05/27/2014 09:42 am ET Updated May 27, 2014

Is The Word 'Girl' Offensive?

Photoshot via Getty Images

There are many offensive words you can use for a female but they are often confined to, ahem, "bitchy" conversations or private emails among football executives. The word "girl" is different. The question of where we stand on it, and when and to whom we apply it, seems undecided.

This week the BBC removed the word from a documentary and was promptly accused of censorship. In the documentary, The Queen's Baton Relay, broadcaster Mark Beaumont was seemingly surprised at being floored by judo champion Cynthia Rahming – perhaps unaware that someone becomes a champion at judo by being rather good at it. The first time the documentary was aired he said: "I am not sure I can live that down – being beaten by a 19-year-old girl." But when the programme was repeated, the word "girl" had been removed.

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