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Term “Brainstorming” deemed too offensive…
Posted: 20 June 2008 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Council bans term ‘brainstorming’ for ‘thought showers’ for fear of offending epilepticsBy Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:43 PM on 20th June 2008


The term ‘Brainstorming’ has been banned by a local council - in case it offends epileptics or the mentally ill.

Instead the council have sent hundreds of staff on training courses to teach them to adopt a new phrase - ‘thought showers’.

The new term will be used to describe quick-fire ideas sessions after bosses decided the old term may upset some people.

But leading charities representing those who may be insulted by ‘brainstorming’ have branded the move by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in Kent as political correctness gone mad.
Margaret Thomas, of the National Society for Epilepsy, said: ‘Brainstorming is a clear and descriptive phrase, and alternatives such as “thought shower” or “blue sky thinking” are ambiguous to say the least.’


‘People with epilepsy are not so sensitive that anything with the word “brain” in it causes distress.

‘Any implication that the word “brainstorming” is offensive to people with epilepsy is taking political correctness too far.’

She added a recent survey conducted by the charity revealed 93 per cent of people with epilepsy did not find the term derogatory or offensive in any way.

The condition is a common disorder which causes unprovoked seizures, like a ‘storm’ of activity in the brain.


Richard Colwill, spokesman for mental health charity SANE, said: ‘Words that could be hurtful and stigmatising to those affected by mental illness should be avoided.

‘But while the intention may have been good in this case, the result certainly goes too far. We suspect few would be genuinely offended by the use of the word “brainstorming” in the context of council meetings.’

An insider at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council added staff have been reminded of the brainstorming ban in an internal memo.


He added: ‘No-one took it very seriously at first, but they’re certainly keen to wipe out the word once and for all.’

The term ‘brainstorming’ was coined in the 1940s by Alex Osborn, an American advertising executive.

It is used to describe a quick-fire meeting where everyone is urged to share their ideas on a particular subject - no matter how daft they may seem.

A spokesman at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said: ‘We take diversity awareness very seriously. The majority of council staff have taken part in diversity awareness training and have been asked to use the term “thought showers”.

‘One of our key targets this year is to move from Level 1 to Level 2 of the Equality Standard for Local Government.

‘We have exceeded this and have achieved Level 3. We are only the third district council in the country to have made this leap in a single year

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Posted: 20 June 2008 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Being the kind of sicko pervert that I am, the term ‘Thought Showers’ brings up bad images in my mind.

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Posted: 20 June 2008 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Me too. red face

Ah well.  Could you still call the ideas generated “golden”????? LOL

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Posted: 20 June 2008 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Even I wasn’t going there with that one.  raspberry

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Posted: 20 June 2008 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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That might offend the people whose head sweats a lot when they think.

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Posted: 20 June 2008 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Political correctness at its finest.  Who in hell thinks up this stuff???

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Posted: 20 June 2008 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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That made me think about the headhunters…

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Posted: 20 June 2008 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Brain storming shouldnt be that offensive itll only be offensive when they`res an epileptic around

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Posted: 22 June 2008 09:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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We don’t call them ‘brainstorming’, we more appropriately call them ‘skull sessions’...

....because not everyone who attend them have brains to speak of. :p

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Posted: 22 June 2008 10:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I wonder who brain fart might offend???

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Posted: 22 June 2008 10:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I have to say this story, or the idea behind it, I heard about at least a year ago.

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