Officials at Colorado State University are urging students to avoid terms it labels offensive, like “America” and “American.”
According to Colorado State University’s “Inclusive Language Guide,” students are advised to avoid the words “America” and “American.” Why exactly has the university deemed these words offensive? The guide argues that these words erase “other cultures and depicts the United States as the dominant American country.”
The guide, which was highlighted this week by Campus Reform, asks students to replace “America” and “American” with “U.S. citizen” or “person from the U.S.”
The guide contains a number of bizarre conclusions about language. For example, it advises students against using the label “straight” as a synonym for heterosexual because it allegedly implies that those who are not straight are instead “not normal” or “crooked.”
Despite the attempt to manipulate the language chosen by students, the university ironically claims in their “Inclusive Language Guide” that their aim is not to embolden political correctness.
This is not an official policy or required practice. This document is intended as a resource to help our campus community reflect our Principles of Community particularly inclusion, respect, and social justice. The language in the guide may not apply to every individual and it is critical to take personal preference into account. The guide is not about political-correctness or policing grammar, but rather helping communicators practice inclusive language and helping everyone on our campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.
Breitbart News has written extensively about the rise of “inclusive language” guides on campuses around the world. For example, in June 2018, Breitbart News reported that students at Hull University in Hull, England, were advised against using gendered terms such as “manpower” and “man-made.” In this instance, students were expressively told that they would face academic consequences if they failed to write only with gender-neutral language.
“Be aware of the powerful and symbolic nature of language and use gender-sensitive formulations. Failure to use gender-sensitive language will impact your mark,” one professor told her students.
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