Home » The Water Cooler – Stanford Releases Guide Against ‘Harmful Language’ — Including The Word ‘American’

The Water Cooler – Stanford Releases Guide Against ‘Harmful Language’ — Including The Word ‘American’


The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Stanford University released a guide against ‘harmful language’ — including the word ‘American,’ according to a report in the Daily Mail.


It has listed 10 sections where ‘harmful’ language can occur under the headings: ableist, ageism, colonialism, culturally appropriative, gender-based, imprecise language, institutionalized racism, person-first, violent and additional considerations, the report said.

They ask that people replace several words and phrases, including “American,” “Grandfather,” “Karen” (should be changed to “demanding or entitled White woman,”) “Brave,” “Long Time No See,” etc. 

Click here to read the entire report.

QUESTION: What’s your opinion on this change by Stanford University?

Talk about it….



Ricardoh December 20, 2022 - 12:06 PM - 12:06 PM

Just more woke madness and by the way my grandkids call me “grandfather”. It’s a long story.

Dawg December 20, 2022 - 12:09 PM - 12:09 PM

My opinion, you ask? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Nothing coming from the JOKE-WOKE surprises me anymore. They can try to normalize sick behavior til they’re blue in the face, but anybody with a working brain still knows right from wrong.
Now, I’m gonna go out and wash the car and forgetaboutit.

Danged ineffectual December 20, 2022 - 3:32 PM - 3:32 PM

Is it woke people who just move offending Priests to a new region after allegations surface? Nope.

No side holds a clear moral high ground.

Wage Slave December 20, 2022 - 4:13 PM - 4:13 PM

Way to strawman and move the goal posts, all in one.

The catholic church is not the biggest cultural force in this country, the woke blue church is. The left completely beat the evangelical, Moral Majority Christian coalition types decades ago, and has been firmly in control of all culture since. Hollywood will not think twice to make a movie criticizing the church. You will never, in this age, see criticism of the idea if transgenderism, or DEI come out of Hollywood, or the NYT, or academia.

One thing I liked about my youth in the 90s, we could actually question the legitimacy of that Christian cultural hegemony. SNL and comedy were replete with sketches and jokes ripping on the Tammy Fay Bakers of the world.

Now, you can have a figure ten times more ludicrous in the blue church like Rachel Levine, and you can have your life and career ended for even tepidly pointing out the elephant on the room.

No, the blue church and the catholic church are not morally equivalent. Get back to me when we are at risk of the Inquisition again.

Simonpure December 20, 2022 - 12:10 PM - 12:10 PM

One word…WOW!!!

Mutts December 20, 2022 - 12:27 PM - 12:27 PM

Time to stop supporting these godless institutions. And people still don’t get that free speech is under attack.

Captain Bebops December 20, 2022 - 12:47 PM - 12:47 PM

I have great nieces and nephews and one great-great niece. I noticed some time ago that the term had changed form “great” to “grand”. So I guess they aren’t so great anymore. 😄

This is all silliness from the sub-species which developed over the last couple of years.

Jared December 20, 2022 - 12:48 PM - 12:48 PM

High School English teacher here. There is no context here, the context is that America refers to the continent. USA is not the only country on this continent. It does not associate the word American with anything negative, it is relative to geographically identification.

Rollo Tomasi December 20, 2022 - 1:04 PM - 1:04 PM

@Jared: check the link to the story. The reasoning has nothing to do with geography. The reasoning is that the use of “American” conveys that the US is favored. God forbid.

Wage Slave December 20, 2022 - 1:23 PM - 1:23 PM

So, despite the USA meaning litterally United States of America, or just America for short; despite America being used colloquialy for USA for decades, if not centuries, we should now stop doing so because what? It marginalizes Mexico and Canada? Did their governments get together and lobby Stanford for this rule change? Or was it maybe more at the behest of neomarxists that have tried to undermine every single aspect of our country as founded for decades now?

I can’t help but notice, none of this postmodern deconstucrtionist garbage gets its lense turned on Marx himself, who was virulently racist, or any of the dozens of Marxist/Postmodern/intersectional thought leaders who had issues of their own. It only ever seems to be focused on the institutioms that stand in its way.

