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[P]
A society of Polically Correct Simpletons

By Bob Abooey in Culture
Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 10:33:29 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Is the politically correct generation a generation of repressed, angst-filled confused people? Is is possible to actually change the way we think and feel, against our wishes, or must we let evolution take its course?


Today we are taught to say things like "chairperson", or "emotionally challenged" or "physically challenged". Nobody is a "retard" anymore; they are "mentally challenged". Yes, I suppose it does sound better--it's accepted as a nicer way to say it--but in my mind, "retard" is not a dirty word. It's short for "retarded" which means "to cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede" which is hardly offensive. Yet it is socially unacceptable to mention that someone is a retard. Why is that? Is the world really a better place because we use nicer words? I'm not against people being *nice* to each other, or saying pleasant things to each other, but don't we have more pressing issues at hand? Being politically correct smells of the Nancy Reagan "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign of the 80's. Sure Nancy, telling some poor inner city kid whose dad left before he was born and whose mom is strung out on drugs to "just say no" is going to fix the root of the problem. Way to go Nancy! We are taught to respect our fellow humans, I'm all for it.

We are taught to treat others as we would like to be treated; I'm all for it. But in the end, do we actually change what's in someone's heart by forcing him to use different words, or do we teach him to be a repressed human who will eventually act out on society? We have separate crimes which are labeled "hate crimes" where the perpetrator is punished differently from other criminals. Since when has any criminal act been friendly? If someone murders your family member because of the color of their skin how is that person any worse than someone who murders your family member for $100? It would seem to me the lawmakers are saying it's more "politically correct" to murder for money than it is for ignorance. I understand the issue they are attempting to address, but it seems a rather backwards way of going about it. Maybe the human race will begin to act as one single society when we treat it that way.

Perhaps evolution needs to take its course and we are actually being simpletons by thinking that saying one thing and thinking another will make us a big happy family. Yes, we need to continue to try to be better people and to grow spiritually, but do we accomplish this by being phony? Do we deal with the issues that cause an angst-ridden teen to shoot up a school by teaching them to smile and say nice words to each other.

We need to educate our children and we need to show our children with actions, not just with words. We need to stress things which are really important, things like honesty and individualism and freedom of expression. We need to to be willing to accept people for who they are, not who we want them to be. We have become a society of hypocrites: we act one way and chastise anyone who acts differently. Our politicians and leaders are expected to be more than perfect, yet we want to be allowed to make mistakes and be forgiven. We teach our children about values and what's important in life and then neglect them while we work 80-hour weeks to chase the almighty dollar. All of that is okay, of course, as long as we don't use the word "retard". Since when has it become socially unacceptable to be a simple human, with all the greatness and failures that go with the territory? Are we doomed to continue miss the point?

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Poll
Being politically correct:
o Is a form of evolution 3%
o Is the root of all evil 24%
o Is a good start 10%
o Ultimately sends the wrong message 31%
o Will make the next generation of psychiatrists very wealthy 22%
o What the hell is Bob Abooey talking about? 6%

Votes: 188
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by Bob Abooey


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A society of Polically Correct Simpletons | 167 comments (151 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
this is why... (3.71 / 7) (#1)
by rebelcool on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 07:03:00 PM EST

the kids today have no faith in the system, politicians or anybody else really. They know it's all a lie, and just trying to sugar coat the world for them. Makes them bitter and cynical

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

I don't think so. (4.33 / 3) (#16)
by cameldrv on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 09:07:37 PM EST

I think that today's kids are becoming more compliant, have more faith in "the system", and are more willing to put up with crap to get ahead than in years past. If you talk to young people today (high school or younger), they mostly are conformists. Twenty years ago this was much less the case. I've personally noticed this, and I'm not the only one. There's an article about precisely this topic in the Atlantic Monthly this month, and there is a book called "The Fourth Turning", which explains this to some degree.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps.... (none / 0) (#133)
by nads on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 04:54:50 AM EST

Kids don't think things are that bad today? Things are getting better not worse? Anyway, I wonder who they talked to, I mean I would find it hard to believe that they talked to a philosophy, poly sci, history, or econ major and found that they were completely detached from politics today. Of course, If they spoke with people in the sciences or math, then it is reasonable to expect that. You only have soo much time in college. No one criticizes the liberal arts people for not being more informed about math/science.

[ Parent ]
Agree (none / 0) (#144)
by leonbrooks on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:38:22 AM EST

What, didn't you read the subject line? (-:
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]
Doesn't change the way people think (3.66 / 3) (#2)
by weirdling on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 07:06:29 PM EST

Just makes them put 'I know I shouldn't think/feel this way' before everything they say...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
Hee hee... (none / 0) (#119)
by randomname on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:35:52 AM EST

That reminds me of a joke I once heard:

How does every racist joke start?
Punchline:<look around several times>

Of course, it was then followed by an actual racist joke.

It's just like any other attempt at publicly-enforced morality; people who don't agree just pay it lip service. If, say, a publication sells out, there is usually a statement given that starts with, "we'll never sell out," followed by a lengthy discussion for the reasons that they did sell out. If someone is looking to insult you and not have to deal with the consequences, they may say "don't take this the wrong way..." And if someone tries to post a flame in a forum were such is forbidden, they'll stick a smiley or a <G> on the end. It's downright insulting, but I suppose many people are more afraid of being labelled than they are of taking responsibility for their actions.

[ Parent ]

some people (3.80 / 5) (#3)
by alprazolam on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 07:22:32 PM EST

might honestly buy into it. You know, when they say chairperson, they say it because they're not misogynists. They don't say retard because it has a connotation they don't like. I don't go around telling you what to say. Don't tell me that trying to be a little more sensative is the downfall of western society. You claim we chastise anyone who acts differently, but we are becoming way more diverse than we ever were before, and people aren't fighting it, because it can make us better in the long run.

Just as an aside... (3.50 / 2) (#4)
by kaemaril on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 07:50:20 PM EST

You know, when they say chairperson, they say it because they're not misogynists

And what, exactly, has the one to do with the other? Are you seriously suggesting that somebody who uses the dread "chairman" is a misogynist?


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
*sigh* (3.33 / 3) (#7)
by aphrael on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 08:04:21 PM EST

At one time, when it was assumed that *all* chairmen were male, the use of the term was a problem; it reinforced the assumption, and made it harder for women to overcome that assumption.

That may not be true any more. But it definitely was, not even that long ago.

[ Parent ]

this is why (3.00 / 1) (#18)
by alprazolam on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 09:09:55 PM EST

it's not really worth it to argue here. I didn't say saying chairman means you are a misogynist. I mean people make an honest effort to act the way they think, and being gender neutral--not making the assumption that every important job belongs to a male--is part of that. People just want to pick apart your argument, focusing on details to frustrate somebody who has an opposing view, or any view at all. If you have a legitimate opinion, please give it. If you just want to needle me, go the fuck back to slashdot.

[ Parent ]
Remember the term man (4.75 / 4) (#24)
by UrLord on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 09:57:29 PM EST

can mean quite a few things.
man (mn) n., pl. men (mn.)
1.An adult male human being.
2.A human being regardless of sex or age; a person.
3.A human being or an adult male human being belonging to a specific occupation, group, nationality, or other category. Often used in combination: a milkman; a congressman; a freeman.
4.The human race; mankind: man's quest for peace.
5.Zoology. A member of the genus Homo, family Hominidae, order Primates, class Mammalia, characterized by erect posture and an opposable thumb, especially a member of the only extant species, Homo sapiens, distinguished by a highly developed brain, the capacity for abstract reasoning, and the ability to communicate by means of organized speech and record information in a variety of symbolic systems.
6.A male human being endowed with qualities, such as strength, considered characteristic of manhood.
[snip...]

Pay special attention to those in bold. Granted, not every knows about these definitions, and many people who do know about them do not use the term in this way. But chairman is not a bad word. Nor is chairperson. I tend to use chairman (in this particular instance). But I do not hate women, and I do not feel that women are less qualified (because they are women) and have enjoyed having women as my boss.

I am not sure where this ramble is going except that words like chairman, mailman, and any others you can think of should not be considered bad words, and the people that use those words should not be looked down on for using them.

We can't change society in a day, we have to change ourselves first from the inside out.
[ Parent ]

nobody (4.33 / 3) (#48)
by alprazolam on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 07:51:49 AM EST

looks down on people when they say chairperson. But why not just say chair? Or mail carrier instead of mailman, etc. What's it hurt? Why is it that politically correct words are considered bad?

[ Parent ]
Because... (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by stuartf on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 03:44:38 PM EST

Why is it that politically correct words are considered bad?

Easy. It's because we had words that were were perfectly functional before, and someone wants us to change for no apparently good reason.

It seems that the emphasis is on not hurting anyones feelings. The world is full of opportunities to get your feelings hurt or not get your own way. Rather than make everyone else work around your feelings (each persons will be different and unpredictable), maybe we should just accept that some people are going to say/do things that offend us and move on.

[ Parent ]
Terminology (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by Tatarigami on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 05:31:03 PM EST

'Cos we're lazy and don't want to bother with the extra syllables?

Surely it can't be accidental that every term in the politically correct lexicon is three to five times as long as the one it replaces?

Quick demo:

"He's a 'tard."
"He's intellectually handicapped."


Ten syllables vs one. I rest my case.


[ Parent ]
handicapped (4.00 / 1) (#95)
by eln on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:37:07 PM EST

the word "handicapped" isn't PC either...it's "challenged" or "differently able"

It's all a bunch of bullshit to me.


[ Parent ]
ok (none / 0) (#102)
by UrLord on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:51:02 PM EST

I don't consider the PC words bad. I just do not see the point in having to retrain myself to use words I did not grow up with when the words I was using were perfectly fine. I do not say those words to offend anyone and many times I will use the PC version of the terms. I will also be un-PC by saying chairwoman or the like on occassion.

I just think everyone needs to get over this. So someone gets offended, big deal. I get offended by a lot of things I see/hear everyday. I don't make a big deal about it, I let it be.

We can't change society in a day, we have to change ourselves first from the inside out.
[ Parent ]

Chair has negative connotations (5.00 / 1) (#114)
by Anonymous 6522 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:24:13 AM EST

Calling someone the Chair implies that they are a lifeless object that is ment to be sat on.

[ Parent ]
Um... excuse me? (none / 0) (#37)
by kaemaril on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 02:27:59 AM EST

If you have a legitimate opinion, please give it. If you just want to needle me, go the fuck back to slashdot.

OK, firstly, if this was meant in reply to me there's absolutely no need to be so offensive. And if it was meant generically, there's still no need to resort to that sort of language.

You know, when they say chairperson, they say it because they're not misogynists

I didn't say saying chairman means you are a misogynist

That's good to know, I was just checking in case you did. Because accusing thousands of people (not necessarily even men!) of misogyny (hatred of women) is both extreme and insulting.


Why, yes, I am being sarcastic. Why do you ask?


[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#64)
by aphrael on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 01:15:16 PM EST

If you have a legitimate opinion, please give it. If you just want to needle me, go the fuck back to slashdot.

Huh? I wasn't trying to needle you; I was trying to point out that the reason the activist community pushed to change the words being used is that the words we use to describe something limit how we conceptualize that thing, and so *in that era* the use of the word 'chairman' *was*, if not misogynistic per se, an impediment to opportunties for women.

[ Parent ]

i know (none / 0) (#67)
by alprazolam on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 02:33:40 PM EST

it was attached to the wrong post, i meant it for kaemril

[ Parent ]
sorry aphrael (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by alprazolam on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 09:11:07 PM EST

meant to reply to kaemaril.

[ Parent ]
We fixed this (4.00 / 2) (#36)
by pwhysall on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 02:24:42 AM EST

In the UK, the person in charge of a meeting is known as "The Chair".


--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Not always... (4.60 / 5) (#44)
by deefer on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 05:39:30 AM EST

In the UK, the person in charge of a meeting is known as "The Chair".

That's funny, I live in England and we used to refer to the person in charge of our meetings as "The Waste of Skin Who Could Not Manage Their Way Out Of A Paper Bag But Still Gets Paid More Than We Do"

Ah well, maybe it's a regional thing... Are you Welsh?


Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
Meeting Fatigue (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by pwhysall on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 06:56:19 AM EST

Is someone a tiny little bit meeting'ed out?

That's a BAD Chair, then.

A GOOD Chair recognises that everyone in the meeting has but one goal - to get out of the meeting - and does their best to make that goal reachable in the shortest possible time.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Heh! And I thought.. (none / 0) (#52)
by deefer on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 09:05:12 AM EST

A good meeting was when you got to call the sales director a c*nt to his face... Wish I'd been to *your* meetings...

Might be urban legend, but IIRC some Japanese company abolished chairs in meetings - you just had lecterns to stand at...


Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]
standing meetings (none / 0) (#113)
by odaiwai on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:02:36 AM EST

The queen of England holds staff meetings with everybody standing up. It's a very effective way of keeping the meeting as short as possible. dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]
Connotation... (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by rabbit on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 06:40:48 AM EST

They don't say retard because it has a connotation they don't like

Um, which connotation would that be? That the person is a retard, perhaps?

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
It's voluntary, and it's not so bad (4.25 / 4) (#5)
by strlen on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 07:51:37 PM EST

So what is wrong with restraining yourself, from using words and phrases which may cause pain to someone, or cause you damage because you might offend someone who is in control of you?

Political correctness is voluntary, no one requires it from you. However, if you try to run for office and you say "i want to take these stinking mexes and negroes off welfare." good luck to you. People are going to judge you by what you say, face it. What's important is no one is going to force you to act a special way by the means of force (meaning police action, or having your papers) seized, and if they do they are only making you a propaganda martyr for David "Sieg Heil" Duke. And if your school desides to enforce political correctness through selection of recent text books, please know that it's their decision. They are not obliged by law to make sure someone is offended.

Yes, I general speak in politically correct terms. Why? Because that very person I choose to insult may later decide whether I will attend a university, or may harbor bad feelings towards me, or may simply be hurt. And no, it does not mean calling pets "animal companions", it means being as polite as to use "homosexual" instead of "faggot" or "mentally retarded" instead of "retard." And as for chairperson, why are you so sure it's going to be a man? What if it's woman? Unless you dont know who will hold the title, don't rush to a decision.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Fair example (4.20 / 5) (#27)
by Woundweavr on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 10:08:20 PM EST

Do you think you would be elected if you said "I want to take them stinking Mexican-Americans and African-Americans off welfare."?

People should judge what you say, true. But what you say should be more important than how you say it which should be more important that the terms you use. Im not saying you should run around saying the 'n word' (although I think more black people use it than white people nowadays) but you should feel free to call people black, or white or gay or other natural words without massive negative connotation without being decried as racist.



[ Parent ]

word choice (3.50 / 2) (#29)
by strlen on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 10:30:40 PM EST

White, black, gay etc.. is probably a personal word choice, but it can also be used to give a negative conotation more easily. For some ideas, african-american may be a better thing to say. Black has negative conotations in Western Culture, so we must be carefull when using that. And I think the use of terms like African American comes after more people received an education needed to understand that words have conotations. However, what complicates the ideas is that some blacks get offended when called African-American. Many actually say that they are Americans just like everyone else, and only difference is their skin. So A.M. may be more usefull to describe a community, and black a person. Gay also has the conotation as being used by teen-agers to describe backstreet boys, and being compared with backstreet boys is also a very large insult :-)



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Restraint (5.00 / 3) (#121)
by Imagiro on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:43:09 AM EST

How are we going to teach/learn restraint when we are disguising key indicators to when and where it needs to be used. I agree that people should try to restrain themselves but if you can't see the effect of calling someone something hurtful how are you going to learn from it. (I guess in a society where smacking has practically been outlawed (I live in the UK) teachers have limited means to enforce this) We would become much stronger as a society if we could accept stuff like this and either deal with it face to face or ignore it. I know that this might be a tough demand for some people but having a culture that encourages working out issues can only help prevent people becoming hung up on things like this
The point has also been made that current PC terms will shortly become derogatory, and at that point an ineffiecient way of communicating. How long have people spent discussing Chairman/woman/person when they could have been doing something worthwhile.
In one school here they are trying to ban the use of the word 'History' because of 'His' (I'm just waiting for them to ban 'government' and 'parliament' for similar reasons.). Taken to the limit it becomes ridiculous.

We ought to bear in mind that when has Politics been anything but bunch of lies anyway...
-- I used to have a company that did this. It folded --
[ Parent ]
Man, that must have taken a lot of work.. (none / 0) (#129)
by Zukov on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 03:15:23 PM EST

Well done.

ȶ H (^

Yes, I have just bumbled upon Gnome Character Map. Please ! me.
[ Parent ]

Work? (none / 0) (#159)
by kaatunut on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 08:44:48 AM EST

s/(s?he|him|her|his|hers|woman|man|women|men)/<b>$1<\/b>/g;

This only to point out that computers in general, and perl in specific, can make certain jobs much easier than you'd think. Perl encourages making computer your slave the way it was meant to be - to write programs to do a job, instead of hoping for an option to do that in your favourite text editor (or *gasp* doing it manually!). Hell, when I wanted to check out all the answers mentioning my name in a certain poll in a webBBS, easiest thing was to chunk out a perl script to do it.

Yeah, this is SOOO offtopic, but does it matter?

-Kaatunut

--
there's hole up in the sky from where the angels fall to sire children that grow up too tall, there's hole down in the ground where all the dead men go down purgatory's highways that gun their souls
[ Parent ]

[OT] For extra credit.... (none / 0) (#162)
by Mr Z (The Z is silent) on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 08:20:36 AM EST

For extra credit, modify your script to replace all instances of "he" or "she" with "(he|she)", "his" or "her" with "(his|her)", and so on...

(I'm pretty sure you'll need multiple regexp's for that one though...)

--Joe

[ Parent ]

Yahoooie! (-: (4.00 / 1) (#143)
by leonbrooks on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:36:29 AM EST

Political correctness is voluntary, no one requires it from you.

Fabulous! This means not only that if someone uses politically correct language on me I can rightfully tell them that it's bullshit, but because political correctness is voluntary I can require them not to use it in my presence.

Or did you mean voluntary in the same sense that smoking is voluntary: if I don't like it I can always move to a different planet?
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

Voluntary! (4.00 / 2) (#149)
by spaceghoti on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 01:46:21 PM EST

Political correctness is voluntary, no one requires it from you.

Really? So this is why "cultural sensitivity" classes are the norm in so many companies? Why it's so easy to get flamed for not phrasing a statement in modern "revised" English? I have been criticized for my lack of "political correctness" in my speech in numerous jobs and situations, and I adamantly refuse to apologize for it. I will not modify my speech because it contains potentially offensive terminology; so long as I make myself clear, I feel no need to cater to over-sensitive busibodies.

Thought control is not something I will ever condone, even when done for a good cause. It's one thing for a language to evolve on its own; it's another to try to control it.



"Humor. It is a difficult concept. It is not logical." -Saavik, ST: Wrath of Khan

[ Parent ]
That's only part of it. (4.00 / 2) (#152)
by theboz on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 11:23:55 AM EST

In the company I work for, people have gotten in trouble for using non-PC terms like "rookie", "redneck", and "libertarian."

Granted, there were no firings, but a trip to human resources is very similar to a trip to the principal's office. The problem is not with avoiding using words that are blatantly offensive, it's about how the PC movement is changing things for no reason other than to completely neuter communication. There's no reason to call a deaf person "auditorially challenged" or "differentially auditorially enabled" or whatever crap they come up with this week. This only serves to disrupt communication between people.

It's not voluntary, because of at the minimum peer pressure, and at the maximum you can be fired from your job or sued. Sexual harassment and race discrimination are abused too often now. Things that can be valid problems are hindered by the bogus lawsuits and witch hunts. Why should the courts waste time on a lawsuit of a guy that told his female coworker, "You look nice today." rather than one where a coworker tried to get into a woman's hotel room on a business trip to rape her? The problem is that the PC movement belittles the real problems and disrupts our communications. While some of the goals started out as a good idea, it's completely out of hand now.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

You seem pissed off (3.90 / 10) (#10)
by aphrael on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 08:21:42 PM EST

about political culture. Welcome to the club; most thinking people are. Yet you also seem to be repeating emotional impressions rather than thinking about implications, which is exactly what I think is worst about US political culture.

Our politicians and leaders are expected to be more than perfect, yet we want to be allowed to make mistakes and be forgiven

Isn't that reasonable? Shouldn't we expect our leaders to be the best of us? I'm all for recognizing and accepting the existence of human frailty, but the people that are making decisions for me should be doing so because they have convinced me that they are more qualified -- eg., less frail -- than I am. Otherwise, what's the point in not having direct democracy?

We teach our children about values and what's important in life then neglect them while we work 80 hour weeks to chase the almighty dollar

Do you know people who do this, or is this a rant based on rumor and myth? Personally, I don't know *anyone* who fits this stereotype --- I know people who work 80 hour weeks, but most of them are single; I know parents who work 60-hour weeks because (a) they're committed to their job and (b) the other parent doesn't work; I know single parents who are desperately trying to raise their children and still pay for life. I don't know anyone who meets this stereotype, and as far as I can tell it's a chimera concocted both by anti-capitalist activists on the left and religious-values activists on the right who were, unusually, talking to each other.

We need to educate our children and we need to show our children with actions, not just with words.

Absolutely; words that aren't followed or paralleled by actions are empty and meaningless. But is the problem there with the lack of action, or with the choice of words? You are arguing, I think, that it is worse to pretend to be tolerant and not be than it is to not be tolerant in the first place ---- and I can agree with that to an extent. But words have power, both in their ability to move masses and in their ability to inflict pain on individuals; why is it wrong to say that, in the interest of creating a more pleasant society with less friction between individuals, it would be better if people didn't insult each other?

But in the end do we actually change what's in someones heart by forcing them to use different words, or do we teach them to be repressed humans who will eventually act out on society.

That's a good question. Ultimately, it's a question of symbols --- you can attack the symbol for what you don't like (hateful speech) more eaisly than you can attack that which is represented (hate), and it's easy to confuse the two. But we attack the symbol because it's easier to attack than the referent --- how do you convince someone not to hate? And the problem with the anti-PC movement, as I see it, is that it seems to be saying that it's wrong to oppose the underlying hate; rather than finding a way to address the referent, it appears that they would prefer to abandon the cause entirely.

If someone murders your family member because of the color of their skin how is that person any worse than someone who murders your family member for $100?

Consider it from this perspective: a town with people who murder you because of the color of your skin is a town that it's dangerous for anyone with colored skin to live in. The existence of that murder creates an atmosphere of fear which stifles *everyone* in the minority group. It creates a situation where the right of members of that minority to pursue happiness is degraded in comparison with that of members of the majority.

I understand the issue they are attempting to address, but it seems a rather backwards way of going about it.

Agreed. But: what's a better solution to the problem? Again, from what I can tell, those who dislike hate-crime laws would, in general, be just as happy leaving the problem unaddressed.

Why is that? Is the world really a better place because we use nicer words?

From the point of view of the people who would be on the recieiving end of hateful speech, the answer is *clearly* yes.

Actually I'm not pissed at all (3.85 / 7) (#14)
by Bob Abooey on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 08:58:23 PM EST

Shouldn't we expect our leaders to be the best of us? I'm all for recognizing and accepting the existence of human frailty, but the people that are making decisions for me should be doing so because they have convinced me that they are more qualified -- eg., less frail -- than I am. Otherwise, what's the point in not having direct democracy?

I would expect our leaders to be good at their job. I would not expect them to be any more or less human than I am. There are some aspect of being a human which we cannot escape. Humans make mistakes, humans have weaknesses, humans are not perfect.

But words have power, both in their ability to move masses and in their ability to inflict pain on individuals; why is it wrong to say that, in the interest of creating a more pleasant society with less friction between individuals, it would be better if people didn't insult each other?

Yes, words have power, but my point is that when we focus on the words and the percieved power instead of the actual problem we are just pissing in the wind. It's fine for Nancy Reagan to preach "Just Say No" but wouldn't it have been better for her to lobby for better inner city schools? Which platform would have a better chance of stopping somene from taking drugs? Why not try to show those inner city kids with actions that you care about them. That might make a difference in somebodys life.

And the problem with the anti-PC movement, as I see it, is that it seems to be saying that it's wrong to oppose the underlying hate; rather than finding a way to address the referent, it appears that they would prefer to abandon the cause entirely.

Not at all. What I tried to stress was that we need to focus more on the actual problems and not the words we as a society might use. It's not bad to treat each other with respect, but in the end we should be more concerned with the actual problems and solutions to the problems. Teaching someone to use different words does not stop or alter the underlting hate. Calling someone a chairperson does nothing to address the problems of women in the workplace.

Agreed. But: what's a better solution to the problem? Again, from what I can tell, those who dislike hate-crime laws would, in general, be just as happy leaving the problem unaddressed.

How does a stiffer penalty change the underlying problem? People who commit *hate crimes* are probably not too concerned with getting caught. You are not addressing the problem at all.




-------
Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
re:You seem pissed off (3.50 / 2) (#28)
by jij on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 10:18:24 PM EST

"Consider it from this perspective: a town with people who murder you because of the color of your skin is a town that it's dangerous for anyone with colored skin to live in. The existence of that murder creates an atmosphere of fear which stifles *everyone* in the minority group. It creates a situation where the right of members of that minority to pursue happiness is degraded in comparison with that of members of the majority."

Replace the phrase "color of your skin" and the like with "the money in your wallet" and tell me what the difference is.

"people who thinks quotes are witty are fucking morons" - turmeric
[ Parent ]

what? (2.25 / 4) (#41)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 03:35:29 AM EST

if the money in your wallet is as important a part of your self-identity as your skin, man I feel sorry for you.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
He didn't say anything about (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by ZanThrax on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 01:28:08 PM EST

self-identity or self-anything, he was talking to what other people would do to you over a given aspect of you. Money in your wallet may not be as obvious as skin colour, but class is a rather large divider in western culture as well.

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

Reply (none / 0) (#110)
by yertledaturtle on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 06:45:46 PM EST

The color of one's skin is a constant where as money in your pocket is a variable. Also color of skin is hard to hide bu a person could have money and look like they don't have money thereby decreasing the likelihood of becoming a target.

[ Parent ]
Re: You seem pissed off (none / 0) (#127)
by Carik on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 11:50:00 AM EST

-BEGIN QUOTE-
We teach our children about values and what's important in life then neglect them while we work 80 hour weeks to chase the almighty dollar

Do you know people who do this, or is this a rant based on rumor and myth?
-END QUOTE-

I do, more or less. Granted, most of them didn't teach their children much in the way of values (hard to do when you never see them), but in the town where I grew up it was pretty common. A number of families (generally the most wealthy, actually) let a television or videogame system take the place of parents - the kids would go home from school at 3, and be alone in the house until 8 or 9 at night. I was lucky - my parents were old fashioned (in some things) and one of them was /always/ home when I got home from school, at least until the middle of high-school.

So yes, I do know people like this.

-Carik

[ Parent ]
San Franciso and Minorities (4.16 / 18) (#11)
by Seumas on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 08:25:10 PM EST

The problem I have with political correctness is simply the utter stupidity and mindlessness that it propegates.

For example, the San Francisco city council is considering banning the use of the word 'minority' in relation to ethnicities and women. Why? Because it suggests that they are "not as good" as others. (Of course, this is the same city that wants to foot the bill for city workers who want a sex-change).

This oozes so much stupidity, but let's start with the two most obvious. Minority means what -- less than a majority. Exactly. Do you think the Minority Whip in congress lacks self esteem, because they don't just call him "the leader of the not so big party"?

It is frightening that city officials cannot understand the definition of 'minority' as relation to number.

Second, it's even more rediculous that the city would even place women under the term 'minority'. There are more women in the world than men by a huge amount. Women are not minorities, by sex alone. Duh.

Anyway, the whole idea of political correctness is to shame people into censoring themselves and subjecting themselves to a socially forced brain-washing by the thought-police. Is it any wonder so many people enjoy the few creative people in the world who brashly embrace the things PC decries?
--
I just read K5 for the articles.

The meaning of minority... (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by guffin on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 10:58:44 PM EST

...in this case is a group of people who are not in power. Given the male/female ratio in politics, business leaders, what have you, females are a minority.

[ Parent ]
So then... (5.00 / 4) (#72)
by dice on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 04:01:59 PM EST

So then say, rich people, or the intelligent, those are both minorities, and should be protected as such, right?

[ Parent ]
err.. (none / 0) (#100)
by guffin on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:49:36 PM EST

The rich aren't in power? Insert your own thinly-veiled Dubya-bashing innuendo about the intellegent not being in power.

[ Parent ]
Stupidity and mindlessness (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by Pseudonym on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:06:30 AM EST

The problem I have with political correctness is simply the utter stupidity and mindlessness that it propegates.

Got news for you. Stupid, mindless people will use any excuse to encourage their stupidity and mindlessness. The "political correctness" meme is no different in this respect from the "religion" meme, the "freedom" meme and the "geekdom" meme.

Fighting political correctness will do nothing to correct the stupidity and mindlessness which is the root cause, because they'll just find something else to be stupid and mindless about.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Just for clarity.... (4.00 / 1) (#96)
by eln on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 05:41:08 PM EST

The "not so big party" is offensive...in future use, please refer to it as the "differently sized party".

Thank you.


[ Parent ]
How offensive! (none / 0) (#163)
by Mr Z (The Z is silent) on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 09:13:57 AM EST

Singling someone, or a group of someones out as different is offensive as well. So please refer to it as "the sized party". Thank you.

Oh, wait, refering to their size could affect their esteem. I guess refer to them simply as "the party."

Oh, wait, which party was this again? By now, any means for distinctly identifying them has been removed from the description (so as not to offend anyone by those distinctions). So which party was it again? (I guess it doesn't really matter, if they're distinctions without a difference... ;-)

(Tongue firmly planted in cheek.)

--Joe

[ Parent ]

I don't know. (none / 0) (#105)
by yertledaturtle on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:29:03 AM EST

If you are male and white in SF you may have not noticed that you are the minority in SF. So what the Board is doing makes sense and is congruent with reality.
White males are the postition minority in SF.

