So I was writing an essay for the This I Believe contest and I was having a little trouble thinking of an alternative word for ‘slavery.’ To my very great surprise, Microsoft Word’s Thesaurus has no suggestions for an alternative word to ‘slavery.’
In fact, this is not the first time I’ve run into this problem. Recently I had to use the word ‘prostitution’ in a document and after a couple times repeating it I decided it might be nice to use an alternative word or phrase to describe that particular profession. Annoyingly, Word cannot provide any (though several people on Facebook did!)
First of all, I have a hard time believing that those people at Microsoft are such prudes that they can’t think of an alternative word for either of the terms I used above. Secondly, why on earth leave the terms out? There are perfectly legitimate reasons to discuss both of those conditions, and it doesn’t automatically mean I wish to engage in them or subject anybody else to them. If I did, I’d probably use a slang word. Taboo subjects don’t sound nearly as exciting when you apply the sanitized, correct terms to them.
Who do Microsoft think they are, anyway? Telling me what I can and cannot talk about in my own personal Word documents. Or at least making me feel like a horrible warlord pervert for trying to look some stuff up. “Ooh, we don’t keep that word in our database!” People need to talk about these things sometimes! I mean, really.
On the other hand, I also looked up “programmer”, “internet” and “software” and there weren’t any results for those either.