Political Correctness Gone Crazy
It seems that a British borough council banned use of the phrase "brain storm." I want you to try to figure out why they might have chosen to do that. I am betting you can't.
It seems that these highly empathetic people, not burdened by the strictures of a Second Amendment, were worried about the harm that hearing or reading this phrase might do to the psyches of those who suffer from, well, brain storms, as this term was used in the late 1890's until the contemporary use began to be used in the 1940's.
Interestingly, even after a group of epileptics, when polled, said they found nothing offensive about the phrase, the doughty councilors have resolved to stand their ground. The irony in all of this is, of course, that in deciding to protect epileptics from unfeeling people who like to call their brain storming "brain storming" they have managed to brand epileptics as damaged or defective in some way that I suspect epileptics will find offensive.
Our deep thinking councilors have come up with the alternative language "thought shower." It is just what one might have expected from them. Let me add that this phrase is inadequate to the purpose of describing an interactive group's efforts to solve some problem collectively. A brain storm, as I understand the phrase, suggests people throwing out ideas they bounce off each other either to be shot down or developed further. A thought shower does not suggest an interactive process at all. In rain showers, the rain typically falls straight down.
I think that people would do well to wait until some aggrieved group, such as epileptics, complain about a linguistic practice before they take action. Before seeing this story the idea that "brain storm" was at all connected to epilepsy had never occurred to me. I suspect epileptics would be more concerned with being treated badly in the work place.