Brandeis Center Announces “Triggering” Is . . . Well . . . Triggering

When we recently discussed a Brandeis University dean declaring “Yes, all White people are racists”, it was viewed as controversial but not “triggering” for students and faculty on the campus.  What is triggering is apparently the word “trigger.”  According to the Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center at Brandeis University, the word is “oppressive” and should not be uttered.

Conservative columnists and sites have criticized the list at Brandeis, which includes other “oppressive language” as “take a shot” and “rule of thumb.”

However, the inclusion of trigger is particularly interesting since it is widely used by woke academics who are now facing the realization that they have been engaging in oppressive rhetoric for years. It would be like “Jazz hands” (adopted after applause was denounced as triggering) being itself denounced as triggering for Blues aficionados.

The website explains that “The word ‘trigger’ has connections to guns for many people. We can give the same heads-up using language less connected to violence.” So the approved alternatives are now “content note” or “Drop-in.”  The problem is that most of us have no idea how to grammatically use those terms in the same way.  This just sounds odd: “Jane found the reference to genocide to be content note” or “John found the reference to be dropping in.”

Indeed, it is grammatically triggering for those of us who are already finding it difficult to abandon the language to prove virtue.  As a general rule, a substitute for triggering should serve the same grammatical and definitional purpose.

After all, it was Louis Brandeis who declared “The logic of words should yield to the logic of realities.”

33 thoughts on “Brandeis Center Announces “Triggering” Is . . . Well . . . Triggering”

  1. If you looking to be triggered, you will be. The last time I checked, you do not have the right not to be triggered.

  2. I am continually surprised at how easily people are “triggered” at what they think is offensive comment, and I am appalled by the efforts to censor the free and open exchange of ideas, which is sorely needed in “these days of rage.” Perhaps sarcasm should be the reply. Remy at Reason Magazine did it best with his parody of Michael Jackson’s hit song “Thriller.” Take a look at the following: https://reason.com/video/2017/10/31/remy-trigger-thriller-parody

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