American, grandfather, brave, trigger warning: All words added to Stanford University’s ‘harmful language’ index

Stanford University has reportedly released an index of ‘harmful language,” advising students not to use the words and expressions listed. 

American, grandfather, brave, trigger warning: All words added to Stanford University’s ‘harmful language’ index
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Americans, individuals who are from the United States, should no longer be called “Americans” but rather U.S. citizens, according to Stanford University's index. One can find other words such as “walk-in,” “brave,” and “grandfather.” 

The university says the terms or expressions listed in the index could be ableist, ageist, colonialist, culturally appropriative, gender-based. Stanford University also cites the following reasons for the entries being harmful: “Imprecise language, institutionalized racism, person-first, violent and additional considerations.”

Stanford University reportedly “revealed the plan in May, and wants to remove the words from its IT systems and websites.”

The university justified the reasoning behind labelling “American” as harmful by saying the “term often refers to people from the United States only, thereby insinuating that the US is the most important country in the Americas (which is actually made up of 42 countries).”

The term “prostitute” is also in the list.

The institution claims “using person-first language helps to not define people by just one of their characteristics.” Students instead should say a “person who engages in sex work.”

Students shouldn’t use the word “brave” whatsoever, as the university claims the “term perpetuates the stereotype of the ‘noble courageous savage,’ equating the Indigenous male as being less than a man.”

The term “grandfather” should be replaced by “legacy,” since the original term, to the eyes of the university, “has its roots in the ‘grandfather clause’ adopted by Southern states to deny voting rights to Blacks.”

The university also advises against the use of the expression “killing two birds with one stone.”

The name of the university’s initiative handling the list is The Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative.

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