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Opinion: Political correctness and language

One thing that has me puzzled is why some teachers now are being called “learning facilitators.” I looked up a job description for a learning facilitator, and it sounds suspiciously like that of a teacher.

I hope they don’t go far with this “learning facilitator” idea, because it is more trouble to pronounce than simply “teacher.”

In first grade, Miss Monroe was my teacher. Mother invited her over for dinner a couple of times, and she let me know Miss Monroe was coming by saying, “I want you to wash your hands and face and pick up your room because your teacher is coming over for supper.” Mother never would have said that she was inviting my “learning facilitator” over for supper.

In the first place, I wouldn’t have known whom she was talking about. And, I might have gone into my room and hidden under the bed, knowing there was a “learning facilitator” in the house, since I had no idea who or what that could be.

What brought this to mind was a revelation last week on one of the local TV news shows that some of the teachers in Fresno and Clovis now are being introduced to the public as “learning facilitators,” although the public may have no idea what’s being talked about.

They looked to me exactly like teachers, so there you go.

You might ask: “What do teachers look like?” My answer would be “learning facilitators.”

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It used to be that we would call the people who kept the school clean “janitors,” but that morphed into “custodians” and later “custodial engineers” and also “janitorial specialists.” There is a company in Denver called Reliable Janitorial Specialists (you wouldn’t call them unreliable janitorial specialists, would you?) and these people are rented out only when thoroughly trained, and they are supervised carefully (not carelessly).

There also is a company called Executive Cleaning Services, which probably cleans your executives as they show up for work and as they leave. One does not want to have dirty executives waiting on the public, or showing up at home in the evening looking as if they have spent the day feeding hogs. Unless, of course, they are executive swine nutritionists.

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Some thoughts from the great Dave Barry — the humorist, not the great local contractor, who spells his name Berry:

“The word ‘User’ is the word used by computer professionals when they mean ‘idiot.’

“Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish. Then it is disgusting.”

“The most powerful force in the universe is gossip.”

“A full-grown manatee, which can weigh more than 1,000 pounds, looks like a genetic experiment involving a walrus and the Goodyear Blimp.”

From the great author and columnist, H.L. Mencken:

“Wife: A former sweetheart.”

“No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes she were not.”

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be having a good time.”

“A Sunday School is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.”

Mitch Hedberg, stand-up comedian:

“I can look at a car’s headlights and tell you exactly which direction it’s coming from.”

“I think animal crackers make people think that all animals taste the same.”

“When you put Listerine in your mouth, it hurts. Germs do not go quietly.”

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