Students at Colorado State University (CSU), apparently, should no longer say “long time, no see,” “you guys” or “freshman,” because those terms are not considered “inclusive language.”
In an opinion piece for the Rocky Mountain Collegian, titled “CSU has gone too far with inclusive language,” CSU student Katrina Leibee said she was told to use “y’all” and “first-year” instead, in order to be “inclusive of all genders.”
“A countless amount of words and phrases have been marked with a big, red X and defined as non-inclusive,” Leibee wrote, describing her frustration with the university’s penchant for political correctness.. “It has gotten to the point where students should carry around a dictionary of words they cannot say.”
Inclusive language is language that “is free from words, phrases or tones that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminatory views of particular people or groups,” as well as language that “doesn’t deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from being seen as part of a group,” according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Leibee said she met with the CSU director of Diversity and Inclusion, Zahra Al-Saloom, who showed her an “entire packet” of words and phrases that are not considered “inclusive” at CSU. The common greeting “long time, no see,” for example, is verboten because it is apparently “derogatory towards those of Asian descent.”
“We have been asked to get rid of the language we have been using for as long as we have known the English language,” Leibee said.
Leibee’s piece does not say why the phrase “long time, no see” is considered non-inclusive, but an Oxford Dictionary blog, “9 words with offensive origins,” provides the history of the phrase and says the phrase “was originally meant as a humorous interpretation of a Native American greeting, used after a prolonged separation.”:
“The current earliest citation recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) comes from W.F. Drannan’s book Thirty-one Years on Plains (1901): ‘When we rode up to him [sc. an American Indian] he said: ‘Good morning. Long time no see you’.’”
Leibee challenged women to consider whether they actually felt offended by terms such as “you guys,” or whether they felt excluded because they were told to:
“A question I would pose to all women on this campus is, do you actually feel excluded by the term ‘you guys,’ or were you told that ‘you guys’ excludes you?”
Leibee said that CSU students will, eventually, have to leave the “non-offensive bubble” of college, and should be prepared to enter a world that “doesn’t care about any of this language.”
Students should “consider the possibility that these words were not a problem until we made them a problem,” Leibee concluded.