I’ve been following the discussion of the “breakfast test” on the Cruciverb mail site, and I am glad that the constructors are engaged in this important debate. It is about time minorities are considered when certain words are selected for inclusion in puzzles that go out to society at large.
I for one, and there are many like me, am tired of having to be forced to write terms like bacon, pork chops, beefsteak and fish sticks, especially while I’m eating breakfast. I am a vegan, and these terms literally nauseate me.
I also happen to be an atheist, and words like God, pope, Easter, Purim, and Koran are patently offensive. Must believers foist their mythologies on all of us? And yes, we can do without references to Santa and his elves.
But not only should the scatological and offensive be bowdlerized by editors, but so should the more subtle terms which no doubt contribute to the coarsening of our society. Words like war and gun, including the over-used sten, are not needed --- we need no reminders of man’s inhumanity to man.
Along this line, and while everyone might not agree, we should do away with references to sports. The continual and relentless reference to baseball and its players is irksome considering that it validates needless competition, which ultimately leads to war. And the violence associated with football is unquestionably influencing our young males to be as brutish. I shudder to the think what effect repeated reference to Muhammad Ali has on them.
Lastly, being a staunch supporter of the One World movement, I believe all patriotic references should be excised. Words like flag, America, Spain, China, etc. only serve to reinforce the separation among people. Unity and oneness are the terms constructors need to concentrate on.
The “breakfast rule” is predicated upon the sensibilities of solvers, and it is time for constructors and their editors to recognize that words relating to body parts and fluids are not the only ones which are objectionable. For too long the more sensitive among us, and therefore more human, have been held captive by troglodytes controlling what words we see and are forced to write.