In an effort to remove what some call “offensive language,” from state code, Tennessee legislators are petitioning to purge the phrase “deaf and dumb” from the records and replace it with “deaf or hard of hearing,” according to an article in Newsweek.

HB 1670, introduced in January by Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-TN), came about after a librarian directed his attention to use of the phrase still in use in Tennessee state code. The legislation has also been introduced in the State Senate by Sen. Becky Massey (R-TN).

“Words matter and so we need to have the correct language, so we took ‘deaf and dumb’ and replaced it with ‘deaf and hard of hearing,’” Jernigan was quoted as saying in a WKRN-TV interview cited in the article.

So far, there hasn’t been any pushback to the proposed legislation, according to the Newsweek article.

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Source: Newsweek, WKRN-TV