UNH Bias-Free Language Guide: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A tourist covers her head with a scarf made like a US flag  on July 4, 2015 in New York. A bias-free language guide posted on The University of New Hampshire's website suggests that the word America should not be used. (Getty)

A tourist covers her head with a scarf made like the American flag on July 4, 2015 in New York. A bias-free language guide posted on The University of New Hampshire’s website suggests that the word America should not be used. (Getty)

A bias-free language guide published on The University of New Hampshire’s website has gathered significant Internet attention due to references in the guide that words like “American” are biased. The president of the university issued a statement rejecting the guide. Meanwhile, politicians are weighing in, including Donald Trump.

Here’s what you need to know.


1. American Is Un-American According to the Guide

According to the language guide, which is published on The University of New Hampshire’s website, “American” is one of many questionable words that should no longer be used. The word American doesn’t recognize the existence of North Americans and South Americans, and therefore should be avoided, the guide states. Instead, U.S. citizen or “Resident of the U.S.” are preferred phrases.


2. Elderly Is Another Questionable Word

An elderly Indian cyclist carries a plant on his cycle in New Delhi. Elderly is another word the bias-free language guide suggests avoiding. (Getty)

An elderly Indian cyclist carries a plant on his cycle in New Delhi. Elderly is another word the bias-free language guide suggests avoiding. (Getty)

The bias-free language guide also suggests that “elderly” is word that should be avoided. According to the guide, “old people” is coming back in style and is now the preferred word. The guide states that the term old people “halts the euphemizing of age.”

The guide also suggests replacing “homeless” with “person experiencing homelessness” and replacing “rich” with “person of material wealth.” The latter is suggested because the term rich gives off a feeling of omnipotence, the guide claims. Other problematic words include:

  • Caucasian, which should be replaced by “white people”
  • Healthy, which should be replaced by “non-disabled”
  • Homosexual, which is now derogatory and should be replaced by “Same Gender Loving”

3. The Guide Was Published in 2013 but Gained Attention After a Conservative Website Found It

bias-free language guide

Bias-Free Language Guide, as posted on The University of New Hampshire’s website (The University of New Hampshire)

The guide flew under the radar for almost two years before a conservative blogger found it and published a review of it. The authors said the guide was offered to promote discussion and coming up with new ways for creative and accurate expressions. The guide matches UNH’s inclusive-learning environment, the authors wrote. The specific authors aren’t known, but The Blaze reported that it was created by “community members.”


4. The President of the University Issued a Statement Rejecting the Guide

Bias-free language guide

President of UNH posted this statement about the bias-free language guide. (The University of New Hampshire)

Mark Huddleston, president of the University of New Hampshire, was not happy about the bias-free language guide. A note appears beneath the guide stating that it is not university policy, and linking to the statement pictured above. The statement says, in part:

I am troubled by many things in the language guide, especially the suggestion that the use of the term ‘American’ is misplaced or offensive…


5. Donald Trump Has Already Weighed in on the Guide

It didn’t take Donald Trump, 2016 presidential candidate, long to weigh in on the bias-free language guide. He posted a tweet denouncing the guide as an outrage. UNH quickly tweeted back that the guide was not part of the university’s policy.

3 Comments

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3 Comments

Anonymous

———my step-mom recently purchased white Land Rover Range Rover Sport by working part time off of a pc… more info here See More

C. Wright

Unbelievable! Another idiotic, liberal idea! Creators names and pictures should be published with this list! Maybe, if people had to step up and personally start taking credit for these ideas, we would be able to stop this anything goes mentality!

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