University explains why words like ‘lame’ and ‘man’ are ‘problematic’ — Analysis

Guide suggests that employees tell others to stop using offensive terms

The University of Washington’s information technology department has released a new language guide highlighting “problematic words”They are used frequently, however, they can be racist, sexist and ageist or homophobic.

This is a list of words you should avoid. “grandfather,” “housekeeping,” “minority,” “ninja,”Even better! “lame.” “Lame,” for example, is offensive because it’s slang for “uncool”And “it’s using a disability in a negative way to imply the opposite, which would be not lame, to be superior,”According to the guide. 

Some words may be considered offensive due to the history of their relation to gender, race, or other characteristics. The word “housekeeping” can “feel gendered,”The university recommends that any phrase or word including “man”You will find the following within it: “manpower,” “man hours,”Oder “middle man,” is sexist because it’s not inclusive.

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Meanwhile, “Grandfather clause”It is because of the fact that it was “used as a way to exempt some people from a change because of conditions that existed before the change.”It “originated in the American South in the 1890s as a way to defy the 15th Amendment and prevent black Americans from voting,”The guide provides more information. 

The guide encourages employees to not only be more aware of their own language but also teach others the terms that they need to avoid. Even a template email is included in the guide to help vendors query their efforts to eliminate offensive, non-inclusive terminology.

“Unfortunately, in working with your product/service, we have identified language that can be considered offensive due to its racist, ableist, and/or sexist origins,”The potential email message. “Can you let us know what efforts you are undertaking to move away from this language so as to create a more inclusive product/service?”

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