The late comedian George Carlin was arrested for his profane bit, “Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television,” and had to turn to playing college campuses, where free speech standards were much more liberal. Today, people say those seven words on TV all the time, but there’s a far longer list of words you’re not allowed to say on college campuses. For instance, Boston’s Emerson College just issued a 1440-word “inclusive language” guide, listing all the “offensive or derogatory” words students should avoid and their currently-approved PC replacements. It’s almost enough to make you want to use some of the words Carlin got arrested for.
Among the verboten vocabulary: “Homosexual” is out; “gay” and “lesbian” are in. “Mankind” should be replaced with “humanity” (Did feminists not notice that the offensive word “man” is in the middle of “humanity”? Sexism!) And instead of “minorities,” students should say “historically underrepresented groups.”
I know George Carlin would have loved that last one, since it’s a perfect example of how he said our language is eroded: a simple, easily-understood term is replaced with a new PC term that has three times as many syllables yet all the meaning has been drained out of it.