Thursday, June 26, 2008

Political correctness hits new heights of idiocy

In my last post, I didn't mention one of the British towns that the Local Government Association chastised for their substitution of the phrase "idea shower" for the word "brainstorm." The members of the town council had decreed the new phrase because they felt that people with epilepsy might be offended by the term "brainstorm." Strange to say, when members of the area Epilepsy Association finally were asked for their opinions, they stated that "brainstorm" didn't bother them at all.

It's good to be sensitive, but it's always best to go to the source if you don't know what to say. That's what happened years ago when we were unsure about the word "handicapped." When associations that served that population were asked what to do, they came up with what they called "people first" language, that is "people with a disability." Years and years ago, the first association that served those with cerebral palsy said that they perferred "affected by" rather than "afflicted with" cerebral palsy.

Yesterday on campus I heard a middle school student who was attending a camp there refer in all seriousness to a young man she was working with as "vertically challenged." He was shorter than she by far, but I noticed there was no word for her "condition." Is she "vertically superior?" "Vertically enhanced"? He's short. She's tall. That happens in middle school. Kids know it. They may be uncomfortable about it, but we don't have to wrap them in cotton and speak in code about a simple fact.

Could we just use common sense? Of course, we want to call people what they want to be called, but fashions wax and wane, and not everyone prefers the same term. If you don't know, ask the person what he or she would like. Does she prefer "African American" or "black"? Does he mind if you refer to him as a "diabetic" or would he rather you say, "My friend has diabetes"?

We have become so afraid of offending one another that we often avoid meaningful discourse altogether. As I read about George Carlin's death--the man who noticed that in his lifetime "toilet paper" had become "bathroom tissue" -- I thought about what a field day he would have with "idea shower." He certainly had a wonderful ability to skewer the whole PC parade, and I hope that in his memory, we might all become more linguistically honest.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

fat loss 4 idiots -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
forex derivative -
gas 4 free -
get better grades -
golf swing guru -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
hyper vre -
i software tv -
legit online jobs -
linden method -
london forex rush -
master word smith -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
max pro system -
meet your sweet -
membership gold rush -
minute sites -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
negative calorie diet -
one minute cure -
one week marketing -
pc on point -

Anonymous said...

pc tv 4 me -
perfect optimizer -
php link cloaker -
pick the gender of your baby -
profit lance -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
recipe secrets -
reg clean -
regi cleanse -
registry easy -
registry winner -
reg sweep -
reverse mobile -
reverse phone detective -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket piano -
rocket spanish -
satellite tv to pc -
smtp 2 go -
spam bully -
spyware nuker -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the stop snoring exercise program -
the super mind evolution system -
trading stock indices -
truth about abs -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
twitter annihilation -
twitter rockstar -

Anonymous said...

twitter traffic machine -
ultimate content creator -
ultimate font download -
ultimate wow guide -
video piggy -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
web investigator -
win clear -
win spy -
Auto Content Cash -
Banner Ad Blueprint -
Copy Paste Systems -
Every Other Day Diet -
Farm Ville Secrets -
Plugin To Green Profits -
Rapid Mass Traffic -
Tinnitus Miracle -
Tweetomatic Profiteer -
Woodworking 4 Home -
24 Hour Internet Business -
Blogging To The Bank -
Burn The Fat -
Earth 4 Energy -
Fap Turbo -
Fat Burning Furnace -
Fat Loss 4 Idiots -
Foex Auto Money -
Hemorrhoid Miracle -
Legit Online Jobs -
Magic Of Making Up -
Magni Work -
Micro Niche Finder -

Anonymous said...

Plr Article Software -
Pregnancy Miracle -
Software Submitter Pro -
The Affiliate Code -
The Diet Solution Program -
Truth About Abs -
Zygor Guides -
yeast infection no more -






3d covers -
500 scrapbooking sketches -
acid alkaline diet -
acne free in 3 days -
advanced pc tweaker -
apple patch diet -
art of approaching -
auction inspector -
av advance -
build a nice store -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
catch spouse cheating -
chikara reiki do -
combat the fat -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy that game -
cure gout now -

Anonymous said...

dl guard -
dog training online -
driver checker -
driver robot -
drop shipping wholesalers -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence eraser -
evidence nuker -
ex girlfriend guru -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
forex grid bot -
get google ads free -
get paid to draw -
get this off my chest now -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -

Anonymous said...

homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
honest riches -
learn photoshop now -
linden method -
malware removal bot -
marketing on the fringe -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
my online income system -
negative calorie diet -
no adware -
one minute cure -
one week marketing -
online pickup secrets -
partenon -
pc on point -
perfect optimizer -
perfect uninstaller -
pick the gender of your baby -
power cash secret -
profit lance -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button marketer -
quit smoking today -
registry easy -
registry easy download -
registry fix -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -

Anonymous said...

reverse phone detective -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket spanish -
rss power plus -
sem business blueprint -
silent sales machine -
spam bully -
sports betting champ -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
starting a day care center -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the super mind evolution system -
traffic travis -
truth about abs -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
twitter affiliate cash -
twitter decoded -
video piggy -
video web wizard -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
your bill killer -
you will get paid -
zygor guides -

Anonymous said...

20 day persuasion -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
apple patch diet -
article submitter -
art of approaching -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
copy that game -
cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
cyber link pro -
dl guard -
driver checker -
driver robot -
drop shipping wholesalers -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy click mate -
easy photo biz -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
epinoisis -
error fix -
error killer -
error smart -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -

Anonymous said...

fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flattenyourabs -
flatten your abs -
flat to fab -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
heartburn no more -
hippo jaw -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
honest riches -
hot video squeeze templates -
instant website creation -
jump manual -
keyword research pro -
linden method -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
micro niche finder -
musclegainingsecrets -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
my traffic strategy -
nasty dirty money -
negative calorie diet -

Anonymous said...

no adware -
pc optimizer pro -
perfect uninstaller -
pergola plans -
pick the gender of your bady -
plr ebook club -
pregnancy without pounds -
profit lance -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
questions for couples -
quit smoking today -
ready made review sites -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry easy download -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
rocket spanish -
roulette sniper -
rss ground -
secret affiliate weapon -
secrets book -
spam bully -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
starting a day care center -
tattoo fever -

Anonymous said...

team idemise -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
the super mind evolution system -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
wrap candy -
zygor guides -
7day ebook -
360 fix kit -
advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
art of approaching -
beating adwords -
believe and manifest -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
convert 2 ev -

Anonymous said...

cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
digi cam cash -
digital media solution -
dl guard -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
flatten your abs -
gamers testing ground -
gov auction -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov records -
herbal hair solution -
homebre ware -
home job group -
homemadeenergy -