[ Parent ]
I don't know. (none / 0) (#106)
by yertledaturtle on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:31:00 AM EST

If you are male and white in SF you may have not noticed that you are the minority in SF. So, what the board is doing makes sense and is congruent with reality.
In other words white males are the minority in SF.

[ Parent ]
Tabooey. (4.15 / 13) (#15)
by Holloway on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 09:01:38 PM EST

Bob, A booey to you. Come, sit with me under the camp fire and let us sing songs of praise for our lord.

Recently at PC HQ I said that many retarded people can often be bested by animals (unlike most unretarded people). Many retarded folk can't make themselves food; can't use a toilet or handle themselves in a way that doesn't soil their environment; they can't provide for themselves the basic food/warmth/shelter/clothes ... many are failures in self survival (unlike animals, and unlike un-retarded people). I have worked with mentally handicapped people and this is just a fact, really. You can imagine the response.

Now, one coined action of politically correct people is the bewildered implorement for emotion in the subject. Don't you care about the disabled? Don't you care about the earth? Our trees? Your own people?

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

Unfortunately "Political Correctness", the umbrella term, has been retired and most PC folk now laugh at the term... while talking the same talk, walking the same walk. When confronted with taboo opinions they go about righteously as if the world would slip back into racism and sexism and slavery. But they don't call themselves politically correct for the same reasons racists don't call themselves racists anymore - it's an issue of branding.

"Political Correctness is a term that was made by neo-hippies to name a type of politics that they didn't like in a way that enabled them to claim to be above politics." -- Stanley Fish.


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

Just another fad (4.13 / 15) (#21)
by jabber on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 09:32:55 PM EST

Political Correctness is just another fad. It's a way of enforcing temporary aesthetics in the guise of sensitivity and fair treatment. Trying to dictate terminology is aiming at a moving target. Even if you hit it, it will keep moving.

Yes, there is a difference between using a term and using a term with the intent of antagonizing someone, but if the intent isn't obvious from behaviour, what are words worth? It is just as easy to insult someone with common, unstigmatized words as it is with some branded slurr.

Is 'fag' a 'bad word'? (I'm asking the USians of course - although UKian non-smokers may also see it as one)... What about 'queer'? There is a proud-to-be-gay organization called "Queer Nation", yet there is no "Fag Coalition"; so why is calling someone a 'queer' considered an insult?

It's o.k. for members of the same group to call each other the most derogatory terms, which when uttered by a non-member of that group, might actually result in legal action. Blacks can call each other 'niggers', while the whites are careful to use the term "African American". US citizens who are melanin-enabled are less African American than I am a European American, yet somehow nobody has pinned that label on me just yet.

The US is one severely confused culture. We are the "Great Melting Pot". On the one hand we are told that 'all men are created equal' and on the other we are expected to celebrate our diversity. If we hold fast to our heritage, ethnicity, history, nationality, culture, race, creed, orientation, color, whatever - we are stand-offish, elitist, separatist, insensitive and possibly militant - and people fear us. If we cater to everyone else's differences and go out of our way to point out the silimarities and blend the edges, and continually invent new and inoffensive terms to describe one another, we are first and foremost, lying, and second, ridiculed by articles such as Bob's.

The problem with the US attitude is that all these little splinters of humanity that we share the country with, continually feel threatenned by the rest. They, we, keep trying to dillute one another out of existence - making for a homogenous (or is that queerogenous) melting pot indeed... You can't even wish anyone a Marry Christmas without the risk of them jumping down your throat about it being Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or the Solstice.

Well, all I can say to that is: Happy Fucking Equinox to my nigga, fag, redneck, cracker, kike, gook, chink, slant, kraut, limey, spic, geek, cunt, gimp, cripple, moron, retards! I do hope I haven't offended anyone by excluding them.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

connotations (4.61 / 18) (#22)
by Refrag on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 09:38:15 PM EST

People use politically correct terms to replace terms that have received a negative connotation over the years. Replacing these terms serves no purpose. After a similar span of years the new terminology will have the same old stigma applied to it.

It's already starting to happen with some phrases such as "mentally challenged". When was that last time you heard someone say that phrase without mocking some of their speech-patterns or saying it with a sarcastic tone? I can't remember.

"Secretary" was replaced with "administrative assistant" because secretary sounded bad. Now administrative assistant and "AA" are taking on the same connotation that secretary had. I lower my voice whenever I use the new terms so that people don't assume I'm speaking ill about them.

"Personel" was elevated to "human resources" (as far as I know), however in my mind human resources has a worse connotation than personel ever had. Think about it: human resources. It's simply objectifying your employees to resources just as coal is a resource to a powerplant.

"African-American" is a horrible example of political-correctness, because it is applied to anyone that is negro and lives in the United States. What about the blacks that have arrived here from Europe? Are they African-American?

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

African-American (3.80 / 5) (#30)
by the Epopt on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 10:42:39 PM EST

And don't forget the other way in which this term is stupid: our neighbors who recently became citizens after immigrating from Cairo -- and who are quite light of complexion -- cannot understand why they aren't African-Americans. They're from Africa, they're now Americans ... WTF?
-- 
Most people who need to be shot need to be shot soon and a lot.
Very few people need to be shot later or just a little.

K5_Arguing_HOWTO
[ Parent ]
Pity the poor pc newscaster (4.00 / 1) (#65)
by ZanThrax on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 01:20:19 PM EST

trying to describe black citizens of western nations other than the us? I've heard american anchors describe canadian citizens as african-americans...

Before flying off the handle over the suggestion that your a cocksucker, be sure that you do not, in fact, have a cock in your mouth.
[ Parent ]

when did Canada .... (3.33 / 3) (#88)
by streetlawyer on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:06:23 AM EST

.... stop being part of America? And indeed, how was this separation achieved?

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Americans (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by paulT on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:10:29 PM EST

About the time citizens of the United States started refering to themselves as Americans rather than United Statesians.



--
"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]
Ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#118)
by randomname on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:27:06 AM EST

About the time citizens of the United States started refering to themselves as Americans rather than United Statesians.

