Free Minds & Free Markets

Is It Racist to Refer to Space 'Colonization'?: New at Reason

The language police have come for the space geeks.

Mariana Ionita/Dreamstime.comMariana Ionita/Dreamstime.comThere is a time and a place—many times and many places, in fact—when it is good to highlight that certain utterances are likely to offend. Once, my parents were on a trip and met someone who casually used the term "Jewed down." And far too many people still use the term "gyp," not realizing it is a negative, stereotype-fueling reference to a group that faces horrific discrimination and violence. There's a reason it will be seen as a big deal if Donald Trump in fact used the 'N-word,' while no one would have batted an eye if a white person used that same term just a couple of generations ago. Part of the evolution of language is retiring old, bad words, or severely limiting their usage.

But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be on the lookout for language overpolicing, as well, writes Jesse Singal in his latest piece at Reason.

Photo Credit: Mariana Ionita/


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