The President of the University of New Hampshire, Mark Huddleston, said in a statement Thursday that the Bias-Free Language Guide the university posted to its website is not the policy of the school. The guide suggested people stop using words like “homosexual,” “Caucasian,” “mothering,” “American,” “overweight,” “dumb” and “illegal immigrant” because their use could be offensive. “I am troubled by many things in the language guide, especially the suggestion that the use of the term ‘American’ is misplaced or offensive,” Huddleston said. “The only UNH policy on speech is that it is free and unfettered on our campuses. It is ironic that what was probably a well-meaning effort to be ‘sensitive’ proves offensive to many people, myself included.” George Orwell’s landmark novel on the effects of totalitarianism, “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” asserted that once a word didn’t exist, the idea the word represented could no longer be thought. What Orwell didn’t see is that thought-crime would be instituted through the effort to offend no one. On behalf of all “Americans” who value the freedom of thought and of expression, we hereby declare this language guide to be deeply “dumb.”
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