Quangos blackball ... oops, sorry ... veto ‘racist’ everyday phrases
The Sunday Times
August 23, 2009
It could be construed as a black day for the English language — but not if you work in the public sector.
Dozens of quangos and taxpayer-funded organisations have ordered a purge of common words and phrases so as not to cause offence.
Among the everyday sayings that have been quietly dropped in a bid to stamp out racism and sexism are “whiter than white”, “gentleman’s agreement”, “black mark” and “right-hand man”.
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has advised staff to replace the phrase “black day” with “miserable day”, according to documents released under freedom of information rules.
It points out that certain words carry with them a “hierarchical valuation of skin colour”. The commission even urges employees to be mindful of the term “ethnic minority” because it can imply “something smaller and less important”. the rest