Adam Curry (above) and John C. Dvorak, two European-American individuals do a twice weekly podcast.
They found the Bias Free Language Guide, (opens PDF) a non-official guide to “inclusive” language to use on the University of New Hampshire campus.
Adam and John take the first forty minutes to “deconstruct” the guidebook and the results are hilarious. Both from the content of the guide – and John’s reaction.
Here’s just a taste of what they talking about…
The following is a list of terms that arise when referring to race, ethnicity and culture.
Preferred: White people, European-American individuals Problematic: Caucasian people Preferred: international people Problematic: foreigners
Preferred: Gay, Lesbian, Same Gender Loving (SGL) Problematic: “Homosexual”
“Homosexual” is an outdated clinical term considered derogatory and offensive by many gay and lesbian people. Gay and/or lesbian accurately describe those who are attracted to people of the same sex or gender. Same Gender Loving is sometimes used among African American sexual minority individuals.
Preferred: Sexual Minorities, Queer, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Problematic: People of an alternative “lifestyle” (when referring to sexuality) “Lifestyle” is an inaccurate term used by anti-gay extremists to denigrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives. As there is not one straight lifestyle, there is not one lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender lifestyle. Queer, historically a derogatory term, has been reclaimed by many sexual minorities and their allies. Queer is often used as an umbrella term to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, and questioning (of sexuality and/or gender identity).
Preferred: People with intersex characteristics, individuals with ambiguous sexual organs
Problematic/Outdated: Hermaphrodites Intersex can be used when describing a person whose biological sex is ambiguous. There are many genetic, hormonal or anatomical variations that make a person’s sexual organs ambiguous (e.g., Klinefelter Syndrome). Parents and medical professionals usually assign intersex infants a sex and perform surgical procedures to conform the infant’s body to the chosen assignment. Note: the intersex community speaks out against non-consensual, premature and unsound practices. The term intersex is not interchangeable with or a synonym for transgender.
Preferred: Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS), Gender Reaffirming Surgery, Gender Confirming Surgery
Problematic/Outdated: Sex Change Refers to surgical alteration, and is only one small part of transition (see transition directly above on intersex characteristics). Not all transgender people choose to, or can afford to have Sexual Reassignment Surgery. Journalists and researchers should avoid overemphasizing the role of SRS in the transition process.
Glossary of Language
Preferred: Folks, People, You All, Y’all Problematic/Outdated: Guys (when referring to people overall)
Preferred: Women Problematic/Outdated: Girls (when referring to adult women)
Preferred: First-year students Problematic/Outdated: freshmen
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.