If you look hard enough for a problem, you can find it whether it exists or not.
That is our only explanation for a decision by the University of North Carolina to strike the use of the word “freshmen” from official documents in favor of “first-year student,” which is certainly descriptive but at three words instead of one a blow against brevity.
Who knew that women on the Chapel Hill campus were offended by the use of the term “freshmen?” We would wager that not many were — although their ranks surely grew as they became aware that the word was offensive, sexist we presume.
At least these Einsteins didn’t fall into the trap of preferring freshwomen.
It is simply the latest blow in a world that is increasingly willing to contort to the rules of political correctness — a movement that takes a pretty empty stab at herding people through life without their feelings being hurt.
While the UNC dictate begs for a punchline, be careful with any joke about a PC nod in Pembroke.
On Saturday, during homecoming ceremonies, a new name for the mascot at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will be announced. The old name, “Tommy,” has been determined to be offensive to American Indians because the school’s mascot is a red-tailed hawk. The name was given to a statue of a hawk that was donated by the Class of 1999 and now sits on campus.
Put the two together and Tommy Hawk sounds a lot like tomahawk, a type of ax popularized by American Indians that was used as a tool and a weapon. That being the case, Tommy seems an appropriate name for the hawk as the tomahawk is an important part of American Indian heritage, one that suggests strength, courage and resourcefulness, and UNCP was originally established to educate Indians.
When this newspaper did a story about the search for a new name, an informal survey of students on campus showed they spoke with more than one tongue. Some liked Tommy, others didn’t, and others shrugged, wondering what was the big deal.
As you read this, it’s not too late to go to http://www.uncp.edu/ucm/mascot/ and make a suggestion on a new name for the mascot. Don’t suggest Tommy as we have been told that it is not an option.
We won’t make a suggestion beyond our belief that the name should be a tribute to American Indian heritage.
As was Tommy Hawk.