When Language Loses Its Bite by Zahir Janmohamed

Many years ago when I was a teaching assistant to the celebrated poet June Jordan at UC Berkeley, she gave me a piece of advice to help me weed through the pile of student submissions we received: if it is abstract, throw it out. I thought she was joking but then she handed me a one page sheet of “no-no words” that she prohibited students from using. The list included words like “racism,” “oppression,” and “loneliness.”

Read Article →