance of non-conventional child-rearing practices and gay marital unions "

They're also banning the Diary of Anne Frank, The Handmaiden's Tale, To Kill a Mocking Bird, science books, books like Black Like Me and the Invisible Man that were required decades ago, books about girls coding/programming and hence employable beyond the home -- and hundreds of others that don't fit their ideology.

No surprise why we're seeing such a huge rise in misogyny, antisemitism, Holocaust deniers, threats against Dr. Fauce and other doctors, nurses and health care providers.


Posted by Bruce Baker, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 5, 2023 at 12:08 pm

Bruce Baker is a registered user.

@Online Name...the book bannings you mentioned are probably taking place in predominantly red states. All are noteworthy reads and should be made available in any public library.

On the other hand, books promoting and/or endorsing LGBTQ lifestyles should remain in the 'adult section' and not in the children sections of any library.


Posted by Lenora Jacobs, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jan 5, 2023 at 12:33 pm

Lenora Jacobs is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 5, 2023 at 1:34 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Bruce Baker, the bans may be starting there but it is a national movement coming soon to libraries and schools near you. Read Jane Mayer's book "Dark Money" written about 10 years ago on the various lobbying tentacles working at all levels of government that include groups like Alec and Citizens United on the national level and moving down through the states to the local level. When she spoke at Stanford a few years ago, she projected the list of well-funded groups on 3 walls of a large auditorium which was a very effective way to visualize the scope.

Or just read up on the last school board elections here and regionally. It was a well-organized effort.

Or look at what's happening in Congress right now where the extremists are trying to ensure we don't have a functional government.


Posted by Jawonne Davis, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jan 5, 2023 at 1:35 pm

Jawonne Davis is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Mavis Jenkins, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jan 6, 2023 at 11:26 am

Mavis Jenkins is a registered user.

• ...the bans may be starting there but it is a national movement coming soon to libraries and schools near you.

@Online Name...is this development primarily due to the emergent evangelical movement or public weariness of wokeness and political correctness being shoved down our throats? Possibly both?

There will always be differences between left/right mindsets (progressive VS status quo) and there are countless disenfranchised American citizens who feel the country is slipping away due to progressive advocacies promoting the unilateral acceptance of open immigration, woke history, and alternative lifestyles that many believe runs contrary to their traditional Christian values and originalist American ideals.

At the time of its drafting, the founding fathers had no idea of what the next 250+ years in America would bring and so the debate as to whether the Constitution is a living, breathing document or one to be interpreted strictly as it was written rages on.

Maybe some new Amendments are in order but this cannot be accomplished with a fragmented nation unwilling to compromise or move forward.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 6, 2023 at 11:48 am

Bystander is a registered user.

It shows that there aren't really many big problems in the world when it is language that is being argued over.

Oops, wrong. We have many more serious problems domestically and worldwide that should be taking up our time and our energies. Has anyone forgotten Russia, China, N. Korea? What about all the problems the Taliban are causing women and other countries that treat women badly? What about the problems at the borders?

Is this just another situation where America considers itself holier than though for policing language and ignoring what the rest of the world are going through? I once heard the phrase Arrogant Americans and thought that was a little harsh. Now I'm not so sure.


Posted by Richard Bloom, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Jan 6, 2023 at 5:16 pm

Richard Bloom is a registered user.

Unless some sort of common ground can be re-established within our country, we are ultimately doomed to further disunity and dysfunction...no different than contentious siblings fighting over their parent's estate in probate court via contrived allegations and lies.

For those born before 1970, life will never be the same as social media and mass addiction to smartphones have greatly influenced the way people view the world at large.

At 75 years of age, what transpires over the next 20 years is of no major concern or consequence to me as these so-called pressing issues will no longer be my problem.

As long as I have a nice USDA Prime ribeye steak on the Weber grill and a vintage bottle of Richebourg to wash it down with + some good weed, I could care less about tomorrow.

The Millennials and Gen Zers can deal with it as soon as they start stepping up to the plate and assuming some responsibility for their place in life.



Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jan 6, 2023 at 6:20 pm

Annette is a registered user.

I like Richard Bloom's comment, especially the penultimate sentence.

I will add that there's little chance of any generation subsequent to The Greatest Generation being described by such a complimentary adjective. That generation focused on surviving and thriving. I am a boomer and when I think of my parents I cannot even imagine them wasting time re-writing history, being woke, or getting upset about words, with exception for the egregiously offensive words attached to race and ethnicity. I sometimes think we've become a nation of thin-skinned sissies (oops, that's no doubt a bad word) that, despite all our technological and other advances, cannot cope with anything that isn't easy, comfortable, and pretty much perfect.


