Offensive language

Subject: Offensive language
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2010 10:08:47 +0200

I rise to speak of another frequently used term that has a great
potential for offending the discerning audience.

Although these days it seems open season upon Christians, we have all
been warned about the extreme problems that come from any hint of

However, one term in widespread use is a sexist catastrophe.

I refer, of course, to "b.s."

As it happens, I have spent considerable time in and around members of
the bovine species as a part of my first marriage to the daughter of a
Texas cattle raiser.

Thus, I can personally attest to the fact that the excrement of the
bovines of the male gender are in no way more prolific than that of
the females. Nor is it different in any other particular discernable
to the cognoscenti.

Just as Shakespeare in his immortal "Romeo and Juliet" observed
"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet,"

You may be sure that in their odoriferous qualities both b.s. and c.t.
("cow turds," not to put too fine a point on it!) are
indistinguishable, no matter what they may be called.

Should you happen to visit a feed lot, barn, or pasture, I would
challenge you to attempt to determine which of the many exemplars of
bovine excressences were the product of the males and which of the
females. I daresay that task would be beyond any powers of observation
you may possess.

Thus, to use only the term "b.s." is the rankest calumny upon the
males of the species.

I propose that if you wish to reach a reasonable accommodation by
reducing any tendency toward unwanted sexism, you consider at the very
minimum alternating your "b.s." references with "c.t." ones on at
least a 50/50 basis.

(In passing, I would also caution against the use of the term "holy
cow" as an ejaculation--as that is an obviously negative reference to
the Hindu religion. Since they are definitely not Christian, they are
also not at all fair game in the disparagement Olympics.)

I leave the examination of the wisdom of maligning another species to
another day.

Thank you very much.

Use Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word, or HTML and
produce desktop, Web, or print deliverables. Just write (or import)
and Doc-To-Help does the rest. Free trial:

Explore CAREER options and paths related to Technical Writing,
learn to create SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS documents, and
get tips on FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION best practices. Free at:

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


Previous by Author: FaceBook; was: Re: my bad displays habit
Next by Author: Working with Word? Have you heard of DocVerse?
Previous by Thread: Master resumes (was Re: API doc question)
Next by Thread: RE: Offensive language

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads