In the past couple of weeks, Sony and The New York Times have come under fire for censoring certain words, including “gay” and “lesbian” in their online communities.
Sony Home has banned the use of the words “gay,” “lesbian,” “bi-sexual” and “Jew” from their video games, and The New York Times banned the word “gay” from being transmitted from its mobile website. The New York Times has since removed the ban, but come on — why was the ban instituted in the first place?
Was the rationale to protect children from seeing words that will cause them extreme distress, or was the rationale to prevent people of all ages from using certain words to insult or offend one another?
I have compiled a list of words that are much more disturbing that the words “gay” and “lesbian,” and I am sure all of you will agree. Please take a deep breath and sit down. It’s about to get pretty heavy.
Words that will traumatize children and should therefore not be allowed in online chatrooms:
1) Brussel sprouts
5) Summer school
9) Ear infection
And of course
Words that are offensive to the average adult and should be banned from use on online communities:
1) Internal Revenue Service
3) Pink slip
4) Traffic jam
5) Stomach flu
7) Bounced check
8) Delayed flight at Chicago O’Hare
9) Mandatory office party
And of course
As you can see, the word “no” is offensive to people of all ages. Are you still here? Hyperventilating into a paper bag? Don’t worry. You’ll be OK. And if you can muster up the courage to look at these words again, please forward these suggestions to Sony and The New York Times.