Posted by Noel LaPointe, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 7, 2023 at 8:42 am

Noel LaPointe is a registered user.

> The Millennials and Gen Zers can deal with it as soon as they start stepping up to the plate and assuming some responsibility for their place in life.

>> ...there's little chance of any generation subsequent to The Greatest Generation being described by such a complimentary adjective.

Concurring with both comments. While the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have their inherent flaws, most are now 55+ and settled into the life they have chosen.

It has been said that the Millennials and Gen Zers will be the first generations unable to own a home in their lifetimes and this sociological development is of minimal concern or interest to me because unlike prior generations, countless Millennials and Gen Zers were coddled by their well-intentioned parents to the point of eventually believing that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter.

In addition to paying for their college educations + having fed, clothed, and put a roof over our children's head for 25 years (and counting) we will not be leaving them any moneyary inheritances including the family residence.

It is not our fault that they chose to major in dubious college subject matter that promotes and endorses all of the vernacular trivialities being discussed here.

They can be sensitive and socially conscious on their own dime.


Posted by Jennifer Harris, a resident of Los Altos Hills,
on Jan 7, 2023 at 9:52 am

Jennifer Harris is a registered user.

"We have many more serious problems domestically and worldwide that should be taking up our time and our energies. Has anyone forgotten Russia, China, N. Korea? What about all the problems the Taliban are causing women and other countries that treat women badly? What about the problems at the borders?"

^ Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran should be viewed as adversaries and perpetual enemies of the United States as there is no room (or possibility) for friendship or mutual cooperation.

As for the Taliban treatment of women...isn't the Christian-far right the American version of the Taliban?

As long as the United States is viewed as a haven for the downtrodden and a sanctuary for the oppressed, no border wall or patrol can ever prevent people from coming into America.


Posted by Frank Rowen, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jan 7, 2023 at 10:41 am

Frank Rowen is a registered user.

What's the point of sugarcoating certain words when the sentiments or definitions are still the same?

The Stanford IT Department has received a lot of flack both locally and nationally for their word-smithing efforts and judging by the commentaries here it appears that no one endorses the excessive use of political correctness terminology.

As I have told my whiney Millennial-aged children, "get over it and move on with your lives."


Posted by Marilyn Pierce, a resident of Community Center,
on Jan 7, 2023 at 11:39 am

Marilyn Pierce is a registered user.

• What's the point of sugarcoating certain words when the sentiments or definitions are still the same?

This verbal strategy is perhaps best reserved for members of the diplomatic corps.

For most people, as long as the words aren't blatantly disparaging or obscene who cares?

The use of slang is a time-honored part of our American vocabulary and each region of the country has its own vernacular.

In the American southeast where I was raised, both African Americans and white people commonly use the same dialects and wordings.

And no was offended because we accepted everyone as equals...most of the time.

Times have changed due to the demographic changes arising from newly-arrived immigrants who have no prior connection to the English language, American culture, or American history.

It is their responsibility to assimilate...not ours.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 7, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

English speaking countries have different definitions for certain words. Even certain words within the same country can have different meanings in various parts of USA. What we call certain foods is a good example, and of course certain slang is used in urban suburbs and never seen in a good dictionary.

English is a language that evolves. It evolves through usage rather than mandate.

The pavement in America is the area the cars drive on. In other places the pavement is where pedestrians walk. If that doesn't show confusion within the English language then mandates are not going to stop the confusion. It isn't vocabulary causing harm, it is intent that causes harm. If someone is offended by the language I use, it is more likely to be their problem than mine unless I have the intention of using it to do them harm. Deliberate harmful word choices whether by deliberate name calling or accidental use of the wrong term are two very different cases. Intelligent and educated people can tell the difference.


Posted by Cassie Bender, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks,
on Feb 26, 2023 at 6:47 am

Cassie Bender is a registered user.

Thank you,that's an interesting article!Truly,I had a lot of fun to read it.And it's a surprise for me that IT Department at Standford had published such kind of guide.I remember myself being a student and we were focused only on our study and job searching.If you are a student looking for a job at Software company visit Web Link for detailed information.


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Feb 26, 2023 at 12:51 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Since this has been brought back into the spotlight, it is interesting to see what has been happening with Roald Dahl books this week. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a well known book for children and the publisher's attempt to update the language has caused big concerns. For those unfamiliar with what has been happening, here is an article from Channel 2. Web Link


Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

How well is City Manager Ed Shikada performing his job?
By Diana Diamond | 13 comments | 2,397 views

Farm Bill and the Organic Movement (part 5) Plus: Global Plant Forward Summit, April 18 – 20
By Laura Stec | 14 comments | 2,136 views

Steins plans VIP service pig roast and cellared beer reveal to celebrate 10th anniversary
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,069 views