WATCH: Can students guess which words colleges don't want them to say?
Campus Reform reporter Addison Smith went to the University of Northern Iowa to see if students viewed politically correct speech codes favorably.
Colleges and professional organizations around the United States issue politically correct inclusive language guides.
Campus Reform previously reported on Brandeis College’s “Oppressive Language List,” which discourages students from using terms like “policeman,”, “prostitute,” “addict,” or “homeless person.”
Instead, the guide suggests swapping the respective terms out with “police officer”, “person who engages in sex work,” “person with a substance use disorder,” and “person who is experiencing housing insecurity.”
Other colleges have issues similar speech guides urging students to not use terms like “husband” and “wife.”
In a joint collaboration, The American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) have also issued a language guide urging people to avoid calling someone “morbidly obese” or “handicapped,” and instead, to say “people who are experiencing (condition or disability type).”
Campus Reform reporter Addison Smith went to the University of Northern Iowa to see if students viewed these politically correct speech codes favorably.
Smith initially asked students what they thought about language guides as a whole. The concept received overwhelming support among students.
”I think it’s important to speak kindly, even if it impacts free speech,” one student told Smith.
”I think it’s a good thing... It really costs me nothing... to speak inclusively,” another suggested.
But one expressed slight concern with the idea, saying while it “can be necessary in certain situations,” altering words to make them more “politically correct... no longer allows you to have that freedom of speech that we always talk about.”
Smith then went through several of the above listed words to see if students could guess the terms that schools and organizations are suggesting as alternatives. Most students were unable to guess the alternatives.
Responding to replacing “addict” with “person with a substance abuse disorder”, one student laughed, saying “that’s a mouth full.”
After hearing the suggested alternatives, many students still supported the language guides and said they would comply should a similar guide be developed at their school.
Watch the full video above.
Follow the interviewer on Twitter: @_addisonsmith1