For A List of Banned Words

Football fans in England and Wales could be prosecuted for homophobic abuse and banned from going to matches for three years.

The Crown Prosecution Service is clamping down on discriminatory behaviour.

— “Football fans face three year ban for homophobic abuse,” Breaking News, 23rd August 2013.

A small step towards a more just and temperate society, to be sure. But why stop at football matches? And why stop at homophobia?

No one should have to listen to language that demeans women, gays or transsexuals, or expresses xenophobic or racist thoughts, be they at a football match, on the train, at work, or anywhere else in public.

In the privacy of your own home, you are, and should be, permitted to say whatever you like; elsewhere, you ought to conform to decent standards of behaviour, and that means, if it’s on the list of banned words, you’ll just have to find a different way to express your hatred of those less powerful than you.

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