Bowing to last week’s protestors who had objected to the references to some members of the local swan population as “mute swans,” officials issued instructions that the swans in question hereafter be referred to as “reticent swans.”
A spokesman explained: “Not only is the term ‘mute’ outdated and derogatory, but, since these swans do in fact make some sounds, it is also inaccurate. We believe the term ‘reticent’ is not only more respectful, but is also more in line with the facts.”
The official guidance is legally binding.
Back in September, advocates claimed the word “mute” as unnecessarily “demeaning and discriminatory.” Protestors demanded that officials hereafter refer to the waterfowl as “not talkative,” but this verbiage did not hold.
So it is that reticent swans is the term of choice here in the Hamptons.