The announcement represents a dramatic legal win for anti-word
activists who have long claimed that the word can act as a "label"
with connotations that are subjective and therefore
Minister for Language Affairs, Sue Brown explained: "Research
has proven time and time again that language resists our attempts
to harness it. Say, for example, that I have been wanting for years
to let my parents know that I am in a loving, committed
relationship with a woman. Were I to use the word "lesbian", they
might inadvertently associate that word with a host of emotions,
images and thoughts over which I would have no say."
"For all I know, my father might associate the word "lesbian"
with Miss Lenora Kipper, a tractor-driving, slacks-wearing
headmistress he knew back in the 30s when he was a schoolboy in
Plymouth," she continued. "Perhaps he didn't like her. Maybe she
scolded him once for throwing pebbles at a badger? Now why should I
risk the possibility that my father might not have liked Miss
Kipper, might subconsciously associate her with the word "lesbian"
and might therefore associate me with Miss Kipper, to my and my
"That's just a purely hypothetical example," she added
"Even if I didn't use the word myself, someone else might," Ms
Brown continued. "I think it best if we put this whole "label"
debate to bed definitively. I for one am tired of hearing people
talk about it. This new law means that the choice of whether or not
one chooses to label oneself "lesbian" is now entirely
It is hoped that all nouns will eventually be abolished under a
rollout of strict new linguistic legislation.
The new law comes into effect at midnight GMT.