- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2000

Heavens, don't call her a lady.
And forget about "gentleman," "history," "chairman," "manmade," "Mrs.," "normal couple" and "postman" along with 32 other terms.
They have all been deemed "unacceptable language" by the exquisitely sensitive folks at Stockport College in northwestern England and banned from the campus.
College officials issued a set of guidelines called "Equal Opportunities: Policy into Practice" last week to some 15,000 students and employees.
Anyone caught using such offensive blasphemies could be denied admission or employment at the college, which offers vocational classes in business, tourism, child care and something called "complementary therapies, hairdressing and floristry."
To make sure no one errs, officials will "make it a condition of service and admission that employees and students adhere to this policy," which seeks to protect the feelings of the Irish, senior citizens, gay groups, the disabled and "black people."
Words like "history" and "postman" were "sexist," "lady" and "gentleman" had "unwanted class implications." No one can say "queer" or "cripple" except in cases where "gay or disabled people have reclaimed them."
Gone too are the phrases "man on the street," "mixed race" and "bird," unless it is of the feathered variety. The guidelines also banned "crazy," "mad" or "manic" on the grounds they could be "offensive to some with mental health problems."
"We vigorously pursue an equal-opportunities policy, and we try to be as politically correct as possible without being tedious," noted Richard Tuson, the college's spokesman.
Others beg to differ.
"It's amazing the academics are still indulging in this sort of nonsense. It is political correctness of the worst kind," said Nick Seaton of the traditionalist Campaign for Real Education.
"The only person who might be offended by the word 'history' is a radical feminist," he said. "It is a word that has been used for hundreds of years."
Last year, Mr. Seaton took on one educator who proposed that little boys try cross-dressing to increase their sensitivities and thus enhance their reading skills. He also criticized officials who recently allowed children time off to watch the European championsip soccer match.
Stockport College should concentrate on education, Mr. Seaton said, and forgo "trying to ban words which any ordinary person would regard as an everyday part of the English language."
Officials at the college, located just outside Manchester, are sticking by their guns, even after several British newspapers printed their earnest list of no-no words yesterday, complete with jocular commentary.
"Perhaps officials at Manchester's Stockport College should change their mailing address to Person-chester," noted one wag.
The college recently sponsored a Diversity Day featuring "clowns of a mature age" and a children's steel band. The student body, though, may be a spirited bunch. The student union features a bar called The 4Play Zone.
"Saturday night are 'aving it," an advertisement notes. "Music! Mayhem! Madness!"
Language issues also seem to weigh heavily on other members of the British populace.
Last week, the National Employment Service banned the words "hard-working," "enthusiastic" and "reliable" from a newspaper ad, claiming they compromised the 1999 Disability Discrimination Act.
The ban later was repealed by David Blunkett, England's education and employment secretary, who dismissed the whole thing as "insulting to suggest a disabled person cannot be reliable, hard-working and enthusiastic."
The massive Oxford English Dictionary, meanwhile, has tried to suggest a few parameters for PC run amok.
Using "flight attendant" rather than "stewardess" was reasonable, the dictionary advises. "But to change such words as 'manhandle' and 'manhole' is ridiculous."

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