It sounds like a George Carlin riff, but no one with any sense is laughing. That is, so long as we all agree to disqualify the rueful laugh, the mournful chuckle, or the stomach’s sad-and-knowing rumble.
You know, the laugh that keeps you from screaming.
Click here for the article that caused my jaw to drop:
The New York City Department of Education is waging a war on words of sorts, and is seeking to have words they deem upsetting removed from standardized tests.
Fearing that certain words and topics can make students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests.
Ludicrous, misguided, dumb. I won’t keep you in suspense.
The complete list of words that could be banned:
Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological)
Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs
Birthday celebrations (and birthdays)
Cancer (and other diseases)
Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes)
Children dealing with serious issues
Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia)
Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting)
Death and disease
Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes
Gambling involving money
Homes with swimming pools
In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge
Loss of employment
Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling)
Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan)
Television and video games (excessive use)
Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters)
Vermin (rats and roaches)
War and bloodshed
Weapons (guns, knives, etc.)
Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.
Of course, we’re not really talking about words, are we? We are talking about realities and ideas — those shadowy, sometimes unpleasant things that words are meant to represent.