‘I’m very concerned about a phenomenon called “concept creep” – which has been happening to a lot of psychological terms since the 1990s’, he says. ‘When a word like “violence” is allowed to creep so that it includes a lot of things that are not violence, then this causes a cascade of bad effects. It’s bad for the students themselves because they now perceive an idea that they dislike, or a speaker that they dislike, as having committed a much graver offence against themselves – which means that they will perceive more victimisation of themselves. And it’s also really bad for society because, as we are seeing in a spectacular way in the United States this year, when each side can point to rampant occurrences of what they see as violence by the other side, this then justifies acts of actual physical violence on their side. And there’s no obvious end to this mutual escalation process.’
He adds: ‘Everybody involved in education needs to be dampening down violence and the acceptance of violence. Telling students that words are violence is counterproductive to that effort.’
-- my favourite conceptual creep is with the weasel-term "Fake News." Where the species-genera distinction is obscured mightily.
On an unrelated note, "Hate whomever you want. It's your right." Lauren Southern bashes back at micro-aggressions from the folks at Reason TV.