Princeton HR Scrubs Word ‘Man’ From Lexicon

A four-page memo shows how the college aims to create a more inclusive environment.

Jon Miltimore | August 18, 2016 | 1,904

A four-page memo shows how the college aims to create a more inclusive environment.
Princeton HR Scrubs Word ‘Man’ From Lexicon

Via the College Fix:

The Princeton University HR department has largely wiped the word “man” from its vocabulary.

The relatively new policy in effect at the Ivy League institution spells out the directive in a four-page memo that aims to make the department more gender inclusive.

Instead of using “man,” employees are told to use words such as human beings, individuals or people.

A screen shot of the “do’s and don’ts” is provided, but you can read the entire policy for yourself. You'll see that words such as "freshman," "mailman," and "actress" are off limits. 

As the College Fix points out, Princeton is hardly alone in its noble goal of “fostering an inclusive environment.” Academic institutions across the country are taking it upon themselves to teach people the right and wrong words. Some universities, such as Marquette, have policies that imply students could be punished if they do not abide by the guidelines. 

In 1984, George Orwell showed how Big Brother used Newspeak to reeducate (and confuse). The book was fiction of course, but Orwell seemed to be getting at a simple idea. If you change the way people write, you change how they speak. And if you change how they speak, you change how they think.​

Is a version of Newspeak here? Or are concerns about universities attempting to reshape our language overblown?


Jon Miltimore is the Senior Editor of Intellectual Takeout. Follow him on Facebook.

[Image Credit: Flickr-Matt Brown | CC BY SA-2.0]


Republish this content

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except for material where copyright is reserved by a party other than Intellectual Takeout.
Please do not edit the piece, ensure that you attribute the author and mention that this article was originally published on

Please copy the above code and embed it onto your website to republish.