The “Yale man” is no longer. The Ivy-League school has dispensed with terms such as “freshman” and “upperclassman,” and is replacing them with gender-neutral terms such as “first year student” and “upper-level students.” In the latter case they got rid of both “man” and “class,” a twofer! The school is proud of their usage of these “modern terms,” as it terms them, and is undoubtedly looking at updating numerous other outmoded terms, words, clichés, adages, and phrases that are- or could be- used around the campus.
As a true believer in higher-education, I have embarked on an ambitious project to help the university identify- and modernize- offensive terms that include the word “man,” hereafter referred to as “the ‘M’ word.” Here are the corrected terms and phrases that formerly contained the ‘M’ word, in alphabetical order, with bonus comments from my Millennial friend, Pat (in parentheses). The replacement(s) for the ‘M’ word(s) is/are in italics.
A good person is hard to find. (Isn’t that the truth. But a hard ‘M’ word is better to find. Just sayin’!)
Be one’s own person.
Be a person about it!
Big person on campus. (Now will have the acronym BPOC. Certainly applies here!)
Clothes don't make the person. (So true!)
Con person. (Boo!)
Dead person walking. (Scares me!)
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy, and wise. (I think this adage came from an old, white dude. Maybe a founding parent. Not sure, though)
Every person for himself. (Boo, hiss! Not very inclusive)
Family person. (There are an infinite number of types of families, just like genders! Diversity totally rules!)
Feel like a new person.
Funny person. (I think being funny is good. Unless it offends anyone L)
God's gift to people. (Of course, I don’t believe in God, but if there was one, I bet she’d, like, totally rock!)
Person-person. (This one is a bit confusing. Correction of “H*-M**)
In layperson's terms. (I don’t really know what that means, guess I’m not a layperson)
Iron person. (This is not meant to be offensive to those, maybe minorities, that work in dry-cleaners, etc.!)
Ladies person. (Kinda’ like person-person, only different. But “ladies” is problematic, too, as it denotes a specific gender… and sounds like a term my grandfather would use)
Like a person possessed. (This scares me, too!)
Low person on the totem pole. (I find this offensive, even with the ‘M’ word taken out. Stereotyping and appropriation)
Make a person out of you. (I guess you’re a person now, anyway. I mean, unless you’re a fetus)
Person boobs. (Okay, I can see how this could lead to some confusion)
Person of God. (I know this can still be offensive to atheists)
Person of a person’s word. (This was tricky, but better to obfuscate than offend)
Person of letters. (Campus related, too)
Person on the street.
Portuguese Person-of-War. (Despite the violent-sounding name, this is, like, actually a colony of animals working together!)
People’s inhumanity to people.
Person’s person. (This one’s in place of ‘M**’* M**’)
May the best person win.
Never send a very young male person to do a person’s job. (NAMBLA members might disagree!)
(Feel like) a new person.
No person can serve two masters. (Well, that’s technically not true anymore…we don’t want to offend members of the BDSM community)
No person is an island. (Duh! No person is a peninsula- or a pizza- either)
No person’s land.
Nothing is so good for the inside of a person as the outside of a horse. (Dude, like that’s kinky!)
Odd person out. (Like, maybe we should drop “odd,” too. That could be hurtful. Maybe say “unusual” or “unique?” What do you guys think?)
One person’s loss is another person’s gain. (This seems, like, soo unfair. Makes me wanna cry. And you just know the person who gains is a white businessperson)
One small step for people, one giant leap for humans. (Props to Neil Armstrong)
One-person band. (I think that’s like a soloist or something)
Renaissance person. (I like going to the festivals)
Right-hand person. (But it’s okay if you use your left-hand, as well…;))
See a person about a horse. (I like horsies as much as the next person, but I don’t know what this means)
Self-made person. (Ridiculous. It takes a village. And the Village People, lol)
Stick it to the person! (Yeah! Usually people in business or power! Am I right, or am I right?)
Take it like a person. (Ooohhh…)
To a person. (Means, like, all of us…no dissent…inclusive…yayyy!)
White person’s disease. (I think it means that white people can’t dance. Duh! Everyone knows that!)
Yes-person. (People who don’t have their own minds and aren’t independent. I wanna know what Kim Kardashian would say about these pathetic peeps!)
You can’t keep a good person down. (Wink, wink)
You the person! (How can I be the person if you be the person! Such fun!)
Well, there you have it. I’m sending it off to Yale now. Don’t say I never did my part for political-correctness. Props to Pat.