Warning this is a bit of a Rant!
I was at a training event today where for at least the 5-6 time in the last year I have been told that I can no longer use the phrase “Brain Storming” as it is offensive to people with Epilepsy. To start with that is clearly ridiculous, referring to a process of gathering information by the phrase “brain storm” has nothing to do with Epilepsy. However if I were to refer to someone having a seizure as having a “brain storm” that would most certainly be offensive… However the two are not linked!
Thankfully the Epilepsy charities agree with me and think the whole thing is a bit silly!
We are often asked about the word ‘brainstorming’ and whether its use is acceptable. Our view is that it depends upon the context: if the word is being used to describe a meeting where participants are suggesting ideas, then its use is not offensive to people with epilepsy. However, it should not be used to describe a seizure or the electrical activity within the brain during a seizure.
From Epilepsy Action
In a recent survey NSE, the UK’s leading epilepsy charity, found an overwhelming 93 per cent of people with epilepsy did not find the term derogatory or offensive in any way. In fact many felt that this sort of political correctness singled out people with epilepsy as being easily offended.
So the next time someone suggests to you you have a “thought shower” or do some “blue sky thinking” tell them to get off their politically correct high horse and join the real world and have a brain storm!
For those of you who are teachers please join me in my mini crusade to bring the Brain Storm back to school!