Posted by Word Camel on October 18, 2004
In Reply to: Say it isn't so? posted by ESC on October 18, 2004
: : A friend from the UK just brought me a newspaper clipping that says "Bedlam", "nitpicking" and "brainstorm" among others) have been outlawed in in goverment work places because they might offend someone?
: Weird. Bedlam I can understand. But I don't see how nitpicking and brainstorm could offend anyone.
"Nitpicking" because it supposedly refers to the nits in the hair of slaves (a variation on th edubious nitty gritty theme), and "brainstorm" because it might offend mentally ill people.
All this would be terrible not least because it is necessary to have access to the term "bedlam" when dealing with the UK civil service.
I'm also wondering whether, if someone were seriously mentally ill, whether there might be many other words one would find offensive - like "door knob" or "egg whisk" or "mustache"?