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Monday, October 24, 2016

Warning: This column contains language some readers may find unsuitable for children. Parental guidance is suggested.

No, seriously, you have been warned. This is your last chance. Turn back now.

Still here? OK, fine. Don’t say you weren’t told. Here’s one of the offensive words:


And another:


And another:


And yes, yet another:


Let’s stop there before you have to fan away the vapors and break out the smelling salts. Or maybe you don’t find those words offensive. Maybe you use such language around kids all the time. Well, that tells us something about you.

It tells us you are not a member of the New York City Department of Education. It seems the department has sent to companies bidding to revamp the city’s standardized tests a list of words and topics they do not want those tests to contain. The reason: Those words and topics might make children uncomfortable. Or as a spokeswoman for the education department told the New York Post, which broke the story last week, banning those words “allows our students to complete practice exams without distraction.”

So how are those words a “distraction?” Well, let’s look at the list.

  • This goes waayyy past the “dumbing of America” (including my using a word that does not exist).

  • jimackermann

    I we could ban one other word, “Progressive”, we could stop all this stupidity.

    • CrankyToo

      The word “progressive” means:

      1. Moving forward; advancing.
      2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.
      3. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods: a progressive politician.

      Only in the world of Repugnicans are guns good and progressive thinking bad.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Actually Cranky, the word “progressive” only took on a political meaning in America after Woody Wilson’s discovery of the fact that people rejected his Bull Moose Party’s liberalism. In fact the liberals of the late 1910’s and early 1920’s recognized the need to recast their leftist beliefs in a more positive light with the term “progressive” so they could hide their true intentions behind seemingly innocuous phraseology. So in truth, the word does not actually mean what you say it does except by fiat. In reality, progressive politics means socialism.

        Have nice day!

  • jimackermann

    P.S. – It is apparent the Progressives are really “Regressive”.

    • Joseph Kelsall

      Retarded, even?

  • Is this like banning books a little at a time?

    • RichardPatrock

      That is marvelous. Kind of like Chinese Worder Torture!

  • montanabill

    Good heavens, is Pitts really going against the Progressive tide? The like kids should uh not like use like some uh words? Maybe like all uh words with like more than uh five like letters should be uh like banned, so that like uh reading like skill test like scores uh could go like up.

  • singingeva

    It doesn’t sound as if these words are banned from lesson plans. It makes sense to leave out things that upset kids or that they have no way of knowing about on a standardized test. After all, you are testing their comprehension of things like grammar and math. It makes sense to keep out the distractions for a day or two .

    • jimackermann

      Then we should ban the word Progresseve, Stimulis and Obamacare. These words are upsetting and distractive.

      • CrankyToo

        Only to morons.

        • Joseph Kelsall

          CrankyToo – Your comment was moronic: Marvina’s was quite witty. Do you know the difference?

          • CrankyToo

            Marvina’s comment was witty, indeed. But I disagree that mine was moronic. My comment was a candid reflection of my opinion vis-a-vis the intelligence of any person who finds the words “progressive”, “stimulus” and “Obamacare” to be “upsetting and distractive”. (Note that I’ve corrected jmackermann’s spelling, another indication of his lack of communicative skills). Now, I understand that jmackermann is not genuinely upset by those words – he’s just being hyperbolic because that’s how Repugnicans roll. They avail themselves of any opportunity to take potshots at our president, our party and our democratic ideals. Well, I shoot back and I shoot from the hip. But to answer your question more succinctly, yes, I know the difference between witty and moronic, and from my perspective, jmackermann’s post is (typically) moronic.

          • jimackermann

            You’re not just cranky, you’re mean. Just like many libs, when you have trouble supporting your own position, you attack the person of the apposing view.

            Have a very nice cranky day.

        • jimackermann

          You are cranky. And like many libs, you like to call people names.

        • metrognome3830

          I can’t stand to hear the word “morons.” Now I will have bad dreams, or even nightmares! Oh, no, I shouldn’t have said nightmares. That word scares me. Now I won’t be able to sleep. Now I will be cranky.

      • singingeva

        I guess we wouldn’t be using those anyway, unless we were testing how many misspellings are in a sentence.

      • ObozoMustGo

        I like your train of thought here, jim. Keep developing these ideas.

        For the record, I’d propose banning the word TRILLION from anything Obozo says or does.

    • Joseph Kelsall

      Absolute undiluted nonsense !

  • bmerbob

    This is just one piece of a larger issue, and it is not all on liberals. I certainly consider myself on the liberal side of the political spectrum, but I find this to be silly and, well, childish. However, similarly, the attempts by conservatives to rewrite the history books, the state of Texas being a prime example is even more disturbing. That effort attempts to minimize facts of history that are contrary to conservative beliefs. When I was in school, we were taught facts and factual depictions of history, the good, the bad and the ugly. It was taught on a factual basis and it was left up to us to sort through those facts and develop our own opinions and philosophies. That is what I believe education should be all about. Educate the young folks (too late for many adults ass these blogs bear witness) all sides of an issue, facts and philosophies and allow them to sort it out. That includes the realty of the world that not everyone has the same things, thinks the same or experiences life the same. These kinds of approaches, like banned words simply delay the inevitable and ultimately the shock of reality will be harder to deal with.

    • Thank you! I was going to point out that this has nothing to do with being a “LIBERAL”. I also consider myself a liberal, and I find this completely moronic. Kids need to deal with reality, not be shielded from it to this degree.

