Bannned Words From the Thought Police


It’s too early for the 2018 Banished Words List. New Year’s Day is when Lake Superior State University in Michigan releases its list of really annoying words.

But that light-hearted romp has been eclipsed by another list, one that bears the imprimatur of the  White House, which we can now think of as the Thought Police. According to The Washington Post, Trump has ordered the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to eschew (my word, not Donald’s) the following words in any official documents submitted for next year’s budget:

  • vulnerable
  • entitlement
  • diversity
  • transgender
  • fetus
  • evidence-based
  • science-based

Reaction has been swift. Mother Jones   has offered replacement terms, such as snowflake for vulnerable, deviant for transgender, and atheist for science-based.

I found an enlightening response from the blog Quartz which sought to put the terms in context by citing some statements from previous CDC budget documents. You can really see how scary the word vulnerable is, for example, in this from the CDC: “The United States remains deeply committed to safeguarding the American public from terrorists, just as we are committed to providing refuge to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

And from Donald’s favorite platform, Kavian Shroff tweeted: “Keep this [the banned words’ list] in mind the next time the Administration uses “free speech” as an excuse to defend Nazis.”

I can’t wait for the cartoonists’ take on this subject.

Quotable

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

–George Orwell, 1984

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