Letter To The Editor, Time Magazine RE: Kid Of The Year

This is a copy of the Letter to the Editor that I emailed to Time's Editor-in-Chief and CEO, Edward Felsenthal on February 4th.

In spite of the instant reply promising a response within 3 to 5 days, I have had no reply at the time of posting.

Letter To The Editor, Time Magazine

RE: Kid Of The Year

Editor-in-Chief/CEO: Edward Felsenthal

Dear Mr. Felsenthal,

What a wonderful thing you have done by recognizing the positive contributions made by young people with your new “Kid Of The Year” award in Time magazine.

Congratulations to the first recipient of this title, 15 year old Gitanjali Rao of Denver, Colorado.

These children are the future of our planet and deserve all of the recognition, praise and encouragement they can muster.

I would however, request you consider one small change to this title of “Kid Of The Year” by making it “Child Of The Year.”

And by extension might I also recommend you rename your website feature “Time For Kids” to “Time For Children”.

I know most people are tired of complaints of so much attention given to “political correctness” however I feel strongly that this request is a very important matter of respect.

How can these young people expect to be taken seriously if we cannot afford them the respect they deserve?

While usage of the word “kids”, which is more correctly defined as “a young goat”, dates back to the 15th century, its usage was strictly as slang, and a derogatory term at that. It was only as recently as the 1800s that the word “kid” began to commonly replace the word for “child” but even then, only on an informal basis.

Granted, context of any word can make a big difference to how the word is interpreted, but personally I find the word “kid” generally to be demeaning, belittling and disrespectful.

One of the inventions for which Gitanjali Rao has been awarded this prestigious title is an app called Kindly which helps to determine words and phrases that might be considered “cyberbullying”. I can’t help but wonder how this app might interpret the word “kid”.

I hope you will take the time to give this suggestion some thought and review it with your team to see if it makes sense.

Let’s make certain we do everything we can to encourage these bright young people to take us wisely and safely into the future.


jim Young



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