Stanford proposes adding 'American' to 'harmful language' list

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In May, Stanford University developed the “Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative” to replace certain words and phrases on its website with approved alternatives.

The list of soon-to-be banned terms includes the label “American,” which Stanford argues is too US-centric and ignorant of the other forty-one countries that also exist in the region. The university suggests “US citizen” as an alternative.

Stanford grouped their list of words and phrases into eight categories, “Ableist, Ageism, Culturally Appropriative, Gender-based, Imprecise Language, Institutionalized Racism, Person-First, and Violent.”

The list, which was recently password protected following backlash, was widely shared and criticized on social media.

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