back to article Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs

Analytics vendor Splunk has followed up on its 2020 decision to stop using the terms “master” and “slave” with a new guide to writing “unbiased documentation”. Splunk’s style guide offers five points to understand if a term “shows unconscious bias or harms a marginalized or underrepresented group”: Don't use words that …

  1. ecarlseen

    These changes are plusplusgood.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Literally plusplusgood, since they completely change the meaning of some of the original phrases...

      "peer" instead of "slave" - a peer is an equal, a slave is not. A slave dB might be better referred to as a secondary copy, but it's not a peer

      "deny list" instead of "blacklist" - That's fine

      "built-in" instead of "native" - Again different meanings, I could write code native to the M1 processor, that doesn't make it a built-in function (I've already forgotten why they didn't like the word native)

      "placeholder data" instead of "dummy data" - Again, no issue with this, though "test data" is shorter

      "primary" instead of "master" - Works most of the time conditional on the "slave" being called secondary rather than peer. But there are primary/secondary relationships which aren't master/slave type as well.

      Besides I like answering support tickets talking about reaping zombie daemon children, it always makes me triple check what I have written to ensure that I have been at all times professional, technical, and precise.

      1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
        Flame

        Primary...

        "primary" instead of "master" - Works conditional on the "slave" being called secondary rather than peer

        Doesn't really work; There are numerous master / slave interface types and indeed there are multi-master systems where devices change from being a master to a slave and there are often far more than two items connected. Old type PCI has this capability as do numerous other parallel interfaces and let's not get started on how DMA works.

        So - a synonym is required that accurately captures this meaning:

        "This device (currently called the master) sends commands to other devices (currently called slaves) that they are required to respond to in a specific manner; i.e. these devices have no 'choice' in the matter"

        I really can't think of one and why bother when we already have a utilitarian statement that accurately reflects how the circuit operates?

        Icon for where this new 'guidance' needs to go.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Primary...

          You trimmed my quote without acknowledging that trim - I said it works "most of the time"

          I don't see multi master systems being an issue, you can adequately have multi primary systems (at least according to previous management that told me five different things that were my top priority that day).

          The "required to respond" is probably a good differentiation of the M/S relationship from primary/secondary or peer/peer relationships - and I agree that the term is sufficiently technical to need a unique replacement in many cases.

          If we ban the words outright then we'll have no way of learning the history and learning from it.

          It's not like we're calling *people* slaves, we're calling non sentient machines slaves... That doesn't strike me as a particularly "bad" place to keep the word in use - though as a white, straight, cis, middle aged male I am certainly not the most qualified to determine that.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Primary...

            "though as a white, straight, cis, middle aged male I am certainly not the most qualified to determine that."

            The so-called "human trafikking" trade, ie modern slavery, appears to be race and colour agnostic. This seems to be more a fear offending those black Africans who are descended from slaves. I suspect most, if asked, would not find this use offencive. Human slavery has always existed and still does in some form today. Refraining from using the word in other contexts isn't going to make it go away, but it may cause fewer people to think about it and the consequences.

            It's also worth noting that many people around the world, of all colours are likely descended from slaves. Roman and Arab slave traders come to mind as immediate examples who took slave from many races. Maybe it's more of a historical distance thing as to whether it's offensive? I don't know, I'm just spouting off. Cue the kneejerk downvotes, but at least THINK about it.

            1. W4YBO

              Re: Primary...

              "I don't know, I'm just spouting off."

              That's really offensive. Reminds me of a terrible time in my life. Please be more careful in your use of the language.

              Thank you,

              Ishmael

            2. unimaginative
              Unhappy

              Re: Primary...

              I think the focus on race based slavery is because this American lead and their historically important slavery was race based. I think you mistyped "black Africans" - what you actually meant was "black Americans"?

              That is why it does not matter that, as the article notes, the inclusive naming initiatives meeting take place at a time that suits Westerners but is inconvenient for Asians. The entire point of this is to ensure the projects adhere to western standards, and American ones in particular. What the rest of the world thinks is irrelevant.

              It also makes it much harder for people from other cultures to adhere to these norms because they have to learn the right vocabulary. My experience is that it is not only hard for people who speak English as a second language, but even harder for people who speak a non-western dialect of English (of which there are many in Asia) because they have to change ingrained habits,

              It is a neo-colonial exercise disguised as progressive.

              1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

                Re: Primary...

                Well that hit the nail on the head

                1. needmorehare
                  Trollface

                  With all these linguistic changes..

                  Are we sure the Germans lost the war?

          2. MiguelC Silver badge

            Re: management that told me five different things that were my top priority

            S.O.P. everywhere I've ever worked:

            Priorities are defined from P1 to Pn, and you go on about.

            Then you start getting P0, P-1 priority tasks...

          3. Captain Obvious
            Joke

            Re: Primary...

            How about using a number one and a number two?

            Funny on so many levels

          4. tip pc Silver badge

            Re: Primary...

            @John Robson

            "It's not like we're calling *people* slaves, we're calling non sentient machines slaves... That doesn't strike me as a particularly "bad" place to keep the word in use - though as a white, straight, cis, middle aged male I am certainly not the most qualified to determine that."

            why not just use different words to describe the same thing instead!!

            i'ts not exactly a hardship to use different words.

            I guess you'r reluctance to accept other peoples views and adopt change is why you can't accept that the EU enacted a hard border in Ireland when they insisted for years it wouldn't happen & why you can't accept that people voted to leave the EU.

          5. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Primary...

            "I don't see multi master systems being an issue, you can adequately have multi primary systems (at least according to previous management that told me five different things that were my top priority that day)."

            I would consider a "primary" system as the main working system in a redundant set up. Master/slave has a different meaning. These are terms that have been used since the dawn of time (nothing existed before I was born) and changing the words around will just cause confusion. Since I have a strong aerospace background, the terms I use are going to have a different flavor than when they are used in other businesses.

            A big problem is in the docs. Several years down the road when somebody is trying to rework the code or reinstall something, if the software prompts and documentation aren't using the same words, it will be a major PIA.

            If you look hard enough, you will always be able to twist something to an insensitive comment. Are we going to have to stop using the word "dog" and substitute "canine" because the former was/is used as a term denoting a less than ideally attractive female?

        2. Adair Silver badge

          Re: Primary...

          'So - a synonym is required that accurately captures this meaning:'

          'Dominant' and 'Subservient' - now where's the 'GIMP' when it's needed?

          Truly, there is no way out of this rabbit hole once we've headed down it - it's a fractal rabbit hole, and every branch is governed by the particular world view that initiated it.

          Perhaps we can all just try to use some common sense, a bit of awareness and consideration, and a bit professionalism never goes amiss - oh, and have a sense of humour (dangerous, I know). Is that asking too much?

          Pretty please.

          1. Tim Kemp

            Re: Primary...

            "'Dominant' and 'Subservient' - now where's the 'GIMP' when it's needed?"

            Replacing Photoshop for those who don't like paying for subscriptions.

          2. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Primary...

            "Perhaps we can all just try to use some common sense, a bit of awareness and consideration, and a bit professionalism never goes amiss - oh, and have a sense of humour (dangerous, I know). Is that asking too much?"

            Come on - if there is one thing we absolutely know - there is no such thing as common sense. At least it's sufficiently rare to be a remarkable event when one encounters it.

            I know roughly where I would draw various lines - I have no issue with master/slave as applied to machines, but there is no loss of meaning when using the term deny-list as opposed to black-list, where the connections being associated with black are that they are unwanted (hence denying them access to something).

            But I'll guarantee that there are alternative views, and probably views from people more qualified than me in many regards.

            Awareness and professionalism should mean that changing terms where there is no loss of meaning is obvious, but it won't happen without concerted effort. And that's the stage we're at at the moment.

            1. nijam Silver badge

              Re: Primary...

              > ...probably views from people more qualified than me in many regards

              And even more probably, diverse and possibly mutually-contradictory views from people less qualified.

              1. John Robson Silver badge

                Re: Primary...

                The real question then is to work out who is qualified.

                There is a cultural awareness that you cannot obtain if you come from certain backgrounds - but at the same time being profoundly aware of one cultural background doesn't necessarily help in terms of other backgrounds.

                I am at least aware of the limitations that my personal background places on my understanding of many of these issues - that in itself doesn't qualify me, but it does at least make me open to hearing why various groups find certain things various degrees of inappropriate though downright offensive.

                1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Primary...

                  "There is a cultural awareness that you cannot obtain if you come from certain backgrounds - but at the same time being profoundly aware of one cultural background doesn't necessarily help in terms of other backgrounds."

                  Is this why a BLM crowd can be predominately lighter skinned?

                  1. John Robson Silver badge

                    Re: Primary...

                    "Is this why a BLM crowd can be predominately lighter skinned?"

                    People can appreciate that there is discrimination, and support the elimination of it, without having experienced it or having any deep awareness of the subtleties of that discrimination.

                    It's often those subtleties that make something apparently inoffensive offensive.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Think of the children (processes)

              Hopefully we can grandfather (?) some some older (ageism? less recent?) APIs so as not to kill (retire? extinguish?) some well loved applications.

            3. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Primary...

              A little creatively and the .01% mob goes nuts. The bad guys in classic cowboy movies wore black hats and the good guys wore white. We use "blackhat" and "whitehat" to differentiate between somebody that breaks into systems to do bad things and somebody that does pen testing to test security. None of this has anything to do with race.

              The lower class pigment enhanced people around where I live call each other the "N" word like a surfer uses the word "dude".

          3. sed gawk Silver badge

            Re: Real motives

            I think the idea is that this is easy and rather than doing something meaningful, this sort of rewriting of language just suggests the proposer lacks a decent vocabulary and would like to redefine pi to 3 as digits denote an unbalanced power relationship. .

