When we were shopping for baby stuff oh, so many moons ago, I noticed that stores and catalogues were offering a fine selection of "playards". This, I learned, is a clumsy abbreviation of "play yard", what we used to call a playpen.
I'm assuming that the name change comes from ultra-sensitive people being offended at the use of the word "pen" in relation to the containment of precious babies. "Pen!" they screamed (or so I imagine), "Pigs live in pens! My pwecious widdle snookums will not be contained in a pen, play or otherwise!"
The manufacturers of the much-maligned pens in question scratched their heads and brainstormed for endless... minutes before coming up with a new name. "Yard! Play Yard! Better yet, Playard! Sounds like Juliard! And Har-vard! They'll love that!"
Let's call a spade a spade, folks. We do use these convenient baby-containment systems to, well, contain our babies. It is a pen. It's there so we can let our kids play in a safe place while we pee, cook on a hot stove, or for when need to keep Junior away from marauding toddlers.
In protest of the unnecessary changing of perfectly good (if un-P.C.) names of products, I will now be using my own name for this one.
Now excuse me... I have to go put Simon in his Baby Cage while I make some spaghetti.