Report here about the latest list of do not and must use words. For example, we should not use "seminal" or "disseminate" as these are rooted in "semen" and thus are sexist.
The full list is here.
To be honest, the full list isn\’t all that terribly bad. It\’s certainly better to have people muttering dimly about whether to use "black", "African Caribbean" or "Afro-Caribbean" than it is to have them debating whether to use "nigger" or "kaffir".
There is however a problem with some of the terms….and I mean a real problem, not just look how we can laugh at these silly sociologiests. That is that some of their insistences actually lead to a loss of meaning, a shading of distinctions.
"Wheelchar bound" should be replaced with "wheelchair user" for example. But the two have different meanings. Bound implies no choice, user implies choice. That granny using her electric scooter to run over your toes on the way to the shops is a user, but she may well amble, perhaps somewhat slowly, around her won home. Oscar Pretorious might use a wheelchair at times but he\’s certainly not bound to one.
Similarly, "mute or dumb" and "speech impaired person" are not synonyms. The latter implies impediment, the former complete incapacity.
For most of these things I don\’t in fact mind: if the sociologists are wasting their time on drawing up these codes then they\’re at least not doing anything more dangerous. The new phrases very quickly pick up the implied meanings of the old anyway, once they\’ve bedded in. But when they trample all over one of the glories of the English language, our ability to make very fine distinctions, then they do need to be resisted.