Don't 'Jump the Gun': New Speech Guide Orders You to Ax Your 'Violent Language'

Alex Brandon

Trigger Warning: “Trigger Warning” needs a trigger warning.

These are the days of adaptive speech. Apropos of improvement, a new manual on mouth sounds and etched alphabetical shapes tells us a new purge is in order.


California-based Ayana Taylor — communications director and (per LinkedIn) “diversity, equity and inclusion champion” at technology company Phenomenex — has authored the Evolving From Violent Language guide. Put peace in your pen and punim portal — allusions to physical aggression have got to go.

Ayana explained to the Daily Mail, “[Evolving From Violent Language] is for those who would like to replace mostly violently framed idioms with more positive and inclusive language.”

The instruction offers two columns — one with common words and phrases and the other with their proper replacements. And — forgive the biological violence — the list has gone viral.

One iteration shared by Silicon Valley executive Jeremiah Owyang has garnered more than 31 million views. Jeremiah laments that he’s “used the (violent) phrases…too often.”

How often is just the right amount? Judge for yourself; here are a few of the offenses:

  • pull the trigger
  • take a stab at [it]
  • bite the bullet
  • jump the gun
  • kill two birds with one stone
  • deadline
  • pick [your] battles
  • shoot me an email
  • overkill
  • bombed the [attempt]
  • roll with the punches
  • kicking around an idea
  • straight shooter

The fixes:

  • launch
  • take the first pass at [it]
  • won’t avoid it any longer
  • start too soon
  • feed two birds with one scone
  • due date
  • choose [your] opportunities
  • send me an email
  • a bit excessive
  • didn’t do my best
  • move forward
  • thinking through an idea
  • pretty direct (person)

They don’t quite have the same zing.

Some might question what’s wrong with referencing ferocious physicality; but maybe that kind of analysis is overkill.

Contemporarily, introspection is everywhere:

Host of School’s Free Speech Event Issues Language Guide Prohibiting ‘Man,’ ‘Woman,’ and ‘Mother’

Utah Public University’s ‘Inclusive Style Guide’ Forbids Students to Say ‘Biologically Male/Female’

The Associated Press Says It’s ‘Dehumanizing’ to Use ‘the’ in Descriptions — Such as ‘the French’

University’s ‘Non-Sexist’ Language Guide Insists No One is Rightly a ‘Maintenance Man’

California University’s ‘Womxn’s Center’ Worries Blind People Won’t Know It’s Spelled That Way

Breastfeeding Academy Bails on ‘Breasts’

On social media, Evolving From Violent Language wasn’t hit with unanimous applause. A few responses:

  • As a woman who’s into pistol and rifle marksmanship, I object to this erasure.”
  • How dare you kick around that…idea.”
  • YMBFKM (You must be [doggone] kidding me).”
  • This is the dumbest thing I will see today.”
  • Is this another 4chan prank?”
  • Grow a pair…”
  • Absolute nerd sh*t.”
  • More erasure of the male framing of life.”

One enterprising user came up with their own replacement phrases:

  • several stabs at [it]
  • full-auto me an email
  • carpet-bombed the [attempt]

It seems the list could’ve been slightly better researched. “Jump the gun,” as you likely know, is a reference to foot races.

Perhaps the most perplexing offensive phrase fingered:

  • not a bad idea

The solution? “A good idea.”

If that feels less violent, congratulations: Your language is Evolving.



See more content from me:

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Hotshot Texas Banker Becomes Castrated Dragon Lady, a Father/Son Rift Ensues

University Offers Gen Z Excused Absences for ‘Self-Care’

Find all my RedState work here.

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