The University of Southern California’s School of Social Work recently put out a letter declaring it would no longer use the word "field" when referring to one's area of expertise, etc. It will henceforth use the word "practicum” instead.
And we are all a little dumber. And our language less clear.
Why did USC’s SSW make the change?
Let the letter explain: "Specifically, we have decided to remove the term 'field' from our curriculum and practice and replace it with 'practicum.’ This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that could be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favor of inclusive language. Language can be powerful, and phrases such as 'going into the field' or 'field work' may have connotations for descendants of slavery and immigrant workers that are not benign."
Language can be powerful, but certainly not when used in this way. The woke mob always attempts to emasculate, enervate, and confuse language—just as it does people.
African-Americans are not the only people to "go into the field” or perform “field work.” Since time immemorial, people around the world have had to till fields and engage in backbreaking work-- planting, harvesting, and baling—to survive. Countless farmers of European descent and Asian descent, among others, have toiled in the field from sunrise to sunset to make a living. White farmers in the Midwest and Plains states braved extreme cold, heat, humidity, lightning, hail, and tornadoes-- not to mention drought, flood, and crop failure—from the 1800s through the Dust Bowl years and beyond, trying to keep their finances (and sometimes their crops) from drying up. Or going “underwater.”
If “field” is verboten, we will have to rename baseball positions and parks. No more “center field” or “Wrigley Field,” etc. Football’s “field goal” will have to give way to a different term. Entire cities must be renamed. So much for “Bakersfield” and “Springfield,” for example. And, sorry Mrs. Fields, but your cookie outlets will have to be rebranded. Hope the cost of doing so isn’t prohibitive, but, racism, you know. The Beatle’s iconic “Strawberry Fields Forever?” Ash heap of history. Maybe “Strawberry Practicum Forever.”
It may seem like I’m having a field day with this totally unnecessary, illegitimate virtue signaling and the resultant continued bastardization of language, but, after all, it came out of left field.