Political correctness gone mad?

These days so much is censored… words can be deemed too vulgar and inappropriate to be used or heard. Obviously, a lot of this censorship is to protect people from language they might not want to see.

This has gone viral, so I felt the need to write about it as well! Do you believe foreign words should be censored if the word looks like an English word meaning something completely different?

The story:

A mother wanted to celebrate her sons graduation with a cake. Nothing too harmful in that. Actually a rather nice thing to do! So, she ordered it online, and wanted the cake to be personalised. He did very well with his results, so she wanted to incorporate some Latin into the cake. What she wanted on the cake was “Congrats Jacob! Summa Cum Laude class of 2018”. In English Summa Cum Laude means ‘with the highest distinction’. A lovely thing to be awarded with in school.


But, if you were to look at that phrase, there is a ‘sexual reference’ (if you can call it that!) in English. This meant that those making the cake, did not write it exactly how the mother specified.  When the cake was picked up, it actually said “Congrats Jacob! Summa — Laude class of 2018”. Now, back to my question… Has political correctness gone mad? Cum was deemed to profane to be written on the cake.

Not the distinction they were hoping for!

You don’t need to know Latin to know that phrase does not sound English. Clearly it has some alternative meaning to the English word used. Surely, you’d think to check with the customer before changing their order. Well it seems they didn’t even have to do that! The woman included special instructions, informing them of the word, what it meant, what language it was, and a link to explain the word! She couldn’t have given them more information!

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Now put yourself in her position… How would you feel? The foreign phrase was censored on a cake for her son. She was given no warning from the bakery that they would censor this word. The bakery didn’t think about the embarrassment this would cause the mother and her son when they have to explain to their friends and family what happened with the cake… This is why her post has gone viral! Therefore, many online dictionaries have seen a spike in people looking up this phrase to check its validity. All for a Latin phrase…