(Jan 17) “Aloha,” “Hola,” and “Shalom” to all you readers, from whatever field where you toil or during whatever picnics you enjoy. (I would even tell you not to be niggardly — a perfectly good word, despite how it sounds to some people — in providing for your own lunch, but that could get somebody fired.)

And if you are a handicapped (!) American (!) who sometimes feels like you’re on the low end of the totem pole (!) any time your department has a powwow (!), even if you put in more man-hours (!) at work than anyone else while suffering doubts and even heckling from the peanut gallery (!), I want you to know you are on my master list (!) of survivors (!) I admire. You’ve figured out there is more than one way to skin a cat (!), and now everything in your purview is whipped into shape (!). Good job.

With the Jan. 13 publication of a USA Today column warning about misuse of “culturally sensitive words,” linguistic scolds now have told us to stop using every word above that is either marked by a link or followed by an exclamation point. It matters not if the actual derivation of the word has no remotely offensive origin, much less whether the word’s user means absolutely no offense.

Well, please forgive all of us normal people (!) who refuse to prostitute (!) ourselves to the language police. Yes, of course language is important and of course we all should avoid rudeness. Still, it’s also long past time that people stop running around looking for a reason to claim offense, much less for third-party observers to insist everyone should take vicarious offense at language in other people’s conversations.

Some of us remain privately offended by the spelling out in print of profanities and vulgarities, which we are told shouldn’t bother us — at the exact same time we’re told we should be punished if we “misgender” and use the wrong ethnic reference for a “Latinx” biological male. Well, bleep that….. [The full column is here.]



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