Tag Archives: academia

Academia Strikes Absurdity Again– Surprise!

We've already given Stanford's Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative (EHLI) a word or two over their confused categories of "ableist language" and "racist language" but the horse we're beating is not quite dead yet. It's one thing to stigmatize normal phrases because their connotation or origin supposedly evoke offensive topics, as the Stanford harmful language list did with those two categories. It's another thing to stigmatize normal phrases because their grammatical structure evokes insensitivity. But believe it or not, academia at the highest level has managed to do just that with the advent of "person-first language."
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Fetus vs. Baby

The Associated Press Stylebook, a preeminent reference guide for English grammar and journalistic principles and style—used by both educators and journalists—has chosen some eyebrow-raising guidelines for how reporters ought to address the topic of abortion in their reports. These guidelines show us, on a much more subtle level, how fiddling with words is fiddling with minds. Let's look at one specific example in detail: the difference between "unborn baby" and "fetus."
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