Another triumph for the language police

Following the great debate about the deployment of the word “retard” by Vinnie Jones on Celebrity Big Brother, more words seem about to appear on the list of words which must  not be used in respectable company.

In this week’s Time Out, the columnist Michael Hodges has been to task for using the word “loony” not once but several times in a piece. “This word is, like ‘nutter’, offensive to mental health service users and practitioners,”  complains a reader,  Terry Maunder.

What next? “Idiot” must surely be just as offensive to mental health service users and practitioners, not to mention “moron” and “cretin”. In fact, “stupid” must logically be banned on the grounds that it may hurt the feelings of those who are differently abled in the intellectual department. “Lame” insults those who are pedally challenged through no fault of their own.

There is, in fact, no end to the number of words which should be removed from the decent conversation, according to the busy language police. Poor old Melvyn Burgess, the children’s author, has been labelled as racist on his Facebook page for referring to  a roomful of brown faces and girls in saris after visit to India.

Of course, Melvyn sensible apologised for any offence caused. But, surely a few of us can agree that this is all becoming just a little bit st*p*d.