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Opening Arguments

Bad, bad words

PC has been running amok for some time, of course. And just when we think it can't possibly get any amoker, here come Seattle and New York to prove us wrong:

Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms "citizen" and "brown bag" are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions.

[. . .]

"Luckily, we've got options," Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights wrote in the memo obtained by the station. "For 'citizens,' how about 'residents?'" 

In an interview with Seattle's KIRO Radio, Bronstein said the term "brown bag" has been used historically as a way to judge skin color.

According to the memo, city employees should use the terms "lunch-and-learn" or "sack lunch" instead of "brown bag."

Bronstein told KIRO Radio the word "citizen" should be avoided because many people who live in Seattle are residents, not citizens.

[. . .]

The New York Post reported in March 2012 that the city’s Department of Education avoids references to words like “dinosaurs,” “birthdays,” “Halloween” and dozens of other topics on city-issued tests because they could evoke “unpleasant emotions” among the students.

Dinosaurs, for example, conjures the topic of evolution, which could rile fundamentalists and birthdays are not celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Halloween, meanwhile, suggests an affiliation to Paganism.

I'd call it all silly, but that might be considered offensive. I'll go with "puzzling," because it put it on me. I'm sure what they're doing is just fine, I simply don't understand it. 'K?