It might be good idea to say something aloud before you bestow it on a middle school workout facility. Such a thing may have even prevented what happened in the case of Wisconsin's new "White Pride Fitness Room."
Meyer Middle School in River Falls, Wis. wanted a new fitness centre, and so began a committee to help raise funds for it.
That committee, called Pride Fitness, was tasked with finding $100,000 US from private donors, according to the River Falls Journal.
By Jan. 28, it had managed to raise most of the necessary funds with special mention to two sources: the Royal Credit Union and a local alumnus, Roger T. White.
To thank these two patrons, and the committee who raisedm money for the centre, the local school board named it "The Roger T. White - Pride Fitness Room as presented by RCU."
But that's too verbose to say aloud. So, in an interview with the River Falls Journal, the head of the fundraising committee, Chuck Eaton, said they'd unofficially refer to it as the "White Pride Fitness Room."
That's where the trouble began.
While ostensibly the centre's name refers to one of the donors and the name of the fundraising committee, many online picked up on another implication, as "white pride" is a common slogan of white supremacist groups.
"This is terrible. White Pride? Which culturally insensitive committee let this slide? So much for building an inclusive community," wrote Jewelz MacGurder on Facebook.
Accusations of racism led to a statement from the school district, which tried to clear up how they'd landed on the dubious name.
"To be clear, this 'room name' has never been nor will it ever be called, 'The White Pride Room'," the River Falls School District wrote in a press release. "We can see and understand how the new name, "Roger T. White - Pride Fitness Room" could be viewed by some people as implying "White Pride"."
According to the school district, the name for the weight room will now be either the "Roger T. White Wildcat Fitness Room" or the "Roger T. White - Fitness Room as Presented by RCU."
The online arguments didn't stop, however, as people started coming forward to call the original accusations of racism overly-sensitive. Others countered that the name change was worth it to avoid any connections with white supremacist groups.
"The fact that no one on the board stopped to say the name out loud speaks to a generation who is still rather careless with their use of language," wrote Caitlin Tessman on Facebook in response to one such complaint.
"I like the new name. I think it's succinct, still conveys gratitude to Mr. White's generous donation, and isn't marginalizing or oppressive."