Is it Ok to put the word “illegal” in the name of your restaurant such as Illegal Pete’s opening next month in Fort Collins, CO? If you know Illegal Pete’s is a Mexican restaurant, is it still OK?
Many community members are answering “No.” The discussion joins a controversy that has been running for several years, according to Lawrence Downes, who wrote a 2007 commentary in the New York Times, which explains it well.
“”Since the word modifies not the crime but the whole person, it goes too far,” Downes wrote.” It spreads, like a stain that cannot wash out. It leaves its target diminished as a human, a lifetime member of a presumptive criminal class.”
There’s an insightful discussion at The Coloradoan: http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/2014/10/27/language-expert-dissects-illegal-illegal-petes/18011229/