Yeah, right. And Spanish people should refer to themselves as EEs (for Estado Espanans), and Chinese people should be PRCs (People's Republic of Chinese), and Russians should think of themselves as FRs (Federation of Russians).

Give me a break. The political name of the country isn't used in everyday language. I've visited every contintent except Antarctica, and "non-USians" referred to me uniformly as "American," except for one guy in Hong Kong who called me a "Texan." I suppose I should have corrected him and insisted that I was an ST-an (State of Texan), and that the Mexican student I was travelling with was an RM-an (Republic of Mexican).

[ Parent ]

Missed the point (4.00 / 1) (#134)
by paulT on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 09:04:53 AM EST

You missed the point. I was responding to a post that suggested Canadians are Americans because we are part of North America. However, as a Canadian I am a North American but I am not an American in the way most people of the world understand the term, that is a citizen of the United States.



--
"Outside of a dog, a book is probably man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
[ Parent ]
Curiously... (4.00 / 1) (#156)
by Giant Space Hamster on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 04:11:20 PM EST

Up here (Canada) I don't think the word "black" has taken on quite as much negative connotations as in the United States.

Also we tend to refer to our minorities more by ethnicity rather than skin colour. ie the Jamaican community, the Indian community, the Metis, the African community, the Chinese community, the German community, etc. I've almost never heard anyone tack on "-Canadian" at the end of it. I think the "-Canadian" is assumed.

-------------------------------------------
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
-- Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Negative connotations (4.00 / 2) (#58)
by Pseudonym on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 10:34:58 AM EST

People use politically correct terms to replace terms that have received a negative connotation over the years. Replacing these terms serves no purpose. After a similar span of years the new terminology will have the same old stigma applied to it.

Well it doesn't exactly serve no purpose. It's just not a permanent solution. It serves the purpose of getting people to rethink prejudices now. Calling people "hearing impaired" encourages people to rethink their idea of what "deafness" means. (Most deaf people can hear to some extent; most are not "profoundly deaf".)

"African-American" is a horrible example of political-correctness, because it is applied to anyone that is negro and lives in the United States.

I'm with you on that one. It applies to all black people in the US, no matter where they came from, and does not apply to any other people who did come from Africa. To pick one example, my wife once worked for a gentleman of Arabic ancestry who immigrated to the US from Egypt. Surely he would qualify as "African-American?

Besides, when did "black" become a negative word? Even though I'm not from the USA, I remember "black power" and "black is beautiful". Treating "black" as some kind of dirty word seems like a truly backwards step to me.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
African-American (4.80 / 5) (#69)
by Corwin on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 03:16:52 PM EST

"African-American" is a horrible example of political-correctness, because it is applied to anyone that is negro and lives in the United States. What about the blacks that have arrived here from Europe? Are they African-American?
A lady works here in the same building as I do who has immigrated from South Africa, recently gaining her full citizenship. As far as I am concerned, she would be an African-American, but she's even whiter than I am and as such would never have that moniker applied to her. Something does not seem to mesh here.

Obviously African-American does not mean what it appears to mean.

---
I'm in search of myself. Have you seen me anywhere?
[ Parent ]
One point of contention (4.66 / 3) (#117)
by randomname on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:17:41 AM EST

"African-American" is a horrible example of political-correctness, because it is applied to anyone that is negro and lives in the United States.

No, it isn't. There are white people in America who have referred to themselves as "Irish Americans" or "Polish Americans" for generations. If a black person wants to refer to himself that way, then no one should get upset about it. The problem with political correctness (or, as the article says, "polical" correctness) is when the attempt at manipulating connotations becomes instead a distortion of accuracy. Concerning the African-American example, I once new a kid who immigrated from Egypt and had to sue to get a scholarship for "African-American students" that he had won. It was intended for black children, of course, but the uniformly PC language used in the process allowed this decidedly non-black student to win it. He then had to fight for it in court, because the scholarship's board claimed that "African-American" didn't mean "African-American," it meant "black American."

Another example of this distortion centered around a friend of mine from college. He used a wheelchair, so some representatives from the university informed him that he would refer to himself as "differently-enabled." He lost his temper, needless to say. "I can do things that other people can't?!" he yelled. "I have superpowers or something? I'm handicapped, dammit!" Still, these left-wing McCarthy counterparts insisted that this was how he would talk about himself.

It's nothing new, of course. Businesses have been doing it for years (your Human Resource example is right on, as well as the endless number of euphemisms for "layoffs"), as has the military (pointed out in another post). The difference is that PC language is being forced on people with a liberal-guilt-style technique: if you don't use this (inaccurate) language, you're a bigot. The examples I've given above show how PC-speak can be used by bigots, however, and there are plenty more where that came from.

[ Parent ]

I have to differ on the African American thing (4.00 / 1) (#124)
by Karmakaze on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:08:33 AM EST

"African-American" is a horrible example of political-correctness, because it is applied to anyone that is negro and lives in the United States.
No, it isn't. There are white people in America who have referred to themselves as "Irish Americans" or "Polish Americans" for generations.
First off, let me disclaim that generally, people can call themselves whatever they like best. It's their lives.

On the other hand, I have to make a distinction between "Irish-American" and "African-American". By and large, the people using Irish-, Italian-, Indian- (sorry, I just like the alliteration) and so on are the result of recent immigration where they actually still can trace themselves to direct relatives in "the old country".

A great many "African-Americans", however, trace their lineage to colonial times. Their ancestors helped build and helped found this country, in much the same way mine did. Although I am racially "white" (so called because "pinkish tan" sounds silly), my family has lived in this country for about three hundred years and I can only vaguely link myself to any specific location in Europe (I get a list of about eight countries when I try). Yet, somehow, nobody has ever referred to me as a "European-American". Why should their contribution to the country be modifed as "African-", as if somehow they were not every bit as invested in this country as the rest of the nation's founders?


--
Karmakaze
[ Parent ]

I actually agree... (none / 0) (#125)
by randomname on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:56:54 AM EST

Although I am racially "white" (so called because "pinkish tan" sounds silly), my family has lived in this country for about three hundred years and I can only vaguely link myself to any specific location in Europe (I get a list of about eight countries when I try).

That, to me, is why "African-Ameircan" isn't such a big deal. I have a friend who makes a lot of noise about his "Irish-American" heritage, even though he's separated from any real Irish blood by about three centuries. If people want to distinguish themselves by such remote ancestry, then I'm not going to stand in their way.

If a black guy is being called "African-American" by some PC-police-type, without his consent, then of course there is a problem--one that defeats the very goals of the PC movement, if I understand them correctly. See my point in another thread about my handicapped friend who was told</> to refer to himself as "differently-enabled."

[ Parent ]

Oops... (none / 0) (#126)
by randomname on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 10:58:08 AM EST

Sorry about the boldface tag. Accidentally hit "Post" instead of "Preview."

[ Parent ]
Well.... (5.00 / 1) (#157)
by itsbruce on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 05:42:50 PM EST

A great many "African-Americans", however, trace their lineage to colonial times. Their ancestors helped build and helped found this country, in much the same way mine did. Although I am racially "white" (so called because "pinkish tan" sounds silly), my family has lived in this country for about three hundred years and I can only vaguely link myself to any specific location in Europe (I get a list of about eight countries when I try). Yet, somehow, nobody has ever referred to me as a "European-American". Why should their contribution to the country be modifed as "African-", as if somehow they were not every bit as invested in this country as the rest of the nation's founders?

The contributions to American history made by those Americans of white, European descent is generally acknowledged. The contributions of those Americans of African descent has often been completely ignored. A generation of black Americans fought in WWII and not only was their contribution ignored it was often mocked: the courage and sacrifices of the Tuskegee airmen and the 761st Tank batallion were not publicised, as those of their white comrades were. Instead the myth that black servicemen had cushy auxilliary jobs away from the frontlines was widely published and believed.

Is it surprising, then, if the generation that followed them saw the way the efforts of their parents had been spurned and decided to look elsewhere for a sense of history and identity? If they felt that American history had rejected them, why not reject American history in return?


--

It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
[ Parent ]
His superpower... (none / 0) (#138)
by DavidTC on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:57:08 PM EST

...would be to run his wheelchair into the shins of people who tried to tell him what he had to call himself. ;)

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
If all the nukes were dropped tomorrow.... (1.90 / 10) (#23)
by TuxNugget on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 09:40:39 PM EST

and if you suspend your knowledge that radioactive fallout or nuclear winter would kill everything, and just take away infrastructure, I'm still not sure any of us that were left would fare better than your average bird or squirrel. By your standards for what is a 'retard' (faring better than an animal), most tech gurus are retards. They rely heavily on the division of labor made possible in our modernized society. If you take that away, what is left?

Think about it. Can you hunt for your own food? Like with a gun or bow and arrow, or traps? Oh, a few people here could. You might think 'I could fish -- anybody can fish', but remember, unless you really like sushi, you need to clean the fish, build a fire, and cook it....



And this is relevant how? (4.00 / 3) (#35)
by rabbit on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 02:11:20 AM EST

Whether or not I am capable of skinning a fish, is not - near as I can tell - the question. The question is "why don't we call a spade a spade, a shovel a shovel, and a dumb motherfskcer a retard?"

Most tech geeks at least have the basic understanding of how the world works required for such things as learning to fish, or learning to hunt and fend for ourselves. Back in the olden days, us engineer type were precisely the people making traps and complicated doo-dads for the purpose of catching food - rather than chasing food.

So, I ask again: how is your comment relevant?

The other part of the question is "does all the PC nonsense do anyone any good? Or, is it actually doing more harm than good?"

More harm than good, if you ask me. By enforcing political correctness, we teach our children to lie. We're not allowed to describe things as they really are, we're supposed to use the "acceptable" terminology. "Everyone has a valid opinion" etc., to which I say "bullshit, you are wrong."

It's called lowering the common denominator. If it gets much lower, I think it will probably become imaginary.

--rabbit
-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
"how things really are"? (2.60 / 5) (#40)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 03:31:03 AM EST

Who was it who gave you this unique insight into "how things really are"? It seems to include the intuition that fat quake-playing sysadmins are really super hunters and trappers, while anyone who you choose to describe as "dumb" is mentally retarded.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Um, no.... (2.00 / 1) (#45)
by rabbit on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 06:33:58 AM EST

See? Doesn't it feel good to just express how you feel? Isn't that better than coming up with some PC way of saying "fat quake-playing sysadmin" ? Even so, not all sysadmins play quake and not all sysadmins are fat. Just like not all black people are fantastic basketball players that are hung like horses. You're confusing the argument, and losing while you're at it.

Some people do stupid things, especially congenitally stupid people. Why not call them on it? Because it makes them feel bad? Wellll...maybe feeling bad about being called stupid will give them pause for thought next time they're about to do same.

Maybe silly hypothetical discussions about who is more likely to survive after a nuclear exchange don't really have anything at all to do with being politically correct. While it may be true that some of the less traditionally intelligent people may have a better success rate in a world ruled by the guy with the biggest (literal) stick and muscle to use it, this is not that world.

It is our brains that have made us the dominant species on this planet, not our muscles. So, when evolution is brought up in the context of PC, the question becomes: are we chosing the path to make us smarter, or are we chosing a path that will make everyone just a little bit dumber because we're removing the critical thinking process from everything? This includes "naming" things. To call a disabled person "differently abled", which I have heard, is just a lie. It gives the impression that somehow they make up for being physically handicapped with say, psychic powers. No, they're physically handicapped. They need some sort of help to get their shit done on a daily basis. They may have some other gift that makes them able to pull their own weight from societal viewpoint, like say physics (mr hawking...), but they're still disabled. The same goes for retarded people. And whats so wrong with using "black" or "negro", cuz not all blacks are from africa and not all african americans are even close to black. If I'm trying to describe a person to someone "black" or "brown" or "chinese" or "hispanic" are all CLEAR ways of getting the description across. I don't think anyone disagrees that calling all mexicans "wetbacks" is racist. But how is calling someone black any different than someone calling me a white guy? It's not.

The question is not "why can't I feel free to insult people with racial (or other) slurs" it's "why can't I just use words that make sense" instead of all this made-up meaningless politcal crap.

Who gave me the unique