Gramatically Incorrect Politics

The term political correctness  [AKA “p.c.”] is getting stale.  I predict that this term will soon be gone from the lexicon of America’s in-crowd, to be replaced with some new term, equally insipid.

It really doesn’t matter what they next call political correctness. [George Orwell called it “newspeak.”]  The  spirit behind it will probably always live on , for there is always an in-crowd.  Their motive?  To convince the rest of us of their own superiority and our stupidity.

Our mission at WordPlay is simply to watch and listen for such nonsense and point it out for what it is.

A few examples of p.c. words at work…

Ruth Bader Ginsberg is my hero!

Comments : In traditional English usage, the word “hero” refers to a male;  “heroine” refers to a female.  The Ginsberg case is a tough call.  Technically, she’s your heroine (I think).

Joyce K ilmer was once a  famous poet.   So were Marion Montgomery  and Marion Angus.

Comments :  There is a word, “poetess,”  which could clarify this statement.  Otherwise,  many readers  might never guess that Joyce Kilmer was a man, as was Marion Montgomery.    Marion Angus was female.

Lucille Ball, the great female comedian

Comments :”Comedienne” is the word for that.

The above examples focus on only one aspect of political correctness, namely women’s rights or sexism.  America’s “best and brightest”  often do not deign to recognise  certain differentions among people, like gender, which seem significant  to the rest of us.

Sometimes their self-imposed blindfolds cause the in-crowd to make  unintentionally humorous missteps [like calling a chairman a “chair”].  In other cases, this kind of misguided thinking is not so innocuous.

Changing the term “illegal aliens” to “undocumented immigrants,” a change which seems to be well underway as of 2012, may produce serious consequences for law enforcement, politics, education, healthcare, and other facets of American life.

Changing “pornography” to “porn”  trivializes a serious threat to  conventional standards of morality.

Changing “homosexual’ to “gay,” at best, confuses a long-standing traditional definition of the word “gay,” used in many songs and works of literature in prior centuries.

Changing “baby” to “fetus”uses scientific jargon to deflect moral qualms or philosophical debate.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, wrote Shakespeare in his unenlightened day. Well, not necessarily…



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