The forbiden words list

29 May

Recently I read at the Telegraph that it is not a good thing to use the word “obesity” since it carries negative meanings. (here)
One week ago or a bit more, newspaper in Sweden go mad because of Prime Ministers saying of “ethnicity”. (here, here and here)
A couple of months ago, a dictionary writer went sued because he gave the derogatory definition of a word in his dictionary in Brazil. (here, here)

***

That is such a desolating situation! The episodes in the prologue above just give us a starting point to see that this political correct issue is way hard. That is because we cannot be all sure about the words and terminology in our own languages because there will be people scrutinizing deep inlet meanings of so far ordinary words. Those people will get offended or understand all the other speakers should get offended by listening you to say shameful words.

The stiod is also a dare: To create a list of words deemed to negative understandings. I have some ideas for names:

  • The black list of prejudiced words.
  • The cursing vocabulary.
  • Unpronounceable  and unwritable  words
  • Banished words list

All of these make me remember a short story I read years ago written by Pierdomenico Baccalario. It tells a story of  Li-po. He is condemned to wander around the world eating paper and drinking ink, after he utters the secret word. I did not find anything about the story in English though I really tried. Perhaps there is something about it. I come back later if I find some.

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