Just a coincidence, I guess.

jprcards December 20, 2022 - 1:36 PM - 1:36 PM

Oh please this list is among the stupidest things I have ever read in my life….If you click the link to read the entire story it seems like it has to be a joke. Sadly it is no joke…..somebody, somewhere actually thinks this makes sense!

Rollo Tomasi December 20, 2022 - 12:55 PM - 12:55 PM

Academia has fallen

Ricardoh December 20, 2022 - 3:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Many years ago we had a friend who was a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. They were already dumbing down the curriculum 50 years ago. They wanted to make it a level playing field. I don’t think they have reached that level yet so they will press on. The professors teaching now were a product of that system.

To Do List December 20, 2022 - 12:59 PM - 12:59 PM

I keep waiting for this idiocy to run its course and stop, but so far it just keeps going. History shows people can be complete idiots for long periods of time, like those clowns who beat themselves with sharp metal and branches to gain God’s favor during the Black Death plague in Europe a few centuries ago. Same thing.

Wage Slave December 20, 2022 - 1:29 PM - 1:29 PM

In the 90s, when stuff like this would pop up, it was mostly amusing. The movie PCU lampooned it pretty well.

Today, though, these authoritarians have gained control of huge swaths of American institutions. They wield real power, and they mean to use it. They don’t hew to any kind of enlightenment reason that we might recognize. The honestly believe there is no truth but power, that everything anyone ever does when creating something is done in the name of perpetuating their own power. It’s a psychopathic, evil ethical and moral system that knows no limits. Everything it does is justified because it is ferreting out hidden systems of power, making a more diverse, equitable world. When people like this get in charge of whole countries, you get Mao and Stalin, you get purges and Great Leaps Forward. And they are freighteningly close.

Clem December 20, 2022 - 1:17 PM - 1:17 PM

Ignorance, plain and simple.

American Citizen December 20, 2022 - 1:55 PM - 1:55 PM

3rd gen Stanford alumni here. I am ashamed of what it has become.

DD December 20, 2022 - 2:08 PM - 2:08 PM

Just when you thought this state could not be any more stupid.

WC---Creeker December 20, 2022 - 2:16 PM - 2:16 PM

My Grandfather who was birthed by his American mother, named Karen. She was very brave. I saw him recently after not seeing him all summer. I said, Long Time No See, let’s get some lunch.

The Wizard December 20, 2022 - 2:20 PM - 2:20 PM

American American American. Stanford KMA

Parent December 20, 2022 - 2:23 PM - 2:23 PM

So are the going to tell us we can no longer sing

God Bless America
America The Beautiful

Pigs – Stanford used to be an institution of knowledge, and. Ow, yeah, my children will not attend there or UCB for that matter.

The Mamba December 20, 2022 - 2:41 PM - 2:41 PM

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by eactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. . . . The process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for commiting thought-crime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need even for that. . . . Has it ever occcured to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?”

Ripley December 20, 2022 - 3:48 PM - 3:48 PM

Maybe they should drop their schools name since Leland Stanford’s history is a bit checkered.

Superstitious Aloysius December 20, 2022 - 4:12 PM - 4:12 PM

Up until this report, the name “Stanford University” inspired thoughts of academic excellence. Now the name seems to have become the punchline of its own woke joke.

Hayden Barsotti December 20, 2022 - 4:30 PM - 4:30 PM

This “woke” crap is only getting worse. If these jackasses are offended when they are addressed, then too bad.
I think when they type their name and add the (he, she, them, or whatever) on it shows their stupidity.
Hayden (me, myself, I)…how’s that?

Cellophane December 20, 2022 - 5:13 PM - 5:13 PM

What gives these Stanford folks the right and privilege to determine what words are good and what words are not?

Is academia some sort of superior form of being?

I say phooey

They can not use those words and phrases if they want.

They dare not attempt to force me.

Me December 20, 2022 - 5:23 PM - 5:23 PM

I guess since they want the word American replaced with US Citizen, Stanford systems will now have to say
– Oakland As are now in the US Citizen League
– US Citizen Airlines
– US Citizen Express credit card
– US Citizen Doll

The definition of American in the dictionary includes “of or relating to the U.S. or its possessions or original territory.” So are they saying people at Stanford can’t use words as they are defined by the dictionary. Isn’t that taking away their freedom of speech.

Ricardoh December 20, 2022 - 6:40 PM - 6:40 PM

Isn’t this the United States of America?

