Bold print stating BAN ON WORD 'YOUTH' could be seen on the front cover of The Sun on Saturday Nov 28th. The article on p4 expanded on the 'potty language changes' in the code of practice issued by the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Children, Schools and Families on how to give out conditional cautions. According to the Sun, it reads: 'A number of responses suggested the term 'youth' had negative connotations and should be replaced by 'young person'. Therefore throughout the code (with the exception of the term 'Youth Conditional Caution') 'youth' has been replaced.'
Interestingly, the article itself refers to the young people as 'yobs' and shows a picture of a 'hoodie!' The writer states: 'Politically-correct penpushers have banned calling yobs 'youths' - so as not to hurt their feelings.'
What terms are acceptable when referring to teenage criminals? How is the Sun reader being encouraged to think about young people? Is there any difference implied or stated between young people and young offenders (or are you all the same?)
The topic is expanded upon in the Sun's editorial exploring other aspects of extreme political correctness such as 'winterval' which 'is making a mockery of Christmas.' It goes on to say that 'This stupidity is no joke. It prevents us dealing with real problems in society because people feel nervous talking bluntly about their causes.' After quoting extreme PC examples such as 'Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep' it states:' but behind all this silliness is an attempt to change the way we think.' A familiar theory?
After 'banging on about this' in class today (quote from Ben -thanks!) there was some discussion about whether I should have written 'youth language' on the board as a cause of language change or whether I should have reworded it! What do you think?