Sitting in my constitutional law class this week, I learned about more than just my legal rights. I learned about my personhood. On the blackboard behind my professor’s head was an ad for the university’s service trip auction. The ad supplied the time and date along with prices for admission:
Did I miss something? I was almost positive I learned in constitutional law class that I had the rights of a person. And I could have sworn from religion classes in my sixteen years of Catholic schooling that I was a person created specially by God. Or so I was told. Silly girl! You’re a student, not a person! Well, that would explain the poor quality of food they sometimes serve in the dining halls unworthy of human palates.
I’m going to assume the promoters of the service trips auction are not trying to make a political statement and just made an honest mistake. Simple enough. But in the interest of preserving my dignity as a human being while I serve the remainder of my years as a student, I can’t overlook the need to clarify that my fellow students and I are indeed people.
Which brings me to my point (didn’t think I had one, did you?). Mistakes in grammar or word usage may seem harmless enough, but a simple slip could mean the dehumanization of a significant portion of the population. (How significant? Not sure exactly. English majors don’t take many math or statistics classes). So choose your words wisely for you never know when your slip could create a philosophical crisis of being for your readers or listeners.