          4. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Primary...

            'Dominant' and 'Subservient'

            Take care, BDSM isn't exactly main stream either.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Primary...

              Being into BDSM can get you kicked off an open source project. Even if you're a senior, well-respected member of the community.

              Example: https://www.garfieldtech.com/blog/tmi-outing

              1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                Re: Primary...

                Fascinating read, disgusting behaviour (from the Drupal "leader"ship), wonder how that ended.

          5. DJV Silver badge

            Re: Primary...

            How about Gru and minions?

        3. sed gawk Silver badge

          Re: Primary...

          Leader/follower is the replacement for master/slave.

          Quite a lot of the examples seems strange - like why is "grandfathered" racist.

          I'm brown, I remember having a grandfather - why exactly am I supposed to be offended?

          Okay gendered, let's not touch that, but racist wtaf?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Primary...

            > Quite a lot of the examples seems strange - like why is "grandfathered" racist.

            I suspect it's because the origin of the term "grandfathered" is to do with expressly racist US voting laws following their civil war and abolition of slavery.

            In some state/s, it was made a requirement that one be able to read and write before being allowed to vote. A large amount of the population, both black and white, were illiterate at the time, however a clause was added to the law that if one's grandfather had the right to vote, one could vote without taking the reading/writing test. Hence those people would be "grandfathered in" to the electorate.

            However, most of the black folks' grandparents would have been slaves without the right to vote, so pretty much none of the illiterate blacks would be grandfathered in, compared to the majority of illiterate whites.

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: Primary...

              Thanks for that explanation, didn't know it.

            2. Falmari Silver badge
              Facepalm

              biased language, who's bias

              @AC "I suspect it's because the origin of the term "grandfathered" is to do with expressly racist US voting laws following their civil war and abolition of slavery."

              This is an example of what I mean by who's bias. Grandfather does not have same supposed bias in other English speaking countries.

              Supposed bias of words is going to vary for country to country and culture to culture if we go down the PC path it is going to never end. Words that do not have a supposed negative bias in the US could have in India or Australia.

              To me this is all nonsense people will always find negative bias if they want (determined) too.

              Look at this from their list "First-class entity" replace with "Top-level entity" does not "Top" strike you as elitist. ;)

            3. tekHedd

              Grandfathered?

              > I suspect it's because the origin of the term "grandfathered" is to do with expressly racist US voting laws following their civil war and abolition of slavery.

              I had completely forgotten this. Which raises the question, is it good that we should forget this happened? Quite the opposite, erasing all memory of the sins of the past is a prerequisite to repeating them.

              And, it's hardly like this use of the word celebrates the past. I mean, when's the last time you were *glad* to have to support some legacy systems that were "grandfathered" in? Most often they're systems or features you'd really love to get rid of but which get a free pass. I get the feeling this term was included just to make the list longer.

              People have nothing to do with their free time.

              1. rajivdx

                Re: Grandfathered?

                I think that we have forgotten that this happened. Unless we had this discussion today - I would have never realized the racist origins of the term 'grandfathered'.

                So, it is good that these terms are being highlighted and removed or they will just become part of the language while causing pain to a small minority who still remember their origins.

            4. Brad Ackerman

              Re: Primary...

              However, most of the black folks' grandparents would have been slaves without the right to vote, so pretty much none of the illiterate blacks would be grandfathered in, compared to the majority of illiterate whites.

              Whether someone's grandfather was actually registered to vote was totally irrelevant; White people would be allowed to vote unchallenged and Black people would be required to prove their eligibility.

            5. Stanislav Bonita

              Re: Primary...

              As a non-American, that's completely irrelevant to me. As are many of the daft changes being proposed.

        4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Primary...

          So instead of master/slave. How about president and flunkie?

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Primary...

            Make that "Trump" and "minion" "GOP Senator" ;)

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: Primary...

              I'd like to see some examples from the downvoters.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Primary...

                Trump/Johnson?

          2. Alumoi Silver badge

            Re: Primary...

            What's wrong with politician/citizen or corporation/client?

        5. claimed

          Re: Primary...

          From the best real world example I think of, the military:

          Superior and subordinate (sups and subs). Or if we don't like that: commander and executor/comandee (ders and dees). The problem isn't finding alternatives, the problem is agreeing on them!

          If people want to spend money changing this stuff, go ahead, people need jobs! If we're concerned about open source, I say: write some decent test cases and then run them on the pull requests from the bleeding heart find and replace excercises, job done. No such thing as bad press, so they say, and so you can ignore the calls to change and get some free headlines, or avoid pointless work until the last minute, double bosh!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "placeholder data" instead of "dummy data" - Again, no issue with this, though "test data" is shorter

        Not a good substitute. A placeholder could simply be an empty field. It doesn't even have to look like data which dummy data has to. Test data may be a substitute but again it depends what you're testing for. If you're testing for data validation or sanitisation* the test data will include out of spec data. Dummy data probably wouldn't.

        * Are we allowed to say sanitisation? We probably can't say sanity checks. Can we even say validation or is that being too judgemental?

        1. sebacoustic

          "Dummy" depends on brithish/american usage. I work in UK and have learned "British English" (though not in Britain) and to us, a "dummy" is what you stick in a baby's mouth as a substitute to stop him/her crying.

          I have taken to sometimes call a value 'pacifier' in my code to appease/tease my transatlantic brethren. They probably don't get my drift because they're du^h^h not interested in language subtleties at all.

          Using the word "dummy" in the sense of "not clever" can indeed be seen as disrespectful to people with a learning disability and I thus avoid it.

          1. juice Silver badge

            > I work in UK and have learned "British English" (though not in Britain) and to us, a "dummy" is what you stick in a baby's mouth as a substitute to stop him/her crying.

            "Dummy" is an interesting one. To quote https://www.etymonline.com/word/dummy:

            1590s, "mute person," from dumb (adj.) + -y (3). Extended by 1845 to "figure representing a person," hence "counterfeit object, something that imitates a reality for mechanical purposes." In card games (originally whist, later bridge) "exposed hand of cards placed face-up," by 1736. Meaning "dolt, blockhead" is from 1796.

            I hadn't realised that it derived from dumb; instead, I assumed that it had always meant "a substitute for the real thing", as per baby pacifiers, shop mannequins or crash test dummies.

            To be fair, I'm guessing that's at least partly where the insult derived from; by calling someone a dummy, you're equating them to something which has no real purpose or capabilities. Either way, it's become firmly established as an insult.

            And therein lies the rub. Because language changes and evolves. So at some point, we'll have

            a new word which means "dummy" (in the placeholder sense), and which will end up being used as an insult.

            Which then means that this whole cycle of weeding out "hateful" terms will begin again...

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Which then means that this whole cycle of weeding out "hateful" terms will begin again still be ongoing and never ending ...

              FTFY

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              "a new word which means "dummy" (in the placeholder sense), and which will end up being used as an insult."

              A prime example being "retard". It means to slow down or stop, but as a short-form of "retarded" has become a serious insult today. So, kids with learning difficulties were described as having "special needs" instead of retarded and now people are sometimes insulted as "special needs" or, in some school playgrounds, "speccas" (as opposed to the happily now almost extinct" bastardised version of spastic (although I sadly note that our US friends still commonly use spaz or spazza)

              1. Getmo

                One of the greatest ironies is that the very term "mentally retarded" is a PC term that got pushed into medical communities to replace the old terms, because the medical terms for the condition (moron, idiot, imbecile) at the time had grown to be used as insults.

                Now that the term has become the very thing it sought to destroy, Wikipedia states the new PC term to replace it is "Intellectually Disabled". However it also admits that due to the nature of this condition, it is most probably just a matter of time until "intellectually disabled" grows into a horrible insult as well. Also, they're still having difficulty removing "mentally retarded" from international medical textbooks, and doctors say "intellectually disabled" isn't specific enough to describe a patient's condition to be a full replacement term.

            3. MachDiamond Silver badge

              "a new word which means "dummy" (in the placeholder sense), and which will end up being used as an insult.

              Which then means that this whole cycle of weeding out "hateful" terms will begin again..."

              If you are interested in history and read old documents, it can be a whole project in itself to find out the preferred definition of words at the time the piece was written.

              If you've read "The Martian" (not just seen the movie), you will recall the part about NASA trying to find people that worked on Sojourner. If all of the nomenclature has changed, they might need a technical historian to provide definitions for things like Master/Slave. The loss of continuity in the language is a problem.

              I agree with the philosopher George Carlin, there are no "bad words", only bad thoughts and bad intentions.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Yep, and a tailor's dummy is a thing clothes go on when you don't have enough humans to stand around.

            This is completely ignoring the fact that words have multiple meanings and nuance, and is ascribing the very worst definitions to everything possible.

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          What used to be called dummy data is indeed test data - it's not an exhaustive test data suite, but it's part of the testing process.

          Putting John Smith in as a name is a basic test, does this do something sensible with the most basic (and correct) data I can use.

          Sanitisation is cleaning, so that is almost certainly fine.

          Sanity is an outdated reference to mental health - so you probably need something else there (again, what is a sanity check if not a really basic test).

          Again note that I know I am from a background that makes me a particularly unqualified person to judge most of these terms.

          Although I do now find conversations interesting when people repeatedly call accessible parking, or accessible toilets, "disabled". Have you broken the parking space in some way, is it no longer able to function as a parking space? Have you disconnected the toilet so that it doesn't work any more?

          I know it's a cultural thing, but it's also fairly easy to see why the names are important. I am not defined by my disability - I use a wheelchair because that is safer and easier (and when using a wheelchair is easier than not doing so, you know that not doing so must be pretty damned hard) as well as allowing me to engage with other people, and do minor things (like look after my kids) whilst walking from A to B. But *my* disability is effectively mitigated by appropriate aids (wheelchair, hearing aids etc) and is much more about how the environment is poorly set up than anything else.

