CDC Issues The New Newspeak
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The Centers for Disease Control, not having anything more pressing on its plate (their plate? What are the CDC’s pronouns anyway?), advises:

Language in communication products should reflect and speak to the needs of people in the audience of focus. The following provides some preferred terms for select population groups; the terms to try to use represent an ongoing shift toward non-stigmatizing language.

Instead of this…

  • Inmate
  • Prisoner
  • Convict/ex-convict
  • Offender
  • Criminal
  • Parolee
  • Detainee

“Murderer” is so judgmental. Instead, use PoM (Person of Murder).

Try this…

  • People/persons who are incarcerated or detained (often used for shorter jail stays or youth in detention facilities)
  • Partner/child of an incarcerated person
  • Persons in pre-trial or with charge
  • People who were formerly incarcerated
  • Persons on parole or probation
  • Non-US citizens (or immigrants) in immigration detention facilities
  • People in immigration detention facilitiess

It’s interesting (in a tedious way) how the New Newspeak has evolved away from the Stalinist brusqueness of Orwell’s invention (e.g., “crimethink”) toward boring verbosity.

Some other formerly fashionable terms that have apparently recently climbed on the Euphemism Treadmill toward oblivion are:

  • Differently abled
  • Vulnerable
  • Persons who relapsed
  • Underserved people/communities/the underserved
  • Hard-to-reach populations
  • The uninsured
  • Homelessness
  • Homeless people/the homeless
  • Lower Socioeconomic Status (SES)
  • Poverty-stricken
  • Vulnerable population
  • Priority populations
  • Native American (for federal publications)
  • The Black community
  • Non-White
  • Transgenders/transgendered/transsexual
  • Stakeholder

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