Knickers in a twist over ‘brainstorming’

According to an article in The Observer, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) in Belfast have been told to avoid using the word ‘brainstorming’ as it may be offensive to people with epilepsy. Instead they’ve been asked to use the term ‘thought-showers’.

Apart from verging on self-parody, it seems based on a false idea that epilepsy involves chaotic or random brain activity, when in fact it is usually the result of brain cells inappropriately synchronising.

Unsurprisingly, the charity Epilepsy Action seem to have a more sensible take on the matter:

We are often asked about the word ‘brainstorming’ and whether its use is acceptable. Our view is that it depends upon the context: if the word is being used to describe a meeting where participants are suggesting ideas, then its use is not offensive to people with epilepsy. However, it should not be used to describe a seizure or the electrical activity within the brain during a seizure.

Link to Observer article ‘Brainstorms turn to showers’.
Link to Epilepsy Action.

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