Should we avoid the word "master" altogether because of its connection with slavery?
The speech code you mentioned (at Berkeley?) is all over the place in corporate America. I was at one very large corporation where a long list of disfavored words with possible alternatives came out maybe 2 years ago.
Has the auto industry dealt with the use in brakes of master and slave cylinders?
Agreed that this is ridiculous. Masters were masters whee there were no slaves at all. Also I have no problem with master and slave cylinders.
Will they now get rid of master's degrees?
My Georgia grandmother would send me letters addressed to Master…. I am 75.
I'm with you. There's too much pussyfooting - see, there's another one - around with language today that achieves no good purpose. As Tom Lehrer said, " When correctly viewed, everything is lewd"
Sparrow perhaps not but when I saw this in the wild once, I definitely thought dinosaur 😁
In my experience, the elect like “comrade” just fine as an honorific.
I’m a Brit and in my school, the male pupils were addressed as Master. Girls were addressed as Miss, if I remember rightly.
Maybe too much Upstairs/Downstairs and other British period dramas started having me bump on the word because of the class thing. I don't think I started actively not using it. I don't police my words like that, but I would feel a slight wince when hearing it. That's my own sensitivity/sensibility from just living. Just naturally I probably would have started using it less myself because of that, but now that I know someone made a list and is telling me I shouldn't, the childish part of me wants to start getting comfortable with the wince. To co-sign John(a little), the word has never really had a strong association to the negativity of slavery with me and my family is from Haiti(not the good parts).
Disagree about 'fuck' and 'shit.' People employ those to sound hip, and that only works by holding on to the naughty connotations.
As one who became self-conscience at work about using master/slave to identify high kW power sources, the use of the terms on US plantations was not my only reservation. Indeed, slavery might precede human civilization and recorded history. I have also chosen to refrain from terms that normalize human class systems. "Master bedroom" is one such term. Admittedly, when I purchased my home as a single male, I was proud to be the master of the household. But is this inclusive? Can my missus be a master? Should we be sharing a bedroom? If I precede her in death, will she need to move out of the master bedroom? Of course not. That's silly. Just as silly as continuing to use the term.
There are instances when the use of master isn't inappropriate. "Mastering a trade" is one.
Also, I'm not sure how equivalent any of this is to homelessness. I defer to those experiencing homelessness and to those doing the most to help to decide how to describe the situation. Telling them to leave the vocabulary alone and just fix homelessness, which is what they are trying to do, doesn't seem helpful.
I agree 99.99% with your argument. As an electrical engineer, I use the terms master and slave in regards to controllers and what they control.
My 0.01% disagreement is with the use of the word 'slave'. I do not see 'slave' as connoting a sense that it was the fault of the person denied their rights, it was the fault of those who wielded power to their advantage. 'Slave' accurately denotes the legal status of a person considered property and as slavery has been practiced by humans since prehistory, it is not a racial slur. Using the word 'enslaved', as some argue, is cumbersome and in my opinion senseless as one who is 'enslaved' is a 'slave', there is no difference.
Those wringing their hands over our word use should concern themselves with woke conservatives who are legislating their woke policies as law, such as with DeSantis and the Republican legislature banning books and teaching kids about the realities that black people faced in the United States. Conservatives go further down the 'word police' rabbit hole in banning the discussion altogether.
For those interested in the “master bedroom” controversy from a befuddled architect’s perspective, check out this blog post I wrote on the subject: https://www.cabarchitects.ca/blog/m-bedroom
I know you are aware of this. “The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime…” Silver Blaze (Sherlock Holmes)-A.Conan Doyle
Yale would probably want to say that the Residential Colleges are more than simply dorms. Here is their website for the Colleges system: https://yalecollege.yale.edu/residential-colleges
And if you don't mind some large quoting, here is most of their paragraph on the "head of college" role -- which term replaced "Master". (Notice the repeated "he or she" making clear that an editor was not ready to use singular "they".)
"The head of college (HOC) is the chief administrative officer and the presiding faculty presence in each residential college. He or she is responsible for the physical well-being and safety of students in the college as well as for fostering and shaping the social, cultural, and educational life and character of the college. During the year, he or she hosts special meals, study breaks, and College Teas—intimate gatherings where students have the opportunity to engage with renowned guests from the academy, government, or popular culture."