Brainstorms turn to showers
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday June 26, 2005
David Brent would never approve. 'Brainstorming', the buzz term used by executives to generate ideas among their staff, has been deemed politically incorrect by civil servants because it is thought to be offensive to people with brain disorders.
Instead staff at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in Belfast will use the term 'thought-showers' when they get together to think creatively. A spokeswoman said: 'The DETI does not use the term brainstorming on its training courses on the grounds that it may be deemed pejorative.'
Sources inside the department said there was concern that the term would cause offence to sufferers of epilepsy as well those with brain tumours or brain injuries.
But the Campaign for Plain English complained that the decision had 'reached the point of real ridicule'. John Wild, its spokesman, said: 'You do sometimes wonder if some people haven't got anything better to do with their time. Do they just sit down and search out enough words until eventually they can say, "I can make that out to be politically incorrect"?
'Of course there are certain terms that should be deemed out of bounds but then sometimes things go too far.'
The move follows that of the Welsh Development Agency, responsible for promoting business in Wales, which ran a series of courses last year to teach staff to be more politically correct. 'Brainstorming' was on its list of banned words, as well as 'nit-picking' and 'manila', because of their origins in the slave trade.
Yanno...there is such a thing as taking political correctness TOO FAR.