Denise Duhamel
June 2009




Language Police Report

                        after Diane Ravitch’s The Language Police

The busybody (banned as sexist, demeaning to older women) who lives next door called my daughter a tomboy (banned as sexist) when she climbed the jungle (banned; replace with "rain forest") gym (alternative: replace “jungle gym” with “play structure.”)  Then she had the nerve to call her an egghead and a bookworm (both banned as offensive; replace with "intellectual") because she read fairy (banned because it suggests homosexuality; replace with "elf") tales. 

I’m tired of the Language Police turning a deaf ear (banned as handicapism) to my complaints.  I’m no Pollyanna (banned as sexist) and will not accept any lame (banned as offensive; replace with "walks with a cane") excuses this time. 

If Alanis Morissette can play God (banned) in Dogma (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "Doctrine" or "Belief"), why can’t my daughter play stickball (banned as regional or ethnic bias) on boy’s night out (banned as sexist)?  Why can’t she build a snowman (banned, replace with "snow person") without that fanatic (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "believer," "follower," or "adherent") next door telling her she’s going to go to hell (banned; replaced with "heck" or "darn")?

Do you really think this is what the Founding Fathers (banned as sexist; replace with "the Founders" or "the Framers") had in mind?  That we can’t even enjoy our Devil (banned)-ed ham sandwiches in peace?  I say put a stop to this cult (banned as ethnocentric) of PC old wives' tales (banned as sexist; replace with "folk wisdom") and extremist (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "believer," "follower," or "adherent") conservative duffers (banned as demeaning to older men).

As an heiress (banned as sexist; replace with "heir") to the first amendment, I feel that only a heretic (use with caution when comparing religions) would try to stop American vernacular from flourishing in all its inspirational (banned as patronizing when referring to a person with disabilities) splendor.


from Ka-Ching! (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009).