London, Sept 21: The use of terms like “Old Masters” and “seminal” by students and academics have been banned, because of claims that they are sexist.
The British Sociological Association, whose members include dozens of professors, lecturers and researchers, wrote the list of banned words.
Words like immigrants, developing nations and black are a part of the list of allegedly racist words, while so-called "disablist" terms include patient, the elderly and special needs.
The move comes after one council outlawed the allegedly sexist phrase "man on the street", and another banned staff from saying "brainstorm" in case it offended people with epilepsy.
However the list of "sensitive" language is said by critics to amount to unwarranted censorship and wrongly assume that people are offended by words that have been in use for years.
Prof Frank Furedi, a sociologist at the University of Kent, said he was shocked when he saw the extent of the list and how readily academics had accepted it.
"I was genuinely taken aback when I discovered that the term ``Chinese Whisper`` was offensive because of its apparently racist connotations. I was moved to despair when I found out that one of my favourite words, ``civilised``, ought not be used by a culturally sensitive author because of its alleged racist implications,” Telegraph quoted Frank, as saying.
Prof Furedi said that censorship is about the "policing of moral behaviour" by an army of campaign groups, teachers and media organisations who are on a "crusade" to ban certain words and promote their own politically correct alternatives.
First Published: Sunday, September 21, 2008, 12:38