Wordle 2024

If you’re looking for an innovative, engaging way to kick off your spring semester courses, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has a terrific recommendation: the Trigger Word Experiential Exercise (TWEE)

The mechanics of TWEE are simple and straightforward.  On the first day of class, you inform students that each one of them can select up to five traumatizing words and/or phrases that you promise never to use during the semester.  

Not to worry.  With the English language containing hundreds of thousands of words, you’ll have plenty of words left over to deploy in your lectures.  Naturally, students vary in terms of the specific words that can make them hysterically uncomfortable.  Here are the ones you are most likely to encounter, depending on the student subgroup:


  • “Equality”
  • “Trans”
  • “New York Times”
  • “Race”
  • “Racism”
  • “Enslaved person”
  • “Reparations”
  • “Immigration”
  • “Quinoa”
  • “Harvard”
  • “Reproductive rights”
  • “Mifepristone”
  • “Integrated swimming pools”
  • “Science”


  • “Chick-fil-A”
  • “Meritocracy”
  • “Florida”
  • “Mississippi”
  • “Alabama”
  • “Texas”
  • “Legacy admissions”
  • “Orange”
  • “Hobby Lobby”
  • “Slave”
  • “SAT”
  • “IQ score”
  • “Elise Stefanik”
  • “Republican”


  • “Due date”
  • “Assignment”
  • “Reading”
  • “Book”
  • “Article”
  • “Writing”
  • “Cognition”
  • “Analysis”
  • “Idea”
  • “Thought”
  • “Attendance”
  • “Exam”
  • “Essay”
  • “Work”
  • “Knowledge”
  • “Learning”


  • “Feelings”
  • “People”
  • “Relationships”
  • “Emotions”
  • “Human”
  • “Literature”
  • “Touch”
  • “Lived experience”
  • “Eye contact”
  • “Foucault”
  • “Thou”

Finally, a fun way to get students involved in helping you help them inventory the nuggets of dread in their lives.  It’s TWEE!