Don’t say ‘Stupid’ at Stanford — university publishes guide to eliminating ‘harmful’ language

Stanford Memorial Church


Daily Post Staff Writer

Stanford’s IT department has published a guide for eliminating harmful language on the university’s website, and some of the entries — including “American,” “cakewalk,” “landlord,” and “stupid” — have sparked fierce backlash, attracting the attention of the likes of Elon Musk.

Other words that should be avoided include “victim,” “peanut gallery,” “manpower” and “blacklist,” the guide says.

The 13-page guide gives alternatives to potentially harmful language and context for a word or phrase that might be harmful.

For example, instead of “American” the guide suggests using “U.S. Citizen.” 

Saying “American,” to refer to people from the United States only insulates that the United States is the most important country in the Americas, which is actually made up of 42 countries, the guide says.

The guide is broken down into sections for words that are gender-based, culturally appropriative, ableist, racist and imprecise.

Instead of “cakewalk,” say “easy” or simple,” the guide says. That’s because white ensalvers used to hold events where slaves would dance for their entertainment, and the prize would be a cake, according to the guide.

“Landlord” should be avoided because it’s “gender binary,” which means it classifies gender into one of two categories. 

“Blacklist” should be avoided because it “assigns negative connotations to the color black, racializing the term.”

Avoid “straight” because it implies that anyone who is not heterosexual is “bent,” the guide says.

‘Person without housing’

The guide also suggests using first-person language that defines a person by their characteristics, such as “immigrant,” “homeless person” and “prostitute.”

Instead, it suggests saying “person who has immigrated,” “person without housing” and “person who engages in sex work.”

The guide came to light on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Then, someone put the webpage behind a password that requires a Stanford login.

Chief Information Officer Steve Gallagher released a statement yesterday addressing the backlash. He said the guide doesn’t represent university policy nor any mandate. The paper was intended for discussion with the IT community to support inclusivity, he said.

Gallagher said the IT department particularly heard concerns about the guide’s treatment of the term “American.”

“To be very clear, not only is the use of the term ‘American’ not banned at Stanford, it is absolutely welcomed,” he said.

He said the intent was to show how the term may be imprecise in some cases, and an alternate term may be more appropriate.

“But we clearly missed the mark in this presentation,” Gallagher said.

The IT department will continue to adjust the guide, he said.

Professor says list backfired

Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford professor who made waves with a study that found that pandemic lockdowns didn’t have a benefit, said that the guide is another ill-conceived initiative by Stanford.

“It’s a ham-handed way to achieve a worthy goal, which is to have people treat each other with respect,” he said. “But having a list of prescribed words actually has the opposite effect, because some people react to it by actually wanting to say those words.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Stanford has had an intolerance for alternative ideas and a hostility toward people who disagree, Bhattacharya said.

“Something like this just furthers the stereotype that Stanford is an intolerant place,” he said.

Bhattacharya said on Twitter that he remembers how proud he was to become a naturalized American citizen, and he doesn’t care that Stanford disapproves of him using the term.

Elon Musk replied,.

“Stanford disapproves of saying you’re proud to be an American? Whoa,” he said.


  1. First Stanford takes direction from the dog-torturer Fauci and forced everyone to get the vax, locked everyone down, and forced everyone to wear those “stupid” masks, aka face-diapers. I was once proud to be an American! But with the father of Hunter Biden’s laptop in the white house and people continuing to vote for such stupidity, and the money laundering from Ukraine to Democrat party via SamBF, and no prosecution, whatsoever, not even media coverage. I will use whatever words I want. What a stupid list.

  2. Oops, autocorrect wrote Persians, when I meant Persons

    Why discriminate between professions? Why not person who practices medicine? Then you say Hello, Person who Practices Medicine (last name). And don’t say Mr. (Last Name) as master is verboten. Therefore, call your male-identifying lawyer by his first and last name. When the Judge walks into the courtroom, say Your Person who Passes Judgment. Yes, you will probably end up in jail, but you could appeal. Cheers! Oh, that discriminates against Persons of Sobriety. Regards, then!

  3. Stanford is now a laughing stock. There was a time that I was proud to say I was a graduate of that institution. The degree served me well and with a lot of hard work, provided me with a great life’s path.

    Morons running the asylum today are now anti-American, hating themselves, their Country and even Stanford University itself. They are obsessed with being “cancelled” at every turn.

    Who is putting you up to this? You’re buying into a propaganda scheme carefully devised to destroy America, primarily by the Communist Chinese Government. Those who created the path to this Country’s destruction are sitting up in the peanut gallery, laughing at all of you trying to out “woke” one another. Blindly accepting what is being prescribed on social media as the “right thing” makes you a definition of stupid.

    Before I left Kalifornia, I found that less than 20% of high school students I encountered could pass a basic civics exam. Less than 14% could even name the three branches of government.

    If you believe this Country is systemically racist, then you haven’t studied real history; simply the revisionist history being spewed today as truth by Main Stream Media and Social Media.

    If the current main stream media was in place in 1942, you’d be speaking German or be a lamp shade.

    Wake up!

  4. This over the top woke nonsense is laughable. I don’t know what drives people to this point, but my guess is insecurity and low self-esteem. They feel so poorly about themselves that they think everyone is so thin skinned that they need extra protection. Get a grip.

    I’m still proud to be an American, and if others want to be anti-American, that’s on them.

  5. a better story would be a deep dive into all the funding stanford receives from china — and how the money is in guiding curriculum and “research” grants.

  6. Stupidity like this, and appalling ethics/morality instilled by law Professors Bankman and Freid in their spawn, Sam, have convinced this alum to never donate to Stanford again.

  7. I’d love to meet the ppl in the comments to see what kind of persons they are. Presumably, they’d have no issue with people going out of their way to find language going against their make/kind

Comments are closed.