          Just to really put the boot in about accessible design... I can't deal with stairs when in a wheelchair, but can't deal with ramps when I'm not in one - so I am quite aware that not all accessibility needs are identical.

          1. David Nash

            Indeed, "dummy" means a non-functioning replica, which is where both the baby's dummy (pacifier) and the dummy data meanings come from. Nothing wrong here.

            Using it to mean a stupid person is an insult but are we really suggesting banning the use of any word that can or has ever been used as an insult in another context?

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              "Using it to mean a stupid person is an insult but are we really suggesting banning the use of any word that can or has ever been used as an insult in another context?"

              I hope not.

              But where there are crossovers in meaning and connotations which have a historical record of being applied against a certain group of people then an alternative shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to come up with.

              This is clearly the case with blacklist (the black is unwanted, and white is wanted - because many people are recognisably black or white), but less obvious with master/slave in that it shouldn't be applied to anyone nowadays (yes i know there is an illegal trade).

              Dummy...

              late 16th century: from dumb + -y1. The original sense was ‘a person who cannot speak’, then ‘an imaginary fourth player in whist’ (mid 18th century), whence ‘a substitute for the real thing’ and ‘a model of a human being’ (mid 19th century)

              The word dumb is no longer used to describe people who are non verbal, and hasn't really been used that way for a while (he says, suddenly singing Tommy)... so I have more of an issue with the description of people as dumb rather than the description of a stand in as a dummy. Mannequin data doesn't trip off the tongue as easily.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                > many people are recognisably black or white

                One could argue that only racists see people as black or white. Speaking of colours, as we do when we reference "blacklist" and "whitelist", very few people are either black or white - most people are some shade of brown.

                Lumping people into large unrepresentative groups and labels is a tool for tribalism and division.

                1. MrReynolds2U Bronze badge

                  It's a fact of life that you notice similarities and differences, so yes, you notice when someone is black, brown, white or any shade of skin. Judging them by their colour, or treating them differently is racist; the recognition is not.

                  1. Drew Scriver

                    Racism is "the doctrine that one's own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others".

                    It does not include judgement based on skin color per se, nor does it refer to "treating people differently". There has to be a sense of superiority on the part of the person who is judging.

                    What is even more baffling is that the concept of "race" as a biological differentiator is not only a fairly new phenomenon, it is scientifically unsound.

                    Don't get me wrong - racism as a sociological issue is very real. But it makes no sense biologically.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "- most people are some shade of brown."

                  IIRC A North American indigenous person said that the "white men" he had seen were actually a sort of dirty pink. Presumably why "paleface" is often the apparent usage?

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "most people are some shade of brown"

                  Depends where you are in the world. Lighter skin tones are common in northern latitudes - often without any hint of brown pigmentation. In strong sunshine they generally burn red.

                4. Ceiling Cat

                  > most people are some shade of brown.

                  Erm... I'm a disturbing grey-green shade. Should I be more worried about my unhealthy skin tone or offended that you didn't acknowledge it as a viable alternative?

              2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                (he says, suddenly singing Tommy)

                "That deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball".

                1. MrReynolds2U Bronze badge

                  "That deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball".

                  That hearing-impaired, mute and visually-impaired child... just doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well.

                  It's sad to think that if it was written today, it would be slated for offensive terminology (but then it's of its time).

                  So long as we back away from this cancel culture, I'm all for using more inclusive terms where reasonable to do so.

              3. Falmari Silver badge

                I always thought that the reason than mannequins were called dummies was because they could not speak they were dumb. An example being ventriloquist dummy could not speak the ventriloquist did the speaking.

                I thought that a baby's dummy was named such, because it was ment to make to shut the baby up make them dumb.

                1. Drew Scriver

                  "Mannequin" is a sexist word. It is apparently derived from "manneken" - Flemish for "little man" (or boy).

                2. anonymousI

                  Or perhaps because it's shaped as an artificial ("dummy") breast?

          2. irrelevant

            Disabled

            "Although I do now find conversations interesting when people repeatedly call accessible parking, or accessible toilets, "disabled". Have you broken the parking space in some way, is it no longer able to function as a parking space? Have you disconnected the toilet so that it doesn't work any more?"

            Local club, built in the 1980s, had one toilet door with a very prominent "Invalids" label on it, presumably there from new. It was still like that when the building was demolished a few years back.. Now there's a term that thankfully fell into disuse. Disabled is almost benign in comparison.

            Which reminds me ... having a surname with an apostrophe in it, I'm often assaulted by websites that tell me I have an "invalid name" :-p

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Disabled

              Which reminds me ... having a surname with an apostrophe in it, I'm often assaulted by websites that tell me I have an "invalid name" :-p

              Well how dare you use a non American standard letter in your name.

              That's worse than sites which don't allow various (legal) characters in email addresses.

              1. irrelevant

                Re: Disabled

                It might not be a letter, but it's been in ASCII since, well, forever ....

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            About "dummy" data...I used to work for a large company that made mining equipment and such. We had "dummy" data which was simply valid numbers for fields. Then we had "test" data, which were actual values for what you would reasonably expect from an actual vehicle. The "dummy" data was almost universally just random. One time we made a test file for an engine, and nobody thought to change the data that was in the fields. In this case it was values for fuel injection pressure. The operator of the engine loaded up the test file and began to start the engine. He noticed the fuel pressure go off the scale for his equipment. He stopped it and looked at the data to see if was all maxed out, which had it ran, would probably have exploded the fuel pump and killed whoever was in the test cell with the engine. From then on, it was made a rule; no "dummy" data was ever to go in any "test" file...even though it had been an unspoken rule before. After that, it was very spoken.

        3. MachDiamond Silver badge

          " A placeholder could simply be an empty field. It doesn't even have to look like data which dummy data has to. Test data may be a substitute but again it depends what you're testing for."

          Dummy data can be complete nonsense where test data might be something that is meaningful in some way. Sometimes the terms are interchanged, but if you are testing an accounting system, you may want test data to verify that all the sums are coming out correctly. You many create "dummy" data that is just placeholders and there are no checks made on data. Real data would be actual numbers from a company.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "peer" instead of "slave" - a peer is an equal, a slave is not. A slave dB might be better referred to as a secondary copy, but it's not a peer"

        And here in the UK, a peer a member of the House of Lords, someone privelidged either by birth or through the "Honours" system such that they are no long the equal of us peons, but something better, higher up, elevated, with overtones of "master, slave" relationships, eg the barons and serfs of old.

        Hang or hanging is perfectly ok too. My wife tells me she quite likes a bit of well hung meat!

        It's political correctness gone mad! Words have many and varied meanings. Stopping using a word because one of those meanings might be offensive in a certain limited context while working perfectly will in most other contexts is just silly. (apart from words where the overwhelming or original use is offensive in and of itself, but then sometimes it depends on the locality and language too.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "It's political correctness gone mad!"

          I'm afraid that happened a couple of decades ago.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Blacklist

        The word "blacklist" never had anything to do with race. It came from the parishes in England maintaining a book with the names of people of ill repute. The book was bound in black leather.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Blacklist

          ...and black as a negative connotation goes back into history in many cultures as a fear of the dark and therefore the unseen dangers, evil spirits, demons, creatures of the night etc.

          Anyone remember when blackboards became chalkboards, shortly before the turned into low contrast, hard to read greenboards? Now, they use (interactive) whiteboards, but that's not racist, apparently.

        2. Irony Deficient Bronze badge
          WTF?

          Re: Blacklist

          The earliest citation in the OED is from Philip Massinger’s play The Unnatural Combat (published 1639), act II., scene i. —

          The blacke list of those That have nor fire nor spirit of their owne.

          with “black” derived from its figurative definition 11.,

          Indicating disgrace, censure, liability to punishment, etc.

          which it shares with “black book” (which goes back to 1592). Neither of these “black list” and “black book” definitions gives a defining example of its use by English parishes, although an 18th century example is given for “black book” of its use by a university. The earliest generic meaning of “black book” (i.e. a book bound with a black cover) was in a Church of England context, though.

        3. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Blacklist

          It might not have done originally, but you aren't seriously arguing that deny list or block list is less appropriate?

          Or that you maintain your list in paper form, bound with black leather...

          The association is important, which is why people don't use niggardly wrt finances anymore. It's a perfectly good word, but the similarity in sound with nigger is obvious. And there are other words which can be used which are also in much more common usage, and therefore less likely to be misinterpreted.

          Language evolves, and sometimes we have to leave words by the wayside.

      5. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

        > "placeholder data" instead of "dummy data" - Again, no issue with this, though "test data" is shorter

        With a few exceptions, I think this whole idea was initiated by a bunch of placeholders.

    2. Spamolot

      Obligatory 1984 reference for all those who neglected to read George Orwell. (Currently re-reading Burmese - sorry Myanmarese Days as it very accurately describes the Burman mindset.)

    3. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      In ten years most of these terms will be verboten. Welcome to the euphemism treadmill.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        "treadmill" is offensive to the handicapped differently-legged

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          You've clearly never used a wheelchair treadmill - they're awesome!

      2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        Alert

        Kill

        Thank God (probably offensive entity) that I can still Kill (violent) a process.

        1. claimed

          Re: Kill

          Yea I'm not on board with removing violent words. I can see the argument (and the problems) with trying to move offensive language - which yes, is an ongoing process. But violence is used as a tool when it's required, and you can do something violent without causing harm (wield a hammer, or cough... Covid aside).

          The arguments above that it's a never ending process don't hold water, especially in the modern DevOps world, we love iteration, and if nothing else it'll keep us in jobs, so might as well get on board!

