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Sticks and stones may break my bones...
but Stanford will change words forever?
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”
—any child, pre 2000
An old adage heard throughout my youth. It means say what you will, but your words are just that…..words. It means I may not be resistant to a physical assault, but mentally, I am resilient. This phrase is just as much for you as it is for them. A reminder, that sticks and stones may break bones, but I will not let words break me. Words are not violence.
The proverb “sticks and stones may break my bones” means a fact that if you are attacked by someone, you will only go through physical pain. Eventually, you can be healed and the body becomes whole, but it will not affect your personality or bravery. On the contrary, the damage done by verbal abuse and hurtful words is always irreparable. The phrase is also used to encourage anyone to think of hurtful words as sticks and stones.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never harm me.
Maybe there is a discreet underlying context well beyond my comprehension, but from what I researched, based upon early usage of the phrase, it appears clear the intent is not to “encourage anyone to think of hurtful words as sticks and stones.”
There could not be more of a relevant instance than this Stanford University study:
December 21, 2022 | Breitbart
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Stanford’s IT department recently launched its “Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative,” which is a “multi-phase, multi-year project to address harmful language in IT at Stanford.”
Stanford University published a list of words and phrases deemed “harmful language.” The school plans to eliminate this language from its websites and computer code, and also suggested words and phrases to serve as replacements.
“The goal of the Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative is to eliminate many forms of harmful language, including racist, violent, and biased (e.g., disability bias, ethnic bias, ethnic slurs, gender bias, implicit bias, sexual bias) language in Stanford websites and code”
Content Warning: This website contains language that is offensive or harmful. Please engage with this website at your own pace.
This is an actual
trigger warning ‘content note’ from the first page of the document.
Below are some actual examples included in the above ‘Elimination Of Harmful Language Initiative’ document
Instead of: American Consider using: US Citizen
Instead of: child prostitute Consider using: child who has been trafficked
Instead of: addicted Consider using: hooked, devoted
Instead of: committed suicide Consider using: died by suicide
Instead of: insane Consider using: surprising/wild
Instead of: OCD Consider using: detail-oriented
Instead of: quadriplegic Consider using: person with a spinal cord injury
Instead of: senile Consider using: person sufering from senility
Instead of: Brave Consider using: none/do not use
Instead of: too many chiefs, not enough indians Consider using: a lack of clear direction, too many competing ideas
Instead of: ballsy Consider using: bold, risk-taker
Instead of: he Consider using: person's name or "they"
Instead of: ladies Consider using: everyone
Instead of: manmade Consider using: made by hand
Instead of: seminal Consider using: leading, groundbreaking
Instead of: abort Consider using: cancel/end
Instead of: Hispanic Consider using: Latinx, use country of origin
Instead of: Karen Consider using: demanding or entitled White woman
Instead of: peanut gallery Consider using: audience, hecklers or critics
Instead of: survivor Consider using: person who has experienced..., person who has been impacted by..
Instead of: black hat Consider using: malicious, criminal, unethical hacker
Instead of: cakewalk Consider using: easy, simple
Instead of: grandfathered Consider using: legacy status
Instead of: master (verb) Consider using: become adept in
Instead of: scalper/scalping Consider using: reseller/opportunist
Instead of: webmaster Consider using: web product owner
Instead of: whitelist Consider using: allowlist
Instead of: prostitute Consider using: person who engages in sex work
Instead of: prisoner Consider using: person who is/was incarcerated
Instead of: immigrant Consider using: person who has immigrated, non-citizen
Instead of: beat(ing) a dead horse Consider using: refus(e/ing) to let something go
Instead of: more than one way to skin a cat Consider using: multiple ways to accomplish the task
Instead of: rule of thumb Consider using: standard rule, general rule
Instead of: take a stab at Consider using: give it a go, try
Here are their sources used to compile this “inclusive” list:
You know, when I was young, my father would take me down to Yankee stadium to catch a baseball game - a classic
American US Citizen past time. He they would purchase tickets outside the stadium from a scalper reseller/opportunist who was discreet as to not want to draw attention and end up incarcerated a person who is/was incarcerated.
They know no bounds.
April 5, 2021 | Salty
…and in a twist of irony, where we are being told that words are now to be considered violence, actual violent acts are … not considered violence?
January 22, 2023 | Townhall.com
Even our United States Constitution is not impervious to the influence of communist actors, labeling our founding documents as “harmful or difficult to view.”
The National Archives issued a blanket ‘warning’ on cataloged documents, cautioning readers against ‘racist, sexist, misogynistic, and xenophobic opinions.’
September 08, 2021 | The Federalist
[ dee-jen-duh-rahyz ]
verb (used with object), de·gen·der·ized, de·gen·der·iz·ing.
to rid of unnecessary reference to gender or of prejudice toward a specific sex: to degenderize textbooks; to degenderize one's vocabulary.