Politics & Policy

PC Police: Replace Offensive Words with ‘Inclusive’ Sentences

Apparently, you should ban the word “derp” from your vocabulary and replace it with an eight-word sentence — just to make absolutely sure you’re not offending anyone.  

“Go the longer route and say, ‘Hmm . . . maybe you’re not getting the point, buddy,’” Katie Dupere writes in an article on Mashable. “It’s worth the extra characters.”

The word “derp” is often used to point out an ignorant comment, particularly one made online, and was made popular by the show South Park. But Dupere (whom I’m sure would be a suuuuuuper fun person to watch South Park with) argues that it may be offensive to people with mental disabilities and therefore can never be used.

Apparently unaware of the concept of “economy of words,” Dupere also links to a page as an acceptable-words resource that recommends saying “I’m not sure I understand how what you are saying pertains to this discussion” instead of “dumb.”

Other words that Dupere says you cannot say include “crazy” and “fat.” She also has a huge problem with the word “lame” because it was “originally used in reference to people with reduced mobility due to physical disability” — despite the fact that people don’t really even use it that way.

#related#In fact, she hates the word so much that she even slammed singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding for using it to tell people how totally not cool it was to like “misogynistic lyrics” — even though I’m guessing Dupere is probably not a fan of them either.

Now, Dupere considers these words offensive because of possible interpretations or past connotations — whether the word is actually being used in an offensive way or not. Apparently, she doesn’t realize that it is it very common for the same word to have different meanings or for the meaning of a word to change over time.

But the anti-derp movement, as crazy (oops!) as it may seem, is not new. In fact, there have actually been school-funded campaigns at colleges throughout the country (including one at Macalester College in Minnesota and another at the University of Michigan) instructing students that words like “derp” and “crazy” are unacceptable.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.  

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