Has Political Correctness Reached Absurdity

Political Correctness over the top

Image for post
Graphic by Author

We all grew up learning the correct language to use in various situations: It wasn’t nice to call someone stupid, use racial slurs, make fun of the disabled, use profanity, etc. Although not everyone practiced this code of politeness, most of us did. When we wanted to discuss various subjects, there existed a cache of euphemisms at our disposal. In recent years, a plethora of euphemisms popped up to avoid offending various groups. While some of these words are valid adjustments, others fall into the category of absurdity.

Defining political correctness

Political correctness (PC) refers to language that avoids offending persons of various genders, races, sexual orientations, cultures, or social conditions.One of the most commonly stated goals of political correctness is the elimination of verbal discrimination and negative stereotyping.This includes written or spoken language used to describe race, sexual orientation, gender and ability.

Welcome Changes

It makes sense that some changes in our language are welcome. We no longer use terms like mailman, fireman, or policeman. Many women hold positions in those fields, so mail-person, firefighter, police officers are the acceptable vernacular.

Politically correct terms that might make you laugh

  • In Australia, Santa Claus is no longer allowed to say Ho Ho Ho because it might scare children, and it’s derogatory towards women.

Have you ever known of a child that’s frightened by Santa Claus saying Ho Ho Ho? Ladies, when you see Santa Claus at the mall, do you think he’s calling you when he says Ho Ho Ho?

The UK has a list of 100 politically correct words and phrases. As I read over the list, I found some of them so ridiculous I thought this must be a joke. But they’re on the list with the sensible changes.

  • Fat — Metabolic overachiever
  • Patriot — Troublemaker, pest, nuisance, agitator

In today’s world, it means one who loves and supports his or her country. It has been challenged throughout the centuries. But, you’ve got to be kidding.

  • Shoplifting — Irregular shopping

We wouldn’t want to insult the shoplifters.

  • Smelly — Nasally disturbing

You’re darn right!

  • Bribe — Public service bonus

I guess that’s like a donation.

  • Homeless — Outdoor urban dweller

Well, okay, their home is outdoors.

  • Hunger — Food insecure

Hey Mom, what’s for dinner? I’m food insecure.

  • Murder — Unauthorized termination of life

Let’s be succinct and call it murder.

  • Blackboard — Chalkboard

This is an interesting one. When I grew up during the 50s and 60s, the chalkboards were black. At some point, they became green. In the U.S., we no longer have blackboards, greenboards, or chalkboards. Schools use whiteboards now and write on them with markers. Will someone challenge that and call it white privilege?

The UK doesn’t get all the credit for political correctness

Mount Holyoke College had put on an annual production of The Vagina Monologues as part of its V-Day event each year. The production was supposed to raise awareness about violence against women and raise money for organizations that seek to curb it. PC Culture board felt the play shouldn’t be produced because it isn’t inclusive of transgender students and would be offensive to students who identify as women but don’t have a vagina.

While we’re on the subject of humor

In 1991 President H. W. Bush addressed the University of Michigan's graduating class: “The notion of political correctness has ignited controversy across the land. And although the movement arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred, it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off-limits, certain expression off-limits, and even certain gestures off-limits.”

Many years ago, during President George Bush Senior’s reign, he left the UK in his limousine, flashing the peace sign by making the letter V with two fingers. Although a friendly gesture by U.S. standards, in the UK it means fuck off.

I leave you with this

I wrote this in fun. Language is forever evolving, and it will continue to do so. In the past, it evolved naturally. Over 500 years ago, The Great Vowel Shift occurred. Nobody knows why, but had it not shifted, we would all be speaking like Chaucer in the English speaking world.

Today’s politically correct terms are nothing more than euphemisms. In time, those words will be replaced by new euphemisms.

In the meantime, keep your sense of humor, or life will kill you. I hope at least some of the British citizens found President Bush’s gesture funny.

Resources

British National Party (BNP), Furness, David

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness, Political Correctness

A free spirit, visual artist, writer, animal lover, introvert and independent woman.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store