I can understand that there are some phrases that become universally anethema. They become so over used in our language that regardless of what the term actually meant at one time in history, the new-speak definition makes it a no-no in polite company.
At the same time, there are phrases that have been used for hundreds of years that people are now looking to find the origin in order to find a reason to be offended. I some times wonder if the modern understanding of the meaning is true, just because it sounds good to make it offensive. Ironically, the educated Id10t who wrote the initial memo even states that these are only "possible origins" of the phrases. That kind of hints that he was looking for offense.
The phrases in the article include:
Rule of thumb
Hold down the fort
as an adult I have since learned that many words that were not considered offensive in polite society in my formative years (60's & 70's) are now almost blasphemous. words such as "squaw".....which by the way, no feathered indian language that I have heard of uses that that combination of sounds to denote a woman who conducts nocturnal gymnastics with a variety of men in exchange for monetary gain.
It is going to be a very boring day when every piece of audible or written communication has to be vetted for potential offense to another living person, regardless of their national origin, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation..... unless of course the speaker is non-white and American.
As a side note, ask a Thai speaker how they would translate the words green beans or pumpkin...but be leary of asking them what the word "yet" means if they were to translate it into english.