LA Bans Use Of Master/Slave Terminology For Computing Suppliers

from the no,-seriously... dept

Okay, this one is showing up just about everywhere, so you’ve probably seen it already, but I’m posting it just to get everyone to stop sending it to me (John was the first, but thanks to everyone else also). According to the folks at Snopes, they’ve confirmed that some less-than-tech-savvy (consider them one of the 69%) took offense to the very common designation of “Master/Slave” to describe computing process where one device controls another. LA County has actually sent out a memo to all their suppliers asking them to “remove or change any identification or labeling of equipment or components thereof” that contain the phrase. Considering the number of systems out there that use this terminology, this is quite a request. Now who wants to complain to LA County about how offensive the phrase “client/server” is? I mean, just think of the connotations… And just think of the problems that will arise over the use of “male” and “female” connectors.

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Comments on “LA Bans Use Of Master/Slave Terminology For Computing Suppliers”

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Mark Polino (user link) says:


Perhaps we should take this one step further. Since just about every hard drive made has this terminology either labeled or engraved on it, I think we should insist that every hard drive belonging to any LA County goverment agency be replaced. For that matter, so should every other device with this issue. We get to be politically correct and jump start the economy at the same time!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Master/Slave

Yes, i think only those who are bring this up should pay the companies to recall all those drives and have them fixed to there saying. They should also pay to reprint the the ads and all the computer catalogs and to fix all the websites that sales computer parts.
People like this is sick and need to get a job or find a life on Venus.

Anonymous Coward says:

What about "male"/"female" connectors?

I know someone who had a woman look at him like he was some kind of perv when he referred to a cable connector as "male" or "female". Common terminology, but to the non-tech savvy, I guess it could sound obscene. “See, the male connector sticks out, and the female one has a hole…”

Getting uptight about Master/Slave, though, is just nutty. Get a life, LA County.

LittleW0lf says:

Re: What about

See, the male connector sticks out, and the female one has a hole…

Not necessarily, think of SMA connectors or RF connectors (and other Coax connectors too), the females have poles within holes and the males have holes within poles… ok, so most examples of this are true, but not all of them.

Then again, most RF/Wireless devices tend to follow the beat of a different drummer, so maybe this explains why the gender-bending is normal in RF.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What about

The older I get, the more puzzled I am about “obscenity”. Most people will have sex. Most people will have sex weekly, or probably more.
We’re animals– that’s what we’re designed to do.
Is eating obscene?
Is shitting? People say so– but if you don’t do it every day, *you* are abnormal, and you need to go talk to a doctor, so don’t get all high and mighty with me.

aNonMooseCowherd says:

No Subject Given

It’s even worse than that. Note the county wording:

  • …ensure that any equipment, supplies or services that are provided to County departments do not possess or portray an image that may be construed as offensive or defamatory in nature.

Even though the wording says “image”, it’s obvious that it’s the words, not the picture, that the county objects to. That means that any word that could be “offensive” is prohibited. So if, say, some group finds the word “bus” offensive because it might be linked to the school bus issue, then that word has to be replaced also.

Steve says:

No Subject Given

Doesn’t California have, like a bazillion dollar deficit? Why are they wasting time/money on stupid stuff like this? Maybe we should just refuse to send the city beauracracy any more electronic equipment because their clearly too stupid to operate it. I take offense at anyone who would go looking for a reason to take offense and those who would be niggardly with my right to use legitimate words.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just another reason to go SCSI...

Seriously though, I did catch myself using primary/secondary instead of master/slave the otherday.

Then I realized that there is no sane reasone why I should moderate my speach because of the politics of yester-years gone past. I think everything has pretty much been normalized during the 80s/early 90s. I still occassionally run into the baltenly racist white person, but more often than not these days I’m running into blatently racist non-white people. As population demographics shift, I think things are going to get very interesting. I’m not sure if we’ll see a complete “what comes around goes around”, but it wouldn’t supprise me in the least and if this does happen, it’s going to really suck to be old.

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