Beware the ‘Inclusive Language’ Minefield

By L. Brent Bozell III

In the most liberal cities in America, the goal of maximum “inclusion” often requires an energetic scrubbing of language, especially gender terms. This week in California, the Berkeley City Council voted to amend its municipal code to achieve maximum sensitivity for the ever-increasing demands of the gender-smashing left.

A council member explained, “In recent years, broadening societal awareness of transgender and gender nonconforming identities has brought to light the importance of non-binary gender inclusivity.” It was high time to “make the environment of City Hall and the language of city legislation consistent with the principles of inclusion.”

Some of the allegedly offensive terms are unsurprising. Apparently, there’s no excuse for “fireman,” “patrolman,” “policeman” and “watchman.” But the council is even scrubbing the word “manhole” and replacing it with “maintenance hole.” Patriarchy doesn’t rest on the word “manhole.” The level of snowflakery on this one is impressive.

Berkeley’s language cops reject the term “master,” instead insisting on terms like “captain,” “skipper” or “pilot.” Let’s hope the University of California doesn’t have to change “master’s degree” to “skipper’s degree.” The council also objects to the word “heir,” preferring the term “beneficiaries.” But there’s no gender reference in “heirs.” The dictionary definition is “a person legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person’s death.”

There were other terms on the Berkeley list that suggest the end of gender specificity. “Brother” and “sister” should be rejected for “sibling,” and “fraternity” and “sorority” must be replaced with “collegiate Greek system residence.”


College campuses are especially fertile ground for this kind of speech "correction" exercise. The website Campus Reform reports that Colorado State University's latest Inclusive Language Guide rejects gender-specific terms like "male," "female," "ladies and gentlemen" and "Mr./Mrs./Ms." It even objects to the term "freshman" as gendered. Perhaps next it will find "sophomore" offensive, since "sophomoric" is a pejorative term and could damage emotional well-being.

You can't say "homosexual," and you must say "heterosexual" because calling someone "straight" implies that LGBT folks are "crooked."

The most noticeable dictate in the Colorado State list is the scolding of "American" and "America" as noninclusive words "to avoid," since America encompasses more than just the United States. Referring to the U.S. as America, the guide says, "erases other cultures and depicts the United States as the dominant American country." Which, of course, it is.

The following terms are all categorized as insensitive to African Americans: "cakewalk," "eenie meenie miney moe," "food coma" and "peanut gallery." Asian Americans might be offended by "long time no see," because it might sound like "Chinese pidgin English," as well as "no can do."

"Hip hip hooray!" is somehow a Holocaust reference, so it's out. "Starving" is offensive to people who are insecure about food. Saying you're "addicted" to something like Netflix or pizza is insensitive to "those who are truly experiencing drug addiction." Please don't use "basket case," since that used to refer to a person without limbs. "Hold down the fort" is offensive to Indians — whoops, make that Native Americans. But wait; can we say Native Americans ?

All this hypersensitivity would make almost anyone want to get their college degree online.

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14 thoughts on “Beware the ‘Inclusive Language’ Minefield”

  1. A certain group of former men and women, boys and girls, genderless, polygendered, or A-gendered would like to conform to learning this new form of addressing other persons–be my guest, just don’t require me (and the thousands of others persons, er, oh, my!! “Persons” has “son” in it…yikes. This kind of “fear” has no end to it. I would call it “genderspeciphobia.” There ARE actually “men” and “women” in the world who prefer to be called “men” and “‘women.” AND I must say, that those of us who identify biologically as “men” and “women” find it quite offensive that there are those of you who are trying to “erase” our genders by renaming “what” we are. We are still in the majority by the numbers, so when in your groups, go ahead and call yourselves what you wish. But, don’t force me to have to “know” a particular word by which you would want to be addressed. Very few of us are actually clairvoyant.

    Enjoy this…

  2. with all the serious problems we have in this country, this is all we can do about it? our universities and colleges are now filled with such stupid people, it’s spilled over to government, which was never that bright anyway. well, excuse me, i'[m going down a manhole and think all this nutty shit over before i forget it. don’t like the way i talk, don’t listen. i will do you the same courtesy. so shut the hell up and speak good old american english.

    1. “our universities and colleges are now filled with such stupid people” – starting with the administrations and the professors!

  3. Democrats from the progressive left and states like California can’t even understand what their policies are to provide for the progress of America and welfare of Americans so how can you expect them to know what sex they are???

  4. I’m ninety years old. I’m not about to conform to this nonsense. The downhill slide has now become The race to the bottom.

  5. “Education” does not necessarily lead to “wisdom”. Our universities are overloaded with professors (examples) steeped in the former, but severely lacking in the latter. Since universities are actually not “open minded” about non-like-minded observations/comments, the students are never allowed to see and discuss the differences between the two. Yet, year after year they increase the cost (faster than the rate of inflation) for their “wisdom-less” education.

  6. I can see that university college tuitions are a total waste of money. Parents, send me your high school grads and I’ll fill their heads with bullshit for only $89.95! You can take all those thousands you’ll save and help them get a house, or move to Borneo if that’s what Junior wants!
    Seriously folks, let’s get rid of tenured professorships. That’s where all this crap starts. Introduce a little competition to the collegiate workforce, that can’t help but to improve the breed.

  7. QUESTION! Did this P.C. stupidity start during G.W.’s term or since PRESIEDENT TRUMP took office? Nah, it is all Obrokeback’s doing as he stated, “fundamentally transform America”. Thanx progressives!!

  8. It is a serious mistake for anyone to believe Democrats have common sense. They prove my point every day that passes. Anybody who gets their skivvies in a wad for saying “manhole” has one hell of a lot more problems that gender identity.

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