Bob December 21, 2022 - 1:19 AM - 1:19 AM

Once upon a time

Exit 12A December 20, 2022 - 6:57 PM - 6:57 PM

Intellectual morons.

Daniel December 20, 2022 - 7:24 PM - 7:24 PM

I am fine with being the U.S. America is a refernce to some 1500’s Italian explorer . Whopee!@

Daniel December 20, 2022 - 7:29 PM - 7:29 PM

Why is everyone so up in it, about being named after a 1500’s Italian explorer who really didn’t do much for this country at all ?

AnimalLover December 21, 2022 - 8:04 AM - 8:04 AM

Looks like the village has two of them.

Wage Slave December 21, 2022 - 11:40 AM - 11:40 AM

Out of curiosity, what do you call an American, if not “American?” USAian? United Stateion? What do you change the country to? United States of Part of North America?

miguel December 20, 2022 - 10:25 PM - 10:25 PM

Never thought I’d see the day that Stanford tries to out Berkeley Cal

reekorizzo December 21, 2022 - 3:41 AM - 3:41 AM

i get on my knees every night and pray for the Civil War so we can get rid of these idiots.

Wage Slave December 21, 2022 - 11:34 AM - 11:34 AM

You do not want that, and nobody should ever wish for it. That is insane.

I’m as frustrated with the insanity and corruption as anyone, but I also know enough to know i don’t want it to completely fall apart. It will not go the way anyone thinks it will go. Uncorking a war can’t be undone, and it always takes on a life of its own until there are enough corpses to bring it to an end.

Angry American December 21, 2022 - 10:25 AM - 10:25 AM

I do not intend to alter my use of poor English for the sake of the feelings of some snowflakes. “Toughen up Buttercup”. It is also nice to see what your college tuition pays for.
Pronouns? “no”…. my Adjectives are angry / disappointed

Oh, please December 21, 2022 - 10:28 AM - 10:28 AM

Ah, racism again. A Karen is ONLY a white woman. Suuuuuuurrrreee.

Doh December 21, 2022 - 11:37 AM - 11:37 AM

This article is based on an article from the “Daily Mail.” The “Daily Mail” From Wikipedia: “The Daily Mail has also been criticised for its unreliability, its printing of sensationalist and inaccurate scare stories of science and medical research ,[17][18][19][20] and for instances of plagiarism and copyright infringement.[21][22][23][24] In February 2017, editors on the English Wikipedia banned the use of the Daily Mail as a source.”

Embedded within the article is a link with the word “twelve” spelled wrong. This is either grossly taken out of context or pure baloney.

Ripley December 21, 2022 - 12:56 PM - 12:56 PM

Was also printed in the Wall Street Journal…hope they fact check their content.

Rollo Tomasi December 21, 2022 - 4:43 PM - 4:43 PM

Would you expect the New York Times to report on a story that further exposes the woke buffoonery overtaking academia?

Gittyup December 21, 2022 - 1:39 PM - 1:39 PM

That is nothing short of insanity. Good luck with that. “Grandfather?” Oh, really. Vote these liberal twits out of office at your first opportunity. ” … demanding or entitled White woman …” OH, REALLY! That’s racist you liberal nutjobs! I’ll ask to speak to a Supervisor any time I feel I’m getting inferior service. And, some of these services these days are really inferior. Get used to it!

Steve December 21, 2022 - 1:51 PM - 1:51 PM

utter nonsense!

WC Resident December 21, 2022 - 2:01 PM - 2:01 PM

Should we be providing suggestions on a new name for Stanford University?

The university was founded and named by Leland Stanford was active in eradication of the Native Americans living in California and considered the Chinese to be “an inferior race is to be discouraged by every legitimate means.” Is the school proud of its cultural history or will its administrators stand back and stand by?

The Mamba December 22, 2022 - 3:01 PM - 3:01 PM

Maybe Stanford should just turn over its land and Endowments to the Native Americans who owned the land before the university was built there?

The Fearless Spectator December 22, 2022 - 10:53 AM - 10:53 AM

Here are two dandy’s to add, and they should go right to the head of the class:
Bankman and Fried.

happypappy December 22, 2022 - 6:38 PM - 6:38 PM

Few things are as dangerous as someone who wants to make the world a better place. Do not give in to stupidity and/or evil and live ever more boldly.

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