A Commonly Used Word Is Being Banned Because It Might Be Racist

USC’s School of Social Work bans the word from its curriculum — I think it’s gone too far

Dominic DiFrancesco
3 min readJan 17, 2023
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

NPR released an article over the weekend that discussed an office within the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work that decided to remove the word “Field” from its curriculum because it may have racist connotations related to slavery.

I’ve read through the Merriam Webster definition of the word “field” and can find nothing inherently racist about the word. The reason for this is simple; this word, like many others in the English language are quite benign depending on the context it’s used in.

I’m not stupid, I understand what they are getting at by banning the word, but fields (an open land area free of woods and buildings) have always existed and will continue to exist for the foreseeable future outside the horrors of slavery.

The world “field” will also continue to represent a particular area of study, activity, subject, or profession which is how it is most commonly used in educational institutions and in business. This is how I most frequently use the word.

Is this the right thing to do?



Dominic DiFrancesco

I’m a life-long writer & tech nerd. I love blogging, writing poetry, and short stories. My website https://domdifrancesco.com