Letter: The word police

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
The word police

Somewhere George Carlin is turning over in his grave. His “Seven Words” skit has been replaced, only this time it’s not TV but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Trump administration officials are forbidding the agency from using seven specific words in any official documents. Apparently, budget writers deemed them unacceptable, only they wouldn’t say why. What seven words could possibly be that damaging, you ask? They are, in no specific order: “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable” (really??), “diversity,” “entitlement,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

Of course, the last two are of no surprise given the current administration. But come on, folks. These people are tasked with watching over the country’s health. Epidemics, pandemics, flu alerts, etc. – you don’t think there might be a point that they need to use the word “vulnerable”?

I am at a loss as to how low this administration is willing to go in order to sound as if they are “one of the people.” What’s next? Will schools be banned from teaching science? For those who have been out of school for a while, “science-based” is one of those pesky standards that real scientists like to apply. 2020, or a new make-up in the House of Representatives, can’t come soon enough.