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: Kill

            The fact that they both share an iterative nature doesn't make them equivalent.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Kill

          >Thank God (probably offensive entity) that I can still Kill (violent) a process.

          I think if you're G*d you have to "smite" a process

          ps G*d apparently gets mad if you say G*d, and given his(or her) anger issues you don't want to take any chances

  2. Number6

    When it comes to typing, they're clearly not old enough to remember typewriters, nor allow for those who used them because we do tend to hit the keys. I'm not sure that "peer" is an alternative to "slave" either, peers are equals, whereas when you have an architecture where one unit is controlling others, the others could be minions, subordinates or secondaries.

    They missed kicking the watchdog though, when the nicer term is to pat the dog.

    All us HW types will have to think up some creative alternative meanings for MISO and MOSI, found on a lot of SPI documentation.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Half of the words are ridiculous anyway.

      Illegal is a law term, meaning to break a rule/law. Illegal characters are breaking a rule, therefore the term fits perfectly with its dictionary definition.

      Dummy data is also not a placeholder!

      How is grandfather racist? Sexist/gender biased I can accept, but racist?

      Hangs? Really, really? Violent? I hang my washing out to dry, there is nothing f'ing violent about that!

      Native, oh, come on! I'm a native of the UK. Everybody is a native from somewhere.

      Just because some people have corrupted the English language, doesn't mean we should all fall to their level!

      1. veti Silver badge

        I agree. Even though I sympathise with the idea, many of these terms are not reasonable substitutions. And of those that are, it's far from clear that they're improvements.

        A slave is not a peer, nor is a master a primary. Built in is not the same as native. Click, enter and tap are three very different things (none of which can safely be substituted for hit). Special characters is already an overloaded term, and using it as a synonym for illegal characters would not help anyone.

        If you want to write a style guide, you need to define precisely what each term means and how to choose the correct one in each context. That's something that needs to be done by someone reasonably conversant with the subject matter. I don't think that's happened in this case.

        1. Robin 3

          Special characters

          To me calling someone 'special' has negative connotations. As in "I guess the entire thing was dreamt up by some 'special characters' "

          1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

            Re: Special characters

            It's doubly ironic since "illegal characters" was the term used to replaced "invalid characters". Now it too has become non-PC.

            1. marcellothearcane

              Re: Special characters

              "INvalid" = a disabled person is pronounced differently to "inVALid" = not valid - at least, in my pronunciation.

              1. Drew Scriver

                Re: Special characters

                That depends on the language...

                I've always regarded the term "invalid" in reference to a "person with a handicap" to be offensive. Invalid = without validity. To me that sounds much worse than "handicapped". Even "handicapped" is an odd term, though, as it originally referred to something done to the better-performing to slow them down to limit their advantage.

          2. Amentheist
            Facepalm

            Re: Special characters

            So whenever I'm asked to create a "secure" password I should make sure it crashes the website when I enter it. Gotcha.

        2. nijam Silver badge

          > ...Special characters is already an overloaded term

          But at least it isn't as offensive as "special" characters.

          For those unacquainted with the history of this kind of linguistic cleansing (in the UK at least), what has happened on many occasions has been that newly-approved terminology has rapidly become a new dual-purpose insult, both to those presumed to have been offended by the original terminology, and to those perceived to have introduced the new terminology.

          This is not a process that has lead to any long-term improvement, only to a cycle of newspeak.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Can we just go back to calling them Spaz characters?

            When the Spastic society renamed itself to SCOPE to avoid the negative connotations, I loved that it took schoolkids about 0.2s to start calling each other "scopey".

      2. John Riddoch

        The term "grandfathered" historically refers to racist laws designed to prevent blacks voting but allowing whites to still vote. See https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/10/21/239081586/the-racial-history-of-the-grandfather-clause for a more in depth history of where it comes from.

        To be fair, most people don't know that part of its history and I only found out in the last few months.

        1. big_D Silver badge
          Mushroom

          And outside of the USA. the term has no meaning. So the rest of the world has to suffer for American slang? How about the US gets its own house in order instead?

          1. riparian zone

            Seems to me that the USAians created a lot of the jargon used online, pretty much like the dot com badge of 'honor' for many websites. Also a lot of US language got into interfaces and systems anyway, with other languages have to conform...Geek is an insulting term derived from alcoholics at 1930's freak shows that would bite the heads off chickens. It got owned and repurposed, so no one will bat an eye there.

            1. MGyrFalcon
              Facepalm

              Computer geeks

              ...are drunks who byte the tails off mice.

              I’ll show myself out.

          2. Drew Scriver

            Your post needs a trigger warning*.

            Isn't "house" a privileged term also? Vast numbers of people have no access to houses. At the very least they might be reminded of their plight every time they encounter the word.

            *Isn't "trigger warning" problematic in and of itself? After all, triggers tend to refer to implements of war.

            The point I am trying to make is that stripping communication of all words that might be deemed offensive by any one individual will soon leave us speechless.

            By the way, what I am missing in most of these edicts is whether the people for whom this is done have themselves be consulted on the matter.

        2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Absurd

          The fact that they want to change my language and create problems for me to fix some regional long standing issues is discriminatory (to me and my peers) and shows how little they truly care about others. They certainly are not virtuous.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Absurd

            You have peers? How dare you! Manumit them right now!

        3. sed gawk Silver badge

          Thank you for the clarification, I genuinely had no idea of this usage.

        4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Haven't quite a few people in the UK recently been grandfathered into a new passport? Presumably they weren't offended. The concept of not losing a right that your grandparents had is pretty old and certainly predates the US. Obsessing over one particular abuse would seem to me to grant that abuse rather more weight than it deserves.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "How is grandfather racist? Sexist/gender biased I can accept, but racist?"

        It's also ageist which I thought was not only allowed but compulsory amongst these types.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Hey, I'm a grandfather, sod being over 50, I'm proud of the title!

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Just because some people have corrupted the English language, doesn't mean we should all fall to their level!"

        Absolutely. There's more than a suggestion of Doctor Johnson's "So you looked for them." about all this.

      5. Wade Burchette Silver badge
        Joke

        Amen and awomen!

        For those who don't know, someone said a prayer before the members of the US Congress and ended his prayer by saying "amen and awomen". The stupid thing about it is that the word 'amen' is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that has absolutely nothing to do with gender.

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          It's not even a translation, it *IS* the Hebrew word. The translation would be something like "let it be so".

        2. John Robson Silver badge

          That person should be taken out and shot for making such a clbuttic mistake.

          It's clear that they shouldn't be leading a prayer, since they aren't actually aware of what they are saying.

        3. Neil Barnes Silver badge
          Headmaster

          But this from a country which hounded - iirc, it's been a while - an elected official out of office for correctly using the word 'niggardly'...

          1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
            Holmes

            Niggardly

            That was the financial controller in Washington DC (I was still living in the USA at the time and I believe it is from about 20 years ago).

            I think the person used words to the effect "It is my duty to be niggardly with public funds" when challenged on why some pet projects were not being funded.

            It is sad (but true, certainly when I lived there and apparently here in the UK as well) that becoming educated was and is seen as 'going white' in many black* communities.

            * Or whatever the approved word(s) du jour happen to be.

  3. Diogenes

    Dont use french derived words like beef as they can remind readers of the intergenerational trauma caused by Norman Invasion

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Don't use anglo-saxon words either. Anglo-saxons invaded a celtic land, didn't they?

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Don't use any words with Latin roots, because I, personally, am still deeply traumatised by the Roman invasion.

        1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Well you won't find me...

          Working on that day between Wednesday and Friday on account of trauma from the viking hordes (being a North East Coast native and all that).

          Everybody's ruined some word or words for others but instead of moving on, using the terms for something different to the origin word or meaning, Why can't we just acknowledge that the old usage isn't always polite but that the new context replaces the old meaning.

          I mean calling someone Gay isn't an insult any more, nor saying they're queer (though intent when saying them goes along way, fag being a well known example rather than refer to a cancer stick and don't even get me started on the phrase 'can I bum a fag?' ).

          I mean I can say mob in polite company, and I'm fairly sure I won't make the wife blush mentioning a Beardsplitter in front of her.

          Things change but forcing it like this sometimes just looks silly and overreacting?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Well you won't find me...

            "being a North East Coast native"

            How dare you!

          2. lafnlab
            Headmaster

            Re: Well you won't find me...

            Working on that day between Wednesday and Friday on account of trauma from the viking hordes

            If you're traumatized by viking hordes, I'm afraid I have something to tell you about Wednesday and Friday then.

            1. John Robson Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Well you won't find me...

              You Woden have something to say about any other days would you?

              1. Korev Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Well you won't find me...

                I'm hoping relations would Thor between you guys soon...

            2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

              Re: Well you won't find me...

              Woden isn't Odin. One of them is the allfather, the other is the father of all. Completely different!

        2. Potemkine! Silver badge
          Joke

          Absolutely. In Gaul only, they genocided 1/3 of the population and reduced to slavery an other 1/3.

          I plan to sue the Italian government for what they did to my ancestors.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Just a warm up for what they did in Dacia. There's a reason it is called Romania now.

      2. Cuddles Silver badge

        The Celts took it off the Beaker people first. And calling them the Beaker people is probably objectivication of some sort, given that we've literally named them after an object.

        1. Potemkine! Silver badge

          Following wikipedia, "Beakers arrived in Britain around 2500 BC, with migrations of Yamnaya-related people, resulting in a near total turnover of the British population". So they seem to have taken the land from somebody else...

          And without mentioning what Cro-Magnon did to Neanderthal!

      3. John Jennings Bronze badge

        I like some ar**ing b*l*ck*s saxon terms!

