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Reuters reports that master/slave, as used in the computer industry, was the most politically incorrect term of the past year.

We found ‘master/slave’ to be the most egregious example of political correctness in 2004,” said Paul JJ Payack, president of The Global Language Monitor.

“This is but one more example of the insertion of politics into every facet of modern life, down to the level of the control processes of computer technology.”

In computer terminology, “master/slave” refers to primary and secondary hard disk drives. But a Los Angeles county purchasing department told vendors in late 2003 that the term was offensive and violated the region’s cultural diversity. The county’s department of affirmative action undertook a hunt to replace it on packages.

Well, that changes everything.. In our terms it looks like this…

The V6M6HS baseboard consists of a VME master/slave interface, global DRAM, a local 100 Mbyte/sec PCI bus and four TDM (Time-Division Multiplexed) serial buses for inter-module, inter-board communications.

Now I can’t remember ever using the term in a press release but it’s definitely well used (pops up all over our site). So email me your alternatives.

Thankfully it wasn’t the only offender:-

The phrase “non-same sex marriage,” was used by a former congressman who did not want to offend gay people by using the term traditional marriage, Payack said.

Also on the list this year were “Red Sox lover,” to use in place of “Yankee hater,” “progressive” for classical liberal, “incurious” rather than more impolite invectives for President Bush, “insurgents” instead of terrorists in Iraq, “baristas” for waiters, and “first year student” rather than freshman.

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