Stanford Planned on Banning Common Words Like American — Pushback Stopped It

Stanford Planned on Banning Common Words Like American --- Pushback Stopped It

( – In December, Stanford University’s Information Technology Department released a list of what they believe to be “harmful language” and emphasized it wanted to “eliminate” such phrases from the school’s website and code. Terms like normal person, insane, and even the pronouns he and she made the list. However, one of the most controversial words set to be banned was American.

According to the Stanford IT Department, the word American can often be imprecise or inaccurate as it is typically used to describe people solely from the United States, “thereby insinuating the US is the most important country in the Americas.” The document asks staff to use the words US citizens in place of Americans.

One critic of the publication wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal poking fun at the list, asking the university to add two more words that do not seem to be allowed on the grounds anymore: “common sense.”

In response to the pushback, Stanford University’s Chief Information Officer Steve Gallagher published a statement saying the use of the term American is actually “absolutely welcomed” at the school. In addition, he admitted the department will need to continue reviewing the list to ensure it considers all viewpoints and feedback received.

Many people believe higher education should be a space where ideas are challenged and different opinions are allowed to be shared. Yet, one of the nation’s top schools is set to censure numerous everyday words people use to express their diverse points of view.

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