In its publication “A Bias-Free Language Guide,” the University of New Hampshire declared the term “American” to be problematic because it “assumes the U.S. is the only country inside” the continents of North and South America. Here’s a look at some of the other words the University finds problematic for very legitimate reasons.
The Problem Word: Apple
The word apple is offensive to pineapples as it implies the fleshy tropical fruit is inferior to the common apple. Pineapples have the burden of attaching a descriptive prefix to their name, whereas apples do not require a clarifying description.
Alternative Word: Lil Shiny Red Balls
Rather than continue this cycle where there are apples and other types of sub-apples, the next time you find yourself about to use the term, say “Lil’ Shiny Red Balls” as an alternative.
The Problem Word: Lil Shiny Red Balls
Actually never mind, you can’t say that either. It’s offensive to a subset of redheaded men with small, sweaty testicles.
Alternative Word: None
If you ever need to refer to an apple, just draw a picture of it and show it to the person you’re having a conversation with.
The Problem Word: Herpes
HERpes. The implication here is that only women can get this chronic, sexually transmitted disease. Not only is that offensive to men, it’s also misleading. In fact, it might lead a man to assume he doesn’t have to wear condoms because “it’s not called HISpes” and that man might contract the disease in a porta potty at a Sugar Ray concert.
The Alternative Words: Dong Bumps or Genital Braille
The Problem Word: Graphic
The word graphic brings to mind images that are inappropriate, often violent or sexual in nature. This is an unfortunate reality for graphs of all kinds — whether they be of the bar or line variety. These visual representations of collected data do not deserve to be associated with such filth.
Alternative Words: Dependent on Subject Matter
For instances of sexually graphic contact use the term “titty showing.” For violent graphic contact use “bloody as a mother.”
The Problem Word: History
This term, when parsed, breaks down into two separate words: his and story? Is that what you were gonna guess? That the term history is somehow offensive to women because it implies that all recorded events belong to men?
Well you’d be wrong, because the two words it actually breaks down to are his and tory, which is actually a phonetic misspelling of Tori, as in Tori Spelling. The term “history” is actually offensive to the former 90210 actress.
Alternative Word: HisTori
You can still use the word, just make sure you’re spelling it right: HisTori.
The Problem Word: Hamburger
Hamburger? How are you gonna call it a hamburger if there’s no damn ham in the thing? That’s offensive to pigs. It’s ground beef and you’re gonna call it a hamburger? OK, while we’re at it, let’s start calling fried chicken beef strudel. Is that what you want? For KFC to have to change its name to KBS? That wouldn’t make any sense now would it?
Alternative Word: Dead Cow Mound on Bread
Please make sure to specify what kind of bread to not assume one bread equal to another.
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They deemed ‘American’ problematic. See what else the put on the list.