Thought Police

July 7, 2000

In this age of political correctness, I'm rarely shocked to read about college speech codes. It seems that the thought police are out in force ready to strike down any word or phrase that might offend. Yet the latest list generated by Stockport College in England goes further than any other list I have seen.

In order to teach tolerance, the administration of Stockport College will expel any student using one of the following words: lady, gentleman, chairman, manmade, Mrs., postman, and normal couple. Also banned are: queer, bird, man on the street, cripple, crazy, mad, maniac, and history. Tony Snow wanted to know why they didn't also ban words like histology or Hispanic or histrionic. He suggested they probably didn't know such words exist.

All of this campus silliness would be humorous, if the consequences for disobedience weren't so severe. While I would agree that a polite person probably shouldn't use some of these words, to equate all of these with hateful speech is extreme. And one wonders what kind of punishment (if any) would be given to someone using plain old profanity.

One college spokesman or spokesperson or spokesbeing said, "We vigorously pursue an equal-opportunity policy, and we try to be as politically correct as possible without being tedious." I would think it would be hard to communicate on campus for fear that one of these offending words might tumble out of your mouth by accident.

And lest you think this only happens on campus, consider the recent guidelines posted by Britain's National Employment Service forbidding phrases like "hard-working," "enthusiastic," and "reliable." They argued these might be offensive to disabled persons, but later reversed the ban. I guess it just shows how far political correctness will go if unchecked.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.