Published on the UNH website is a "Bias-Free Language Guide" apparently residing there in relative anonymity until the past few days when it was reported on the Campus Reform website.
The one word that was found to be most glaring as "problematic" was the use of American. It is a " problem" because North Americans refer to themselves as Americans and fail to recognize South Americans. Our bad I guess. Some other "problematic" terms: “elders,” “senior citizen,” “overweight,” “speech impediment,” “dumb,” “sexual preference,” “manpower,” “freshmen,” “mailman,” and “chairman." We should also avoid using the terms " mothering" or " fathering" because heaven forbid ( am I allowed to say " heaven"?) we must "avoid gendering a non-gendered activity.”
I have to disagree very strongly though with the problematic use of the word " dumb." There are many people in this world that are just plain dumb and do dumb things ( like the idiot with Mass. plates that pulled out in front of me last evening and decided to drive 20 mph below the speed limit) and I personally think is it okay in my book to call them dumb. That Masshole was very dumb. Sorry, Masshole is probably also problematic. In fact I'm sure it is.
UNH President Mark Huddleston published this statement clearly indicating that this guid is not UNH policy. " The only UNH policy on speech is that it is free and unfettered on our campuses." While I don't agree with much of the content of the Bias-Free Guide, I do agree with free speech, and any attempt to remove this content from the UNH website would be contradictory to Huddleston's disclaimer. I do believe we need to be more tolerant and accepting as a society in many areas, but this forcefeeding of politically correct gobblygook is not the way forward.
Language is in constant evolution and most of us ( Donald Trump notwithstanding) have some degree of understanding about what is right and wrong to say in the context of the times we live in.