University of Michigan Resorts to Special Education in Banning Words Deemed Inoffensive...Such as ‘Picnic’?

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

When virtue-signaling crosses over to ignorance admission.

If you thought during the Christmas week the social activists would take a holiday break, you are incorrect. A release from the IT Department at The University of Michigan has just identified a list of words and phrases they declare need to be expunged and changed with acceptable alternatives. 


The College Fix found the lengthy memorandum released by the department which includes three dozen terms, alternative words and phrases, the naming of artifacts, cultural development within the organization, the creation of an advisory board, and a list of “next steps.” You already can get a sense of how this goes awry. Now, look at who is generating this missive.

The Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at the University of Michigan who introduced this memo comes from the Words Matter Task Force, which partnered with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. (Now there is a collection of words which could be banned.) The findings are not only insipid but, in one case, there is a complete avoidance of facts to couple with the departure from common sense.

To go with expected offenses which use words like ‘’men’’, or ‘’man’’, or those implying race or color, there are others which defy logic. ‘’Brown bag’’ — in reference to a lunch — is off-limits. Also, we find ‘’Grandfathered-in’’, for some reason, as well as ‘’long time, no see’’. But one is particularly groan-inducing and should bring shame to the University.

The task force declares the word ‘’picnic’’ as another in need of being expunged from the language. Why?!  That is less clear. The claim of offensiveness is actually rooted in some very old email chains that stated the word derived from public lynchings where crowds would gather in a festive manner for those violent events. Except this was proven incorrect


The etymology derives from French, back in the 1600s, for a collection of numerous people who come together and contribute food to the gathering. This was an accessible-researched definition, and yet the word is still banned by a committee at a major University, even after some were made aware of the accurate origins of the word.

When a learning institution displays a fundamental inability to conduct basic research like this, and then follow the normal course of action of chasing off these social scolds, all while still resorting to useless political correctness to ‘’fix’’ a non-existent problem, it reflects poorly on the institution.

If the UM regents were truly intuitive they would come to realize how this makes the school appear and would work on banning this memorandum — or to ban these committees entirely, to prevent future shame being brought down on them.


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