What’s In A Word?: On Front Lines Of Linguistic Battle, Career Officials Resist Ban
The Trump administration is looking to literally change the conversation with its list of words that agencies should avoid. But the effort has sparked a firestorm among advocates, Democrats and even the officials in charge of drafting the budgets.
The Washington Post:
Trump Administration Targets Certain Words, And The Bureaucracy Pushes Back
The Trump administration is waging a linguistic battle across official Washington, seeking to shift public perception of key policies by changing the way the federal government talks about climate change, scientific evidence and disadvantaged communities. The push drew fresh attention after employees at the Department of Health and Human Services were told to avoid certain words — including “vulnerable” “entitlement” and “diversity” — when preparing requests for next year’s budget. But the effort to disappear certain language and replace it with other terms is much broader, sparking resistance from career officials in multiple federal agencies, outside experts and congressional Democrats. (Eilperin and Sun, 12/21)
FDA Chief Has No Qualms About Using Words Like 'Evidence-Based'
A report that the Trump administration discouraged officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using seven words — including “vulnerable” and “evidence-based” — in its budget submissions sparked outrage over the weekend in the scientific and public health community. It also got us wondering: How often — and in what context — do these words get used in other government agencies focused on health and science? (Robbins, 12/20)
Health Panel Dems Demand Answers From Azar On Banned Words
Democrats on the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday released a letter asking Alex Azar, the Trump administration's nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, how he would deal with a reported prohibition on the use of certain words at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Given your pending nomination as Secretary of Health and Human Services, we seek your reaction to this reported new administration policy, as well as additional information about how you would plan to address these communications restrictions if confirmed,” the Democrats wrote. (Weixel, 12/20)