Brandeis University
Source: Brandeis University photo courtesy of Kenneth Zirkel via Wikimedia

Colleges used to be the bastion of free speech. Today, some institutions of higher learning not only regulate speech but ban words entirely. Brandeis University is the latest to attempt to control what students can say with their “oppressive language list”.

Of course, the list of banned words will grow and change so who knows what will be on it in the future.

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Brandeis University Distributes “Oppressive Language List”

The elite, private Massachusetts college has put out an “oppressive language list.” Words such as “policeman” and “congressman” are deemed offensive.

“Freshman” has always been used as gender neutral but also is to be nixed.

The list even extends beyond this patriarchal-styled language.

Brandeis’ Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center (PARC) is described as a resource for students impacted by violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

PARC believes we should swap the words we say everyday for kinder ones and are acting as the campus language police. 

“Go Off the reservation” is “rooted in the violent removal of indigenous people from their land.”

Instead Brandeis wants students to say that someone disagreed or defected from the group.

“Trigger Warning”

“Trigger warning” is used to warn others that a sensitive and potentially upsetting topic is about to be discussed. It recently was applauded by liberal activists but now that phrase is being re-evaluated.

Trigger warning is on the offensive word list because of its connections to guns. 

Some of these expressions are real head scratchers. They leave you wondering how much time people think about ways to be offended. 

In fact, the term “walk-in” appointments is defined as being ableist since not everyone can walk.

“Long time no see” is viewed as taunting people who aren’t native English speakers. 

One of the rules of thumb about the Oppressive Language List is that you shouldn’t say “rule of thumb.”

“This expression comes from an old British law allowing men to beat their wives with sticks no wider than their thumb,” PARC states.

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“Picnic” Is A Violent Word

“Picnic” was reportedly on the list of of violent words.

However, Brandeis claims a “picnic is often associated with lynchings of black people in the United States, during which white spectators were said to have watched while eating, referring to them as picnics or other terms involving racial slurs against black people.”

The campus thought police apparently got that wrong.

Instead it is from the French word pique-nique, which means bringing your own wine and food to share.

After the Daily Mail pointed this out, it no longer appears on the list

Ideally, college should help prepare students for the real world, but schools like Brandeis are instead putting them in politically correct bubbles.

Language isn’t policed like this outside of campus.

These students are in for a rude awakening after graduation.

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