A major university has issued a trigger warning on “insults” and abuses for students studying the English language.
Under the guidance of York University’s Department of Languages and Linguistics, a series of “content warnings” are listed as added to the courses.
Alerts students of a language to “verbal abuse, spoken and written threats, and so forth”.
Another caveat tells the next generation of language experts: “This module is related to language as it is used by real speakers and writers in real-world situations.
“In many cases, the language forms we will encounter in the module are taboo words (insults, insults, slurs, slurs, etc.) that have the potential to commit an offence.
“On other occasions, it is the situation in which the language was produced, not the language itself, that is unpleasant or disturbing. Sometimes it is both together.”
University students at one of Britain’s 24 top-flight Russell Group research-intensive institutions are convinced they can skip remote classes if they get too nervous.
“If during the taught sessions, which this year will be delivered almost exclusively online, you find that you want to leave a Zoom meeting, or turn off your camera and microphone because of particularly sensitive content, do so. You’re most welcome to,” says Guidance.
Language and linguistic students are also provided with comprehensive trigger warnings for crime, death, “hateful language”, abortion, abortion, and “transphobic language/behavior”.
Alerts are applied to module webpages and videos “so that students are aware of this when selecting their module for the next year”, and on course summaries, in specific lectures, and “disturbing”, “disturbing” , before showing “difficult” or “disturbing” content.
York’s guidance tells lecturers: “When giving verbal material warnings, leave a sufficient time gap between the warning and the presentation of the material. Tell students that they can leave the session at any time if needed.”
And in another example from the department, an examination paper says: “Caution: The paper contains material relating to the investigation and prosecution of a large number of murders and sex crimes, and it is likely that you may find some of it disturbing. “
Professor Frank Furedi, an expert in sociology at the University of Kent, said trigger warnings are “part of the process of turning students into patients”.
“The notion is that they need to be untouched by any sort of medical intervention to tackle anything even remotely outside the norm,” he told The Telegraph.
“Trigger warnings are actually a form of linguistic engineering, using trigger warnings as a way of re-engineering what your students should say or react to words.
“It’s a way of managing and controlling people’s ability to communicate, so it’s a very insidious process. Although it often goes well, it’s a form of linguistic quarantine.”
It comes after it emerged last week that archeology students at the University of York are given a material warning for cadavers and skeletons to start on a “mummification” module.
On other campuses, trigger alerts have been placed on several books in recent months, including Harry Potter and George Orwell’s 1984. At the University of Highlands, a tag for “graphic fishing scenes” was added to Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea. ,
York University did not respond to a request for comment.