CDC Channels George Carlin's 7 Banished Words?

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An anonymous source told a Washington Post reporter that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has seven newly prohibited words:

  • Vulnerable
  • Entitlement
  • Diversity
  • Transgender
  • Fetus
  • Evidence-based
  • Science-based

Supposedly by a member of the CDC’s Office of Financial Services, but we'll see if that's confirmed. The Washington Post indicated that the list was confirmed by other CDC officials.

Ah, the power of words. (1)

If so, it could be that its ‘source’ in finance is meant to improve the precision of their descriptions. They are said to offer “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” in place of evidence or science-based. And honestly, that is perhaps a better description of how policy is made, and it reads better than, ‘the CDC bases its recommendations on science, in consideration with ideology of the administration and the wishes of special interests,’ which has been the case far too often. Substituting 'baby' for 'fetus' may cause the scales of ignorance to change in those who warm to the image of a baby but remain with a hardened heart towards a fetus.

Words have power, ask any of the wonderful scientists and doctors on this site who have to constantly fight hyperbolic misinformation and deception and the deep pockets those provide. But banning words does not make vulnerability or entitlement go away, nor will it eliminate transgender people. It reminds one of Jean Piaget’s developmental stage, object permanence. Eight or 9-month old children are “completely unable to comprehend object permanence.” That is why peek-a-boo is such fun.  

If these are accurate, perhaps the CDC believes we are only nine months old. Or could they just be channeling George Carlin and the seven words you cannot say on television? A short visit to cable-TV will show how well that prohibition worked out. 


(1)Edit. The Internet has been quick to come up with alternatives. Here is Professor Kevin Folta with a few: