Forget Sticks and Stones. Stanford U Says These “Harmful” Words Do Hurt.
Remember the little rhyme you probably told your children to remember when someone said something mean to them?
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
Well, unless you’re part of Stanford University’s Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative. They’ve got a list of worst that are apparently hurtful, including… American.
The EHLI website is geared toward helping individuals recognize and address potentially harmful language they may be using. It focuses on terms used in the United States, starting with a list of everyday language and terminology that can be searched for and addressed at the individual level. (source)
There are 10 “harmful language” sections: ableist, ageism, colonialism, culturally appropriative, gender-based, imprecise language, institutionalized racism, person-first, violent and additional considerations.
Read on for more information on the mean words you’re probably using without realizing the inconceivable damage you may be inflicting on your more delicate acquaintances. Apparently, there are 300 offensive terms but the Stanford site requires a log-in so the following have been gathered from around the internet.
Here are some words and phrases that might offend someone. Is it okay to say that I’m gobsmacked?
Let’s kick this off (whoops, violent language!) with a warning from the site: Content Warning: This website contains language that is offensive or harmful. Please engage with this website at your own pace.
- Brave – which “perpetuates the stereotype of the “noble courageous savage,” equating the Indigenous male as being less than a man.”
- Guru – “In the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, the word is a sign of respect. Using it casually negates its original value.”
- Spirit animal: Equating it with an animal that guides or protects “is to demean the significance of the term.”
- Tribe – “Historically used to equate Indigenous people with savages.”
- Abort: This term can unintentionally raise religious/moral concerns over abortion. You should use cancel or end instead.
- American: You should use “U.S. citizen,” due to the insinuation “that the U.S. is the most important country in the Americas” even though the Americas are composed of 42 countries overall. (Note: I’ve traveled extensively outside the United States, and lived in two other countries in North America. Nobody EVER said “I’m an American too, you jerk!” or “You aren’t the only people in America.” No
Article from LewRockwell