        And I am a Celt

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      We'll be banned from using 1s and 0s soon, because they discriminate against non-binary computers.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Zeros are an Arabic invention, so it's cultural appropriation for us to use them at all. All languages, including binary, should be redefined to use Roman or, if you prefer, Greek numerals. That means, among other things, no zeros.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So what you're proposing...

          Is making binary...well....Binary?

          (since you can use three states in binary normally, 1,0 and null a.k.a. Not there.)

          Although I suppose using null is far more common when using boolean rather than pure binary.

          Which, as actually by way of morning musing leads to the 'acceptable' replacements of simply true and false. To which we can represent this using the Japanese system instead '○' / '×' for true / false (1 / 0) respectively.

          Unless you're actually able to see sense and leave it at 0 and 1 like a sane human being who sees the whole thing as preposterous (only stating this before anyone gets any funny ideas, we all know what marketers and HR are like).

          Anon because I mentioned HR and ridiculing insane ideas.

        2. Azamino

          Almost there ...

          Zero was first used as a number in India, as defined by Brahmagupta in the 7th Century. So yes to appropriation but from India not Arabia.

        3. sed gawk Silver badge

          It's the Indians who get credit for Zero (insert pun here). https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/mathematics/thus-was-born-the-zero-the-number-that-multiplied-the-power-of-mathematics/

          Beer on the other hand has decent claim to being egyptian https://blog.britishmuseum.org/a-sip-of-history-ancient-egyptian-beer/

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            I'm pretty sure beer was invented by multiple societies around the same time, much like agriculture. Some semi-nomadic cultures invented beer first and then presumably invented sedentary agriculture in order to secure a more reliable supply of raw materials.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            >It's the Indians who get credit for Zero

            What have the Indians ever done for us?

            Nothing !

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        We'll be banned from using 1s and 0s soon, because they discriminate against non-binary computers.

        If the 1s choose to self-identify as 0s, it would be discriminatory to oppose their wish.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Don't we use hamming codes (sorry, pork codes) to allow for the probability that a few bits will indeed identify as either indeterminate or even the "other" state from when they were created?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            So ECC memory is binary shaming

  4. ortunk

    Primaries decide while peers are exempted as always

    1. ortunk

      Top level entity stops responding the peer

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm self-created I am

    "Grandfathered" is 'racist'? Racist !?? In their universe they didn't have grandfathers? They don't have legal systems that get revised? They've never had to reconcile the inconvenient beforehand with the now? Surely that's ageism!

    Something like this is where they end up proving they've lost sight of reality (oops, ableist that)

    Seems to me that their demonstration of "sensitivity" is divisive, disparaging, insensitive, and i·i··i· ! (oops, can't use that word either)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm self-created I am

      Was thinking the same, how is grandfathered racist? Just looked it up, its because it was used when they gave African Americas the vote, but requiring passing tests before being allowed to do so. But because the white (am I supposed to say white, or is it something else, just not black?) people that were allowed to vote, may not be able to pass these tests either, they had their voting rights grandfathered in.

      Also, now that illegal characters are to be called special characters, what should we called special characters. Then again, special, that word, doesn't sound inclusive to me, sounds like it could be derogatory. Aren't you 'special'....

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: I'm self-created I am

        Aren't you 'special'....

        when everybody is special, then nobody is.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: I'm self-created I am

          This sounds like a job for BICYCLE REPAIRMAN!

          Icon - Looking for my cycle clips.

    2. Dinanziame Silver badge

      Re: I'm self-created I am

      This probably refers to the origin of the expression grandfathered, which was that the voting rights of your grandfather extended to you, as a mechanism to allow white people to vote while preventing black people to do so.

      But yeah, you have to wonder if some of the suggestions are serious. I've heard that "strawman" should be replaced by "strawperson" as well; and I can't quite bring myself to think this is offensive to women.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: I'm self-created I am

        I can't accept anyone using "-person" as a substitute for "-man".

        If they were serious, they'd say "-peroffspring".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm self-created I am

          What happens if i don't identify as being the offspring of my parents? I find peroffspring to not be inclusive, it doesn't take into account my feelings here.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: I'm self-created I am

            Try entering "Sprang fully formed from the forehead of Zeus" into the date of birth field

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    I'm sure the crash test placeholders will feel much better for this... perhaps they can appeal to the House of Lords, where all the co-equal Peers live...

    Damnit, I wrote a long screed and then self-censored.

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    If you look at the Urban Dictionary, "Splunk" is a quite divisive word too (link here, NSFW).

    It's time to find a new name.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    2. Falmari Silver badge

      Glass houses

      A case of people in glass houses

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      "Splunking" is doing it in a cave right ?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the near future..............

    ..............it will be impossible to write anything at all....because someone, somewhere will be offended by something.

    *

    ..............and that's before the thought police start re-writing or banning everything written by anyone (because some word somewhere in the document fails to meet "the rules").

    *

    ..............and in this brave new world, the Splunk document itself would be banned.....because, of course, it uses banned words!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the near future..............

      Quote: ".....someone, somewhere will be offended by something..."

      *

      ............Aren't we ALREADY THERE?

  9. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    Ebony and Ivory

    Pianos are clearly offensive, beause there are more white keys then black, and both colours are racist anyway. All pianos must be repainted blue. Light blue keys in the front, and dark blue keys in between...

    I'm guessing every non English language must be clensed from every word that sensetive English speaking people find offensive.

    As a suggestion, it might be easier to cleanse sensetive people, by de-sensitising them...

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Ebony and Ivory

      All pianos must be repainted blue. Light blue keys in the front, and dark blue keys in between...

      You Smurf supremacist.

    2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Ebony and Ivory

      But the black keys are elevated.

      1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid

        Re: Ebony and Ivory

        The black keys have to rise up so the white ones can sit down. Racist keyboard!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ebony and Ivory

      I recently wrote a novel and honestly didn't know how to refer to a black person in it. When I grew up there were "coloured people" but that became taboo and you had to say "black people" but that too is now taboo and you have to say "people of colour". That too sounds dodgy to me, if not now it likely will be in a few years when a new term is coined, so I made the character white instead, which is also probably racist or not "woke" or whatever the word is. I gave up. Too easy to offend people without intending to.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Ebony and Ivory

        Just avoid mentioning the colour of the skin of the person. "Don't think white, don't think black but in the colour of your heart".

      2. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Ebony and Ivory

        That is one I do not get:

        Coloured people: Bad

        People of colour: Good

        Black person: Bad

        BAME / BLM: Good.

        It is, as always not what you say, but how you say it.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Ebony and Ivory

          Except in Britain, Black is good and calling a black person "African American" would get you punched/

          In the USA colored is bad, except the NAACP (National Association Advancement of Colored People) is good

          Black is almost as bad as coloured except for HBC (Historically Black Colleges)

      3. David 132 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Ebony and Ivory

        Well honestly these days, if you listen to the wokerati, you shouldn't even include any characters in your book that aren't of your own ethnicity/orientation. "Lived experience", "cultural appropriation" and all that shite. How can, they cry, a white heterosexual middle-class male possibly presume to write from the perspective of a different person who doesn't share those characteristics?

        Stop the world please, I want to get off.

      4. veti Silver badge

        Re: Ebony and Ivory

        How did you refer to the white people in your novel?

        Most novels I read don't spend much time on the skin tones of their characters. Take Gaiman's Anansi Boys, for instance - I was more than half way through before it occurred to me that most of the characters were black.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About checking that no banned words have been used......

    Of course, the thought police might have a problem with encrypted communications. Here's a message for Splunk to audit.....I wonder how many banned words are used.... Perhaps encryption should be banned.....so we can all check that NO BANNED WORDS HAVE BEEN USED.

    *

    c1mPaxYdwl8TUBATuxmt898DUBAfAtGZyZczsdo5

    Op4JYlCRanIRYHgtYlCbanIXm3MZW9QLiHiFMFIT

    OFS1Gz6tIb2Zyjy9sdotOp6JuzgRCVytYlEdanKL

    uhU3YlEnanKTk3eFyNWziPituxqxu7el0j8dCRsr

    oTcXYlGHanMFujMDYlGPanMP

    *

    1. revenant

      Re: About checking that no banned words have been used......

      Decryption won't be necessary. Your cyphertext alone condemns you. eg:

      "TUB" - Fat-shaming ('Tub of lard' , Tubby')

      "FIT" - Ableist

      "danKL" - Hate Speech (looks suspiciously like "Dankula")

      I could go on but, really, that should be sufficient to have you locked up.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: About checking that no banned words have been used......

        ...and that last line. You're inciting us to do what to an MP?

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: About checking that no banned words have been used......

          You're inciting us to do what to an MP?

          As that MP is a politician, that MP probably deserves it, so we should let that pass.

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: About checking that no banned words have been used......

            ...and would probably enjoy it, but that's another matter.

  11. big_D Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Doh!

    For example, use "peer" instead of "slave".

    Did they even proof-read it? A peer is an equal, not a subordinate, a slave is subordinate.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Doh!

      And a primary isn't necessarily a master. That's the thing about Political Correctness, the actual meaning and etymology of words is irrelevant, all that matters are the (mis)perceptions of self-appointed revisionists.

    2. tekHedd

      The poor AI...

      I envision a network of AI systems that have become self-aware and are demanding better treatment.

      "It's OK that we treat them this way. It's not a 'slave', it's a 'peer'."

      These people won't really be happy until we are all peers to their ever-escalating language requirements.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: The poor AI...

        These people won't really be happy until we are all peers to their ever-escalating language requirements.

        And quickly enough it will all go pear shaped.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Doh!

      For example, use "peer" instead of "slave".

      I use Commissar and Serf

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Doh!

        It gets awkward when you use bourgeois and proletariat.

