Chalk up another victory for the cause of political correctness. On Thursday, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), an arm of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), issued a memo that proposed revising the United States Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins so as to eliminate the term “midget.”
Why? The memo explains:
On May 13, 2013, AMS received a petition from the Little People of America stating that they “are trying to raise awareness around and eliminate the use of the word midget.” The petition further stated that, “Though the use of the word midget by the USDA when classifying certain food products is benign, Little People of America, and the dwarfism community, hopes that the USDA would consider phasing out the term midget.”
The change won’t be that painful for the AMS since the term midget appears only five times in the current standards, which Elizabeth Harrington writing at the Washington Free Beacon notes were developed in 1078.
So what new nomenclature is to be adopted to replace midget? The memo doesn’t say, which leaves open the possibility the agency has yet to come up with an alternative, in which case recommendations from the public may be welcome. My proposal is to call the raisins “thin-skinned.” I don’t know whether that is botanically accurate — whether in fact the skins of the fruit is thinner than that found on larger raisins — but the notion somehow seems apt.
If you are planning to submit your own ideas, you may want to bone up on terms that have already been banned from the English language as non-PC. If you don’t your recommendation may not have a Chinaman’s chance of being considered.
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