Journalist who called trans healthcare ‘insanity’ thinks banning homophobia, racism and transphobia from Scrabble is ‘virtue signalling’
Telegraph columnist Celia Walden thinks that racist, homophobic and transphobic slurs being removed from a Scrabble dictionary would amount to “virtue signalling”. Yes, really.
The North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) announced this week that it is reviewing its official word list, and is set to decide this week whether to remove homophobic, transphobic and racist slurs.
Walden responded to the board game news in a Telegraph column titled: “Cancel culture is taking our words away – and we should all be very afraid.”
“It was only a matter of time until Scrabble was branded ‘offensive’,” she wrote.
“The most priggish board game in history does involve words, after all – and right now words are more loaded and dangerous than an AR-15.”
She added that the “endgame” was “a complete cancellation of the elements of speech and writing that have allowed us to communicate and evolve since circa 3400 BCE”.
Celia Walden called trans healthcare ‘peak insanity’.
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One column titled “We’ve finally hit peak insanity over trans… haven’t we?” discussed how the NHS had “has already tarnished itself” over its use of puberty blockers in trans kids’ healthcare.
In her most recent effort the journalist couldn’t help squeezing in a mention of Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
“With estate agents now banned from using the term ‘master bedroom’, ‘manholes’ generally agreed to be sexist and even the word ‘woman’ – just ask JK Rowling – considered problematic, it might be easier to do away with words altogether,” she said.
While Walden admitted that “none of us are going to miss the racial slurs”, she added: “It couldn’t just stop there, could it?
“Not when the [World English Scrabble Players] association’s American counterpart have already put together a list of 238 words to be removed from the official Scrabble dictionary.
“Not when ‘virtue signalling’ is the top-scoring term of the day.”
The 238 offensive words listed by NASPA are not confirmed to be banned, but will be discussed by the association’s members this week.
Perhaps overestimating the power of Scrabble word lists, Walden finished her column: “If we allow the ‘cancel language’ campaign to reach the frenzied levels of ‘cancel culture’, we won’t just end up poorer, but mired in a linguistic recession from which any form of recovery – V, W or L-shaped – can’t be guaranteed.”