Home > PC Bleach: Burning Holes In The English Tongue

PC Bleach: Burning Holes in the English Tongue

from the November 11, 2008 eNews issue
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When using the term "British" is considered politically incorrect because it might offend folks in Wales, the whole PC thing has gotten completely out of hand.

Political correctness has wound itself, like a creeping vine, around nearly every aspect of our society in some benign and some not-so-benign ways. "Servers" have moved into our restaurants to replace all the waitresses. "Flight attendants" have booted out the stewards. "Happy Holidays" pervades the Christmas Season and "pro-choice" people encourage women to "terminate their pregnancies" because "killing their babies" just doesn't sound nice.

We've gotten used to many of these terms, whether we like them or not. The vines of political correctness, however, haven't stopped growing. They continue to stretch their tendrils into new areas. For example…

No More 'Illegals'

If the Hispanic Bar Association of Arizona gets its way, the term "illegal alien" will get ejected from Arizona courts. Apparently, foreigners living in the U.S. illegally don't like being so defined when they're on trial for burglary or dealing drugs. Calling them "illegal aliens" might bias the judges' opinions against them.

These Arizona lawyers prefer that the courts use terms like "undocumented immigrants" or "unauthorized workers." They also prefer that Arizona courts use the term "immigration problem" rather than "immigration crisis" and call activists "pro-immigrant supporters" rather than "open border advocates." The Arizona Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to agree to these requests.

No Offensive Idioms Either

The British Isles are not free of the political correctness creeper. The Telegraph reports that Salisbury council has told employees to quit using religiously-oriented idioms because atheists might be offended. "Singing from the same hymn sheet" is now verboten because atheists don't sing from hymn sheets. Never mind that the expression is very old and doesn't have to actually do with singing hymns.

Even Keith P. Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, thinks the council "has gone too far." He said, "The phrase has been around for a very long time and is very common. I use it myself. Of course we should all avoid phrases which can cause unnecessary offence, but this isn't one of them."

Caerphilly council in Wales thinks the term "British" implies a false sense of unity and could offend people from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. [How about "United Kingdom"?] They have also urged employees to avoid idioms that use the word "black" in a negative sense, like "black list" or "black ball."

Broadland council in Norfolk has replaced all the "housewives" with "homemakers" and all "husbands" and "wives" with "partners."  Even marriage is no longer politically correct.

Author and broadcaster Kathy Lette said of the PC infestation: "Political correction is a vowel cancer eating away at the English language. The PC police are not just washing our mouths out with soap, they're dipping our mother tongue in disinfectant - and the taste is terrible."

If only mankind (and womankind) cared as much about whether they might offend God as they care about human sensitivities! 

"Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" - Isaiah 2:22



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Related Links:

  •   'Singing From The Same Hymn Sheet' May Upset Atheists - The Telegraph
  •   Group Wants 'Illegal Alien' Banned From Courtroom - KFI AM 640
  •   Letter to AZ Supreme Court, Including List of Un-PC Terms - AZ Supreme Court