      Let me tell you… the kid who is from a divorced home knows he/she is from a divorced home. He is not going to forget it just because the word is not found on a standardized test somewhere.

  • Joseph Kelsall

    This is an April 1st joke, right?

  • joyscarbo

    Wow…can our kids handle ANYTHING? Now they can’t handle a word? Just the mention of a word sends them off into a test-failing depression??!! This is some very weird and overly protective psychobabble.

  • frankblvdr

    May be the should ban all words, not to offend people who can not read.

  • tesla33

    Say it ain’t so, Joe; say it ain’t so! This sounds like the old USSR or any Totalitarian Dictatorship — ever hear of 1984? Those kids are sure going to be surprised when they grow up to find out that people get sick & die, get older, eat pizza, etc. Some poor girl will get the shock of her life at her wedding when people start spontaneously ‘dancing’…………. This IS an April Fool’s joke, right???? Please say it’s so!

  • digoweli

    You went through a Hurricane, lost your house and saw your little sister swept away so buck up and give up your PTSD and survivor guilt at age ten and take the GD Test! Rich kids don’t have these problems. How will you ever compete? The purpose of the test is to show how tough you are compared to those who are safe and don’t have to deal with nutty parents about some taboo that their preacher, priest, rabbi, mullah or police officer inflicted on them (or God and his weather). Be strong, otherwise you will never compete in this brave new world of strategic thinking and the “Winner gets everything.” Oh yes and be sure to learn how to shoot.

  • Is it any wonder the USA is falling so far behind the world in education ? How about we ban “Stupid” because it describes school administrators ? Or “idiotic” for the same reason ?

  • HNagler1

    What country do they live in? Those words fill the TV screen and the children here any number of them every day. “Oh, when will they ever learn? When will they leearn?”

  • stengla

    What Newspeak gobbeldegook Nonsense. Great piece! Call things what they are.

  • viewfromtheleftcoast

    liberal overreach idea, this banning of words? where is the info that says this is a liberal idea….. it sounds more like a conservative “PC” idea, or rather fundamentalist idea…

  • Drew_a

    Yowzas! This is rediculous. The single most important thing we need to teach our kids is to make informative decisions that can shape their way to discovering what they believe in, or overcoming adversaries, or reacting to people in different lifestyles. So the schools should yelling out god and dinosaurs, halloween and birthdays, but if christmas if ever made that list wow would their be hell to pay. Standardized testing is nonsense and not needed, anyways teaching kids to learn should be much higher priority. Philosophy starting from 3rd grade onwards would completely make this a non-issue.

  • This is so stupid. We out to fire the people who create these tests.

  • ObozoMustGo

    On the one hand, this appears to be an April Fools joke. On the other hand, isnt ALL LEFTIST NUTJOB LIBERALISM an April Fools joke, after all? So what’s the difference, you ask? Unfortunately, Leftist Nutjob Liberalism lives on day after day, year after year, decade after decade. It’s actually why many people can read this crap and there seems a very high probability that such leftist nonsesne can actually be true.

    Have a nice day!

  • What kind of idiots do they have on the board of education in New York? Did any of them come from Texas? Their list of banned words looks like the way Texas Republicans tried to rewrite history books. These people must not have children or they would know that there isn’t a child in the United States that don’t already know these words before they start school. The word dinosaur makes to make like a caveman, they go trick or treating so they know the word Halloween and all the other banned words before the first grade especially the ones that learn to read early in life. They will have seen people with diseases anf people who have died, so why ban the words. You can’t wrap children up in cotton to protect them from the bad things in this world, they see that on tv, hear adults talking about it, and ask about the bad stuff they don’t understand. Today’s kids know more about what goes on in this world by the age of 5 than most of the adults of today knew by age 12. Also if words are banned, the next thing you know they will ban all kinds of books.

  • We can blame this on liberals. We can blame this on conservatives. Can we just say that we have some outright idiots who don’t belong in the education system? Why yes…yes we can. By the way, dinosaur, birthday, dancing, and weed to one and all!

  • OOOOOH! You said the “D” word! Now Rick Santorum has another excuse to pontificate against you!
    On a more serious note, I have a 9-year-old daughter in 4th grade. I was reading an article about a new exhibit at the Mark Twain House in Hartford that highlights negative stereotypes of black people over the years. When she questioned me about some of the images being shown, I explained that they were what a lot of folks thought Black people should be like. She just looked at me and asked “Why would they do that?” If you want to talk about words that people find offensive, check the exhibit out. It was designed to shock people who try to ignore the issue of race. I do not ignore it. I recognize it, and try to respect it.
    When I was working in the Middle East, I recognized I wasn’t in the States and there were certain behaviors that would not be appreciated. I also recognized they had a different work week from the West, and adapted accordingly.
    Oh, and finally, for the record, I love watching a good dancing dinosaur movie while eating a pepperoni pizza on my birthday! (But please, no Barney)

  • Halloween is “short” for All Hallows Eve or Hallow Eve because the next day is All Saints Day which was once celebrated all over Europe. It has nothing to do with pagan anything, that it 20th century movie legend. How dumb are people really>

  • Readbycandlelight

    Thank God I have saved lots of books over the years. I guess burning supposedly incorrect books will be next. Just one more step in the dumbing down of America. Think, think people and don’t let others do it for you.