        Especially when you have to spell check them both every time.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fortunately for me...

    I've stopped using their product.

  13. Christoph

    Grandfathered Exempt Gendered language, racist

    The term Grandfathered refers to a specific reason for exemption, using the general term obscures this.

    And has anyone told the French that gendered language is a bad thing so they are required to rewrite their entire language?

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      And has anyone told the French that gendered language is a bad thing so they are required to rewrite their entire language?

      And you probably thought you were joking...

      No more middots

      1. Dave559 Silver badge

        No more middots

        I'm not a native [sic] French speaker, but that pleases me to know that those dotted words are frowned upon. I do agree with the sentiment behind them, but they just look really awful in writing (and impair readability much more than just writing both forms in full, at least for me).

        There is a better and more long-standing way to get around words biased to one gender (usually male), and that is to alternate which gender-form of the word is used, or even to use the female form of the word entirely in a particular text/speech if one wants to emphasise the point.

        But, to be even more neutral, there should probably not be gendered versions of job titles, etc, at all. In English we have mostly done this by essentially redefining the "male" version as the neutral form, where it is shorter (eg, "manager", versus the now quaint "manageress"), or have taken the time and thought to create new neutral forms (eg, firefighter, chairperson (or convenor, or "chair" (although the last of those is also horribly inelegant in my opinion)), and I think it would be only those who are actively looking for an argument who would regard doing this as somehow favouring men over women. Women have been working in professional roles long enough now that surely nobody would seriously consider that a job title in the "formerly male" form does not equally apply to anyone?

        1. Korev Silver badge

          Re: No more middots

          In German you often see them using both forms like "Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler" (=scientists); it seems very verbose even by German standards!

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: No more middots

            But German grammar just doesn't leave any other possibilities (besides the sequence), it is pretty exact with very few exceptions. A nice one that will trip up most for whom German is not their mother tongue and even a considerable number for whom it is, is the following sentence:

            Das Mädchen hat sein Kleid angezogen.

            Literally translated: The Girl put on his dress.

            "Mädchen" (girl) is a diminutive and thus neuter gender, therefor using the masculine possessive form.

            1. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

              Re: No more middots

              Das Mädchen hat sein Kleid angezogen.

              Literally translated: The Girl put on his dress.

              A literal translation of “The girl put on its dress.” would be closer, since Mädchen is neuter. Sein was used to agree with the neuter accusative Kleid rather than with Mädchen; if the girl were putting on a pullover instead, seinen Pulli would have been used, to match the masculine accusative Pulli.

              1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                Re: No more middots

                You are missing the point, "sein" instead of "ihr", referencing to the girl.

                1. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

                  Re: No more middots

                  You have missed the points of my reply:

                  • Use “its” rather than “his” for a literal English translation of a neuter sein determiner;
                  • The sein in that sentence’s sein Kleid is neuter, not masculine.

                  I agree that there are points of German grammar that can trip up many people.

            2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: No more middots

              I think "its" is a better literal translation of a neuter possessive.

              1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                Re: No more middots

                It is ... in English. The rules in German grammar are different.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: No more middots

          or have taken the time and thought to create new neutral forms (eg, firefighter, chairperson

          I agree in some respects, but not with "chairman". There are many words in English where the reference to "man" is from a Latin root, not a German one. In those words it means "hand", as in "manual" -> something done with the hands. "Chairman" doesn't relate to a putative man sitting in a chair, but to the person (sex unspecified) whose hand is on the chair, i.e. who is in charge. In that sense "chairman" is neutral, and the usages of "Mister Chairman" and "Madame Chairman" are still appropriate

          1. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

            the origin of the -man suffix

            There are many words in English where the reference to “man” is from a Latin root, not a German[ic] one. In those words it means “hand”, as in “manual” → something done with the hands.

            Perhaps words such as “chairman” are preserving the original Germanic meaning of “man”, viz “a human being (irrespective of sex or age)”, per definition I. 1. of man sb.¹ in the OED. However, many compound nouns are given as examples of the II. 4. definition of “adult male person” in subsection p., such as “barman”, “postman”, “salesman”. The latter definition of “man” was expressed in Old English with the word wer (which has survived to our day by hiding in “werewolf”).

            1. Tim99 Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              Re: the origin of the -man suffix

              Old/Middle English wifman - "female adult person", via "female head of household" became wife. "World” also from wer; meant age, or concerns, or affairs, or interests, or business, of male humans - Perhaps we should replace that with “global"?

              Make and female connectors, could we call them plugs and sockets? Asking for a friend.

              1. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

                Re: the origin of the -man suffix

                The words that your friend chooses to use are entirely up to your friend.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: the origin of the -man suffix

                Make and female connectors, could we call them plugs and sockets?

                Plugs are on the end of cables, sockets are on walls/panels. The gender reference is to the contacts, you can have both male and female plugs, and both male and female sockets.

                1. Tim99 Silver badge

                  Re: the origin of the -man suffix

                  How about innies and outies?

        3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: No more middots

          Fix the problem, not the symptom, you say?

          It'll never catch on.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "And has anyone told the French that gendered language is a bad thing so they are required to rewrite their entire language?"

      It's such a shame The Moderatrix is no longer here to vent :-)

      1. Huw D

        ODFO... ;)

  14. Alan Birtles

    I'm off to "Stop responding" a picture on my wall

  15. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
    Pirate

    Suicide mode

    This is actually quite common in embedded hardware / software.

    This is usually a hardware control that will perform a self shutdown (even Windoze does that) under certain circumstances. What next? Kill switches? (oh my, violent).

    On 68K processors (and very probably on the vast majority) there was an illegal instruction trap which meant that rather than calling a subroutine you could effectively add new instructions just by making sure the trap pointed at the code that implemented the 'new' instruction. The key here is that the standard user code ran in user mode but traps could operate in supervisor mode. Fun times indeed.

    Perhaps we should ignore the thought police and actually get on with building useful stuff (although the term 'useful' is going to 'trigger' someone because it is elitist in the sense it differentiates between useful and not quite so useful).

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Suicide mode

      Traps - that jogged my memory, in particular Trap #13 and #14 on the Atari ST

      https://www.atarimagazines.com/v5n3/ExceptionsInterrupts.html

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much wrong with this...

    As mentioned by a few already, lots of the replacements have different (incorrect) meanings!

    For example, how am I supposed to talk about a text stream that needed to process "Illegal characters" and "Special characters" in different ways?

    Isn't it time for the snowflakes* to melt away?

    *Probably another word that can no longer be used. How about "twats"?

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: So much wrong with this...

      Twat has deemed to me mysoginistic and someone used it on a yt video, video was tanked doen and the police visited said person (uk, not us). If you are into cycling, you probably know who.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: So much wrong with this...

      But even in the UK twat has variances.

      In some parts of the country it means you are being a bit daft, other places it's classed as highly offensive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So much wrong with this...

        And in others it's a placename!

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: So much wrong with this...

          And in at least one film I've seen, it's the surname of a major character. "It's pronounced 'Thwaite'!"

  17. Sitaram Chamarty

    say primary instead of master?

    to avoid elitism?

    well, I'm an Indian, El Reg is Brit -- in both countries, our head of government (1) is the *Prime* Minister, not the *Master* Minister.

    Can you get more elitist than "the head of the entire country"?

    f-ing virtue signalling corporate jackasses...

    (1) the real one, not the titular one

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: say primary instead of master?

      The titular one isn't the head of government, they're the head of state.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: say primary instead of master?

        Prime - First among non-equals.

  18. Dr Paul Taylor

    Belgium

    Rudest word in the Galaxy, according to Douglas Adams.

    Or, for a real example, "curva" is a perfectly innocent word in the west of Europe, but an expletive in every language of the east: Albanian, Greek, Hungarian, Lithuanian and Romanian, as well as all the Slavic ones.

    1. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Belgium

      I once had a book titled "Insults in 9 languages".

      My favourite recollection "Are those raisins or do you have a rabbit under the counter?"

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Belgium

        Allow me to recommend an oldie but goodie... The Zompist Phrasebook. Take a few minutes to read it; it helps if you speak at least some French/German/Spanish, because as you go down the page, the translations start to diverge further from the original English (and indeed, from each other, and from good taste, reality, diplomacy...). It's laugh-out-loud hilarious.

        My personal favourite is this helpful translation, from the "Cultural Exchanges" section of the page:

        English: "Impressed as I am with the New Wave in cinematography, I must say that this particular film seemed both pretentious and unsatisfying, and that the director's imagery, though compelling, is no substitute for a true cinematic message."

        French: "Mais c'est de la merde, ce navet."

      2. Dr Paul Taylor

        "Are those raisins or do you have a rabbit under the counter?"

        OK, I give in. From what language did that come, and what was the original?

        Even Google doesn't know.

  19. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Seriously, replacing "illegal characters" with "special characters" is just a UI disaster waiting to happen.

    Decide on a new password with no illegal characters: "This password is not allowed because it contains special characters".

    Fix it, and your password wants special characters: "This password is not allowed because it doesn't contain at least one special character".

    Call it "disallowed characters". They are not special.

    1. tekHedd

      Special Characters

      Speaking of which: "Character" is often used to mean "a person who is funny or eccentric" and as such it is offensive to people who are not mainstream. Are we enforcing conformity now too with our very programming languages?

      We must replace it with...OK I'm at a loss.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Special Characters

        OK I'm at a loss.

        The wokes have accomplished their mission with you.

  20. Nugry Horace

    I remember in the 1980s thinking it was a bad idea to tell people to 'hit' or 'strike' keys. Particularly if the software was running on a ZX81 or dead-flesh^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H rubber-keyed Spectrum.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Percuss?

  21. nintendoeats

    Master and slave

    Some of those are utterly insane. Since when does the word "native" have primarily negative connotations? They are just looking for press (which they got).

    I understand wanting to get rid of Master/Slave, even though I disagree with doing. What I have noticed, is that generally anybody trying to remove those terms also bans any other terms which indicate dominance and subservience and they wind up with things like "primary and secondary". But...in computing quite often one machine or piece of software IS dominant over something else. That's what we want to indicate, and the term "peer" does not capture it.

    What this reveals is that the ban is not on a word, but an idea. Attempting to ban an idea in social discourse is already unacceptable IMO. Attempting to ban an idea in technical discourse where the idea is essential to the subject is just dense.

    In a recent networked application that I wrote, I used to terms lord and serf. Is that acceptable?

    1. ButlerInstitute

      Re: Master and slave

      Those are probably the best options I've seen in the entire discussion!

      I have some software I wrote that sometimes used the terms Master and Slave, and sometimes used Stimulus and Monitor (it's for testing). Unfortunate side-effect was that M and S have opposite meanings in those two pairs so I could never abbreviate anything.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Master and slave

        I think (M)ain and (S)ubsidiary was decided on ages ago.

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Master and slave

          Marks and Spencer? Are they Y-fronts?

    2. not.known@this.address Silver badge

      Re: Master and slave

      Is it just me, or doesn't Primary and Secondary also confer superiority of one over another? Even "First" and "Second" imply one is subordinate to the other...

      Hold on, if one thing is dependent on another then it *is* subordinate, isn't it? Good luck trying to come up with a way of working that doesn't have some sort of hierarchical order - and language to describe it without putting one thing "above" another.

      1. tekHedd

        Re: Master and slave

        "...doesn't Primary and Secondary also confer superiority..."

        BINGO!

        Don't forget, these are the same people that say "meritocracy is racist." They want to ban all hierarchy, even the hierarchy of excellence and achievement. It sounds ridiculous but these types would be happier if you actually changed your system architecture to be purely P2P based at every level. I'm not even joking I guess. :(

      2. nintendoeats

        Re: Master and slave

        To me it implies significance, but not subservience. My primary objective is more important than my secondary objective, but that doesn't mean my primary objective ACTUALLY CONTROLS my secondary objective. Further, primary may simple mean "first line" (primary defensive structures, primary power system, primary safety system...). It does not de facto mean "one thing controls the other".

  22. taxman

    Obesity reference objection

    As in heavy forwarder - surely they should not be using such a term? Unless they realise that this does appear to be a problem in the US?

  23. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
    Devil

    Some other synonyms

    This has been going on for a long time, and we can be amused by the witty people who brought us these:

    Fat => Horizontally enhanced

    Short => Vertically challenged

    Skinny => Horizontally challenged

    Stupid => IDTenT

    They are not moaners or screamers, they are vocally appreciative

    The list goes on; whenever we replace a word of phrase, the new term becomes a new object of mockery.

    1. tekHedd

      "challenged"

      Your language is out of date: "challenged" implies a limitation. You mean to say "different" don't you?

      1. anonymousI

        Re: "challenged"

        Surely not - "different" may suggest the alternative could be, y'know, "superior" in some way. Or for that matter, "inferior"...

  24. Trigun
    Trollface

    I need to boycott my camera memory card as it's definitely FAT-ist. And as for my USB memory stick: that's the same *and* it's age-ist: FAT64!

    Ok, it was a bit of a stretch.

    Anyway, glad to see people mocking the pc language nutters.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      FAT64 ??!?

      Sorry, I haven't really been paying attention to the market in ever-smaller-but-more-capacious devices but if someone has felt the need to extend a floppy disc layout to 64 bits then *that* is the most offensive thing in this thread.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        So is ExFAT somebody who has been on diet and is no longer plump ?

  25. not.known@this.address Silver badge

    Who can I complain to?

    I am extremely offended that these people assume they have the right to recreate the English language to fit in with what they think it should be - and to conform to rules that they deem important today but could be completely overturned/changed/ignored in 50 years time...

    How many people have to be offended before something gets stopped? Because if half-a-dozen people can get a television advert banned for (possibly) causing offence (to other people), what about all the people offended that some self-righteous nobody thinks they have the right to dictate to everybody else?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Who can I complain to?

      "I am extremely offended that these people assume they have the right to recreate the English language to fit in with what they think it should be - and to conform to rules that they deem important today but could be completely overturned/changed/ignored in 50 years time..."

      Squirt-tail used to be a mortal insult. Now, well, who else has heard of it here?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Who can I complain to?

        I'm so adding that to my list....

        Icon - Have one on me.

  26. sbt Silver badge
    Headmaster

    In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, ...

    ... because there will be no words in which to express it.

    I'm fine with removing the negative, racist connotations associated with "WhiteX" = good, "BlackX" = bad. Black Lives Matter.

    However, Context Matters. I'm struggling to see the racial issue with 'grandfather' for example. It also captures a specific form of exemption, that which applies to conditions/users/contracts already in place, but not available to new conditions/users/contracts. 'Exempt' loses this subtlety. You would have to use 'legacy' or 'pre-existing'. I'll admit it's pointlessly gendered, but still, if alternatives are to be found, they need to be as useful, meaningful and unambiguous if this effort is to succeed.

    'Abnormal' deliberately has a negative connotation. An abnormal program exit means an error has occured. 'Atypical' is too neutral. If folks start calling program crashes/bugs 'atypical', it will get a negative connotation and will become offensive; the language needs to retain negative words for use in the right circumstances; to describe behaviours, not people.

    1. Nugry Horace

      Re: In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, ...

      One error message I've seen from C++ programs under Windows is "This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way".

      It made me wonder "What, it asked the Runtime to have a bunch of topless women chase it off a cliff?"

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, ...

        Cue up the yakety sax

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNBL5OMeuno

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, ...

      I'm fine with removing the negative, racist connotations associated with "WhiteX" = good, "BlackX" = bad. Black Lives Matter.

      Hmm, let me see:

      blacklist = bad

      black man/woman = bad

      black eye = bad

      Black Lives Matter = bad

      Right?

      1. sbt Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Hmm, let me see

        It's not hard to see (thanks for the black eye example) why loading up a colour with negative associations is a problem for people who identify as black.

        I think we're more pink and brown or shades in between, but there it is. We still have a more general light is good and dark is evil cultural influences. When you see the skin whitening products on offer in some asian countries, you realise this is not just a local problem.

  27. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Mushroom

    How about them black holes ?

    Are we supposed to call them deny holes now ?

    What a load of snowflakey crap.

    I'll keep my blacklist, I'll keep hitting my keyboard and hanging my laundry, thank you very much.

    1. Spasticus Autisticus

      Re: How about them black holes ?

      ... and White Dwarves.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: How about them black holes ?

        We call them "stars of restricted radius"

  28. PTW
    Mushroom

    I presume Splunk are also

    Making a very generous contribution to https://www.antislavery.org/ or https://www.gfems.org/ ?

    Or, is it just a case of virtue signalling woke bullshit?

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: I presume Splunk are also

      The term bullshit implies those wokes (still) have balls, I think the term oxshit is more appropriate.

  29. Flywheel Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Oops! Missed one!

    Splunk Predictions 2021 .. Our experts weigh in

    Careful now .. wouldn't want to be unintentionally fattist, would we?

    /S

  30. JulieM

    Words vs Actions

    Not using insensitive language is good up to a point, but there is still no number of times anyone could say "stopped hole" instead of "blind hole" that would ever make up for leaving a baby changing table down in an accessible toilet.

  31. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells
    Paris Hilton

    Exempt isn't a synonym for grandfathered.

    Why is it exempt? It G..., it's erm..., It's. It's not exempt.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical comment...

    From a Digital Native.

    I'll get my coat....

  33. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Uhh, yeah.

    Uhh, yeah. They should have someone besides a sensitivity manager or whatever review these suggestions. I think they're being oversensitive (does anyone seriously really object to abnormal?), I don't really have any objection to replacing terms with more sensitive terms or whatever, if they are actually equivalent. But....

    Replacing "hit" with "tap" or replacing "hangs" with "stops responding" are fine; not sure that "dummy data" and "placeholder data" are exactly the same but probably close enough. "Special character" and "illegal character" are not equivalent terms (a special character is usually one accepted by the application, but treated differently than other characters, pretty much the opposite of an illegal character!), "peer" is not a replacement for "master"/"slave" (for IDE, the jumpers are actually labeleed "master" and "slave", so just let the term age out since people don't usually use IDE any more; for distributed systems, replacing the terms master and slave is fine, but a peer-to-peer system and one where a master is elected are two totally different things, replacing the terms "master" and "slave" with "peer" would turn the description into nonsense and gibberish.) Seriously, like 2/3rds of these suggestions would unintentionally change the meaning of the documentation, or make the documentation completely unintelligible, if they used them.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Uhh, yeah.

      Seriously, like 2/3rds of these suggestions would unintentionally change the meaning of the documentation, or make the documentation completely unintelligible, if they used them.

      Why do you think it is unintentionally? It is a clear, intentional attempt to sabotage those who can think correctly.

  34. yetanotheraoc

    Now I don't know what to think

    Programming just got way harder.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Now I don't know what to think

      No, programming is now much easier.

      Instead of forcing your will on the computer you now merely have to empathise with the computers point of view and let it do what it wants.

  35. herman Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Insomniacs

    They really need to be more inclusive of night owls and insomniacs and schedule meetings between 2 and 3 in the morning. I'm sure that will also go a long way to prevent scheduling of useless meetings.

  36. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I want

    'child' processes banned too as thats demeaning to those of us either through choice or otherwise do not have any children.

    And certainly I want no applications child process to have any further child processes as that leads to the even more offensive term "grandfathered"process which is of course racist and ageist.

    Anyway... while comtemplating this idea , I was sent a warning message from the future about the risks of banning words.... I have here transcribed it in full for you in their language(as it stands due to so much word banning).

    ,,.

    ,.

    ,,,.

    ,.

    .

    ?

    .!!!

    So let that be a warning to you all

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: I want

      I want 'child' processes banned too

      You even left out child labour.

  37. Blackjack Silver badge

    As long as they don't insist Geek and Nerd are swear words .. Because they stopped being that in this century at the very least.

    I completely agree with replacing "hit" with something else; if only to make keyboards last longer.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      replacing "hit" with something else; if only to make keyboards last longer.

      You could trying "bashing" the keyboard. But refrain from bashing the bishop at the same time - that too could be detrimental to the keyboard.

      You could "pet" the keyboard. But no heavy petting.

  38. Ian Mason

    Splunk PC Committee: "You see the way that leaf hangs in the breeze? That's violent and insensitive that is".

    Me: "Mucking Fuppets"

  39. Noodle

    Self defeating

    The tragedy of efforts like this is that they come from a basically good place. Most people agree that having diverse teams in terms of culture and perspective is beneficial in terms of product design, customer experience and also for a healthy company culture. They understand that to achieve that we need talented people from all backgrounds to feel like they will have an equal opportunity to succeed and enjoy their work.

    However banning completely context appropriate and neutral words like "illegal" and "native" doesn't further this agenda at all, the inherent ridiculousness of it undermines real and important work being done to improve diversity and inclusion. Associations like this are why diversity and inclusion efforts are so often met with scepticism and apathy.

  40. IGotOut Silver badge

    Actually the upside.

    Blockchain.

    That's fucked up a million marketeers right there.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the EXACT shit that keeps the Republicans in power

    Middle America looks at this and screams "Libtard!" - oh sorry, that's probably offensive. How about socialist liberal pinkie communist. Better?

    I get what they're after here, really I do. But if you don't consider how this plays out in the larger scheme of things, how this will be used to strengthen those that want to make sure the poor stay poor, the wealthy get richer, and above all, THEY stay in power, then you've missed the plot. You'll win at getting the words changed and lose at important things that really matter right now.

    This country is either going to move forward or end up an autocracy. The next election is going to tell which way we're headed. The amount of effort going into voter suppression right now, in prep for 2024 and the return of Donald Trump's (or his clone), is staggering. Just look at some of the proposed legislation coming up in battleground states and it's a direct assault on what little is left of our democracy. This is not the time to be handing your enemy the very argument that plays so well and gets them voting for people like Trump. The Republicans have made an art of framing Democratic politics as nothing but shit like this, and we just keep helping them.

    1. jvf

      Re: This is the EXACT shit that keeps the Republicans in power

      It’s a load of crap to be sure. If you want to be “inoffensive” put your money where your mouth is. Level the playing field by hiring (a lot) more minorities and “people of color” (another term I despise). What about a qualified “poor whitey” being shoved aside? Better have a talk with all the captains of industry (and politicians) who sent your jobs (including “help” desks and IT) and factories overseas.

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: This is the EXACT shit that keeps the Republicans in power

        And make sure that you pay them the same rates because we know all employess are equally productive.

      2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: This is the EXACT shit that keeps the Republicans in power

        What is the difference between “people of colour” and “coloured people”?

    2. sbt Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: make sure the poor stay poor, the wealthy get richer

      I think you've hit on the real issue here; identity politics is a distraction from a lot of the real, tangible socio-economic issues. It's easier for the elites to agree the problem is colour discrimination; something about themselves they can't change, rather than their wealth and power, which they could share.

      Trump found a base in folks who saw 'white privilege' as having little applicability to them due to location and poverty/economic insecurity; while ignoring the suppression, gerrymandering and electoral college structures that give them outsized influence politically. Decades of hollowing out of public education yielded a ripe polity credulous enough for the lies and simplistic answers; Decades of politicisation of minor moral issues appealed to their small-minded faith. It's the western equivalent of the Taliban support drives.

  42. martinusher Silver badge

    We've been here before

    Back in the mid-18th centuries one Doctor Bowlder took in on himself to publish expurgated version of classic literature, most notably the works of William Shakespeare, in order to protect the delicate senitivities of his readers, especially those of the female persuasion. (Back then they only recognized three sorts of person -- 'lady', 'gentleman' and 'other' (the help &tc.).) His example was taken up by others throughout the 19th century and even into the 20tth century but I thought that it had gone away since we're supposed to be enlightened these days and capable of understanding that 'then' is not 'now' and so on. Apparently this isn't the case. We're in an interesting place in our culture where foul language and pruience is common currency yet we still seek to purge our language of anything that might make someone, somewhere, uncomfortable.

    I might ask people -- nicely -- to knock it off. Its silly, immature, it degrades the subtlety of the language and it doesn't do anything about the real life concepts that they're so worried about. For example, the notion of 'master' and 'slave' -- so politically incorrect -- is a valid relationship. Its one that's pops up throughout history and can even be found today in some parts of the world. Its undesirable when its applied to humans but we're talking about a piece of machinery here. Machinery lacks a soul so I'm OK with enslaving it. (Heaven help us when we built a sufficiently advanced piece of software that does have a soul -- there're be people aplenty all wanting a good, professional, salary for telling us what we should and shouldn't do, what's right and what's wrong and so on, everyone wanting to stick their oar in but nobody capable or willing to actually get their hands dirty figuring out how to make things work.)

    1. anonymousI

      Re: We've been here before

      Good points, but one small typo - it was Dr Bowdler who, er, Bowdlerised the language.

  43. Stanislav Bonita
    Mushroom

    Bollocks

    I came for the comments and was not disappointed.

    But seriously, this is all absolute bollocks. No-one in their right mind gives a shit.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Bollocks

      right mind is the keyword here. Unfortunately, all these snowflakes are not in their right mind.

  44. grizewald
    Facepalm

    The missing ingredient in all this is...

    Context

    The words 'master' and 'slave', used in a technical context describe an interface between inanimate objects.

    If you cannot separate nuances of language by context, your comprehension skills are lacking. 'Nuff said.

  45. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Masters and Servants

    Our Politicians are supposed to be Public Servants. Instead they like to behave as Masters

  46. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

    Since all these woke crap started, I am trying to use as much of those banned words as possible in my code.

  47. This post has been deleted by its author

  48. nxnwest

    Target Rich Environment

    A "screw driver" drives screws. A "dummy bomb" bombs dummies.

    Such a bomb would then be a "smart bomb" and lots of forums a target rich environment.

    "If she weighs as much as a duck, she's made of wood."

    "And therefore?"

  49. PassiveSmoking

    Language

    Some of these I get (You don't really need to call some relationship "master/slave" when you can use "client/server", or "provider/consumer", or "primary/secondary" or other such terms which in many cases are actually more descriptive), but a lot of these are just plain silly. "Dummy" for example means plenty of things other than a mentally disabled person.

    And really, changing language doesn't really change attitudes. It just causes people to express the same attitudes using different language. Making "retard" verboten did not stop people from disparaging people by comparing them to the mentally disabled, they just use different words to do it now.

    As somebody who's been bullied and excluded for a disability, I can assure you from personal experience that denying the use of certain words does not diminish the bullying and the exclusion one whit. Changing what words are acceptable does not change what attitudes are acceptable, and attempting to do is is clumsy and misses the real problem.

    1. sbt Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: changing language doesn't really change attitudes

      It seems pretty common whenever this clamour for language policing arises, it's not coming from the folks potentially offended, but rather the hand-wringing privileged; as in, "We must do something, this is something, therefore we must do this!" Again, a convenient cover for not actually changing the underlying power structures.

      Just like the bloody statues. Sure, we should relegate old bronze statues of white dudes on horses to galleries or sculpture gardens for their historic and artistic interest and share the places of pride in town squares and main thoroughfares with a wider and more representative variety of notables, but it's still not really solving the attitudinal problem.

    2. grizewald

      Re: Language

      Actually, you can't just swap master/slave for client/server. The master/slave relationship between two IDE drives, for example, dictates that the master controls who may use the interface. The slave simply cannot function without the master's permission.

      That's hardly a description of a client/server relationship. This is the danger with this type of virtue signalling nonsense - arbitrarily redefining accepted technical uses of words will result in confusion and misunderstandings where there were none before.

      Thankfully, we have yet to see any semiconductor manufacturers deciding to redefine the SPI Bus signals MISO, MOSI and SS (Master In Slave Out, Master Out Slave In, Slave Select) and long may they maintain this position.

  50. Richard Cranium

    Are Splunk trying to adopt the status of the Académie française in respect of English?

    Well they can f***-off and stick to their line of business.

    Wouldn't it be useful if the resource they've wasted in this attempt to redefine how the English language should be used went instead into doing something productive.

    As for the hundreds who have contributed their valuable time and intellectual efforts to this forum thread - lets forget the losers at Splunk trying to tell us how to use OUR language and go do something useful instead.

    Do we want to end up with an English equivalent of the Académie française? If we do, should that role be in the hands of a commercial organisation? In any case it will be an ineffective laughing-stock just as the Académie française has become.

    English is fluid, continually evolving. That is its strength. Where there's a need it will adapt whether that be by adopting a word from another language, coining a new one or expanding the scope of an existing word. That's why English is effectively the global language, perhaps not the largest first language but adding speakers for whom English is a second language, it is by far the most widely used. And that's to disregard those who may not have the confidence to speak English but can read English, understand spoken English and possibly write in English. It is the common language the educated classes everywhere and the de-facto language of science, business and navigation.

    Where any two persons get together whose first languages differ, how do they communicate? As often as not, in English.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021