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Jul 29, 2015 12:51 PM

Controversy brews after UNH 'Bias-Free Language Guide" deems words - including 'American' - problematic


DURHAM – In an attempt to make all of the members of the community feel included and safe, The University of New Hampshire's website posted a Bias-Free Language Guide.

However, not everyone in the UNH community is happy about some of the words the new language guide deems as 'problematic' - including the university's president, Mark Huddleston.

Words like American, homosexual, causcasian, U.S. citizen and normal person are just some of the ‘outdated’ words and phrases, according to the guide.

FULL LIST: 'Problematic' terms according to UNH 'Bias-Free Language Guide'

Huddleston disagrees. In a statement the president said, "I am troubled by many things in the language guide, especially the suggestion that the use of the term 'American' is misplaced or offensive."

Although the language guide is posted on the university's website, Huddleston emphasized, "the views expressed in this guide are NOT the policy of the University of New Hampshire."

According to UNH’s website, bias-free language would replace words and phrases with preferred word and phrases.

Here are just a few examples (Problematic Term : Preferred Term)

Age, Class, Size

Rich : person of material wealth

Overweight : people of size


Normal person : non-disabled person

Handicapped : wheelchair user

Race, Ethnicity, Culture and Immigrant Status

American : Resident of the U.S.

Caucasian : White people

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Homosexual : Same Gender Loving


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