Has Political Correctness gone too far?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by DaveyR, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    I was speaking to one of my pals in the UK earlier and she was telling me about an experience she had a few days ago.

    She was waiting for the signal to change at a pedestrian road crossing with her young son. UK crossings have a green man and a red man where you in the US would have walk and don't walk.

    As the green man lit up she said to her son " There's the green man we can cross safely now". Quick as a flash a woman nearby said " surely you mean the green PERSON".

    My friend was totally lost for words.

    What are your thoughts on this and other examples of daft PC? Do you think it is getting out of hand or justified?

    Interested to hear your views.
     
  2. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    It had gone too far long before the phrase "politically correct" came into use.

    When was that? Maybe 1990? 1992? A while back, in any case.
     
  3. Lex

    Lex
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    Well, I can more easily think of examples of language usage that I agree with.

    Specifically, I am a huge fan of "people first" language.

    The woman with a disability versus the disabled woman.

    Students placed at risk versus at-risk students. They are not "At-risk" we categorize them and place them there.

    I do think they language can sometimes convey the wrong meaning and what we should be careful in how we use it. I am sure as others respond I will be able to think of things that really tick me off.
     
  4. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    I don't think it has.

    That situation you illustrate Dave is of course absurd but most of us have no trouble discerning the appropriate from the ridiculous.

    I'd prefer to err on the side or correctness. "Political correctness" is a term conservatives have drummed up as a reaction to not being able to spew their vile crap any longer.

    I'm all for it.
     
  5. DC_DEEP

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    I generally tend to think that "politically correct" is neither.

    One of my favorite examples is the racial one. 70 years ago, "nigger" was probably the common and accepted term (except for those to whom it was applied); 50 years ago, "colored" was polite and acceptable; 40 years ago, "Negro" was polite and acceptable; 30 years ago, "Afro-american" was the fad; there have been several other convolutions, leading up to the current "PC" useage of "African-American", which I only use to refer to an African-born, naturalized American or one of their children born here. Otherwise, it's just an "American" to me. Funny, the only PC color-based descriptive these days is "white" (note, it is not European-American).

    I have many deaf and hard-of-hearing friends. They prefer those terms. The only people I know who use "hearing-impaired" are hearing persons who just want to sound "sympathetic" and politically correct.

    The only PC term I actually use is "homosexually-impaired" to refer to my breeder friends.
     
  6. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Yes I hear what you are saying but I am talking about absolute absurd shit like the example I gave.

    Another that angered me was the situation in the UK last December regarding Christmas lights. The authorities insisted that councils referred to them as festive lights rather than Christmas lights so as not to offend Non-Christians.

    Of course I agree with you on the important things that really affect people and their lives but this sort of shit I am referring to is never out of the news and is so irrelevant.
     
  7. Gillette

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    My peeve with political correctness is when things that have no offensive connotation are self-censored by people who are over sensitive.

    While working in a liquor store a customer was looking for an Irish whiskey, almost said the name of it then stopped himself, instead describing the bottle. I'm certain he knew the name of it, just wasn't comfortable saying it to me. He blushed when I said the name of it.

    Here it is...

    http://www.classicwhiskey.com/whiskey/blackbush.htm

    I'm certain it wasn't named after anyone's pubes.



    Another instance was discussing cat breeds with my step-brother in front of my father(who happens to be black). My step-brother has a Maine Coon but referred to it as a Maine Cat and looked visibly uncomfortable when I used the correct term. The breed is named for its resemblance to a raccoon.

    Eye rolling all around.
     
  8. stud_hunter

    stud_hunter New Member

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    I agree. It seems like a lot of people like having something to be offended about because it makes them feel righteous and superior. I think we put way too much energy into controlling language and getting bogged down in whether we say "man" or "person." If it was a woman we'd say woman. If it's a man say man. It doesn't matter. Same goes for racial terms. White or Caucasian, black or African-American, Latino or Hispanic, Asian or Oriental, etc. I know there are political reasons why people prefer certain ways of saying things, but it seems we'd be better off fighting real prejudice instead of fighting these silly language wars.
     
  9. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    The examples you cite are absurd David and of course anything to an extreme is ridiculous.

    And though not a Christian any longer - come the holiday I'll be saying "Merry Christmas" to everyone I see.

    Ah good! But this brings up the use of the derogatory term "breeder". I have straight friends who bristle at it. :33:
     
  10. Shelby

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    Amen sister.
     
  11. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Yes - Merry Festivities does not sound quite right.:rolleyes:
     
  12. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Or do they perhaps look for confrontation wherever they can find it?
     
  13. Wonderboy

    Wonderboy New Member

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    Haha this is like 'postperson' or 'police person'

    People need to get over themselves. Feminism has gone too far!

    PS this thread reminded me of the joke 'don't cross the road when the green man's flashin'
     
  14. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    You may need to explain that one to the non UK persons.
     
  15. Gillette

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    I think these extreme cases are more like trying to avoid confrontation where none exists.

    One can't walk on eggshells all ones life. (not intended to exclude the wheelchair-abled)
     
  16. DC_DEEP

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    Stronzo, I know that breeder is offensive, I just thought I would throw a little levity into the situation, by transposing the inoffensive term with the offensive one, that was my own little attempt at combining irony with hyperbole. I still like the phrase "homosexually-impaired," though. By the way, would you be inclined to refer to me as a "European-American?" I hope you would not bring undue attention to my follicular impairment.

    I agree that some terminology should definitely be dropped, but I also tend to buck the trend to make everything exceptionally bland and incapable of offending even the most sensitive self-offender.

    I loved the lawsuit, back in the late 90s, by a couple against Southwest Airlines. They were boarding an already-delayed flight. The flight attendants were trying to get everyone settled in quickly so they could push back, and in the usual irreverant SWA style, announced "eenie, meenie, minie, moe, grab a seat, it's time to go!" A colored couple (I use that term in the same spirit the NAACP does, by the way) decided to sue for racial harassment.
     
  17. Gillette

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    Dear Lord! What is the P.C. term for ridiculously thin skinned people?
     
  18. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Dermically challenged?
     
  19. dongalong

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    The PC expression that is the most ridiculous in my opinion is the phrase "brown out" instead of "black out" WTF!!!!
    How is turning all the lights out so everything is dark and therefore black, racist? and why choose brown of all colours?

    I never understand why Americans of African descent prefer to be known as African Americans rather than "Americans".:confused:
     
  20. Wonderboy

    Wonderboy New Member

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