Council bans brainstorming
By Nick Allen
Last Updated: 2:06PM BST 20/06/2008
A council has banned the term "brainstorming" and replaced it with "thought showers".
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in Kent was accused of taking political correctness to extremes after instructing staff to make the change.
The move came as council chiefs feared the word brainstorming might offend mentally ill people and those with epilepsy.
The buzz term is often used by executives to generate ideas among their staff.
But memos have been sent to staff asking them not to use it and some have been given training which encouraged them to use the alternative of thought showers.
Even charities representing epileptics said the ban was taking political correctness too far.
Margaret Thomas, of the National Society for Epilepsy, said: "Brainstorming is a clear and descriptive phrase.
"Alternatives such as thought shower or blue-sky thinking are ambiguous to say the least.
"Any implication that the word brainstorming is offensive to epileptics takes political correctness too far."
Richard Colwill, of mental health charity SANE, said: "This ban goes too far. Few would be genuinely offended by the word brainstorming in the context of council meetings."
A spokesman for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in Kent said: "We take diversity awareness very seriously.
"The majority of staff have taken part in training and been asked to use the term thought showers."
I wouldn't have believed this if it was published on April 1.