New York Public School’s banned words list

There’s a list getting some play of the 50 words/topics banned from standardized tests. It seems like it’s also a good check list to make sure that a piece of writing has some relevance to contemporary readers.

In The Archbishop’s Son, I manage to get 16/44. The current novel I’m working on scores 13/44 (despite having more sex and violence than The Archbishop’s Son!). Looking at some of my stories, I think that the lowest-scoring is “Girls” which is either at 0 or 1, depending on whether we score a reference to Dungeons & Dragons as meeting the criteria of being one of “Occult topics,” “Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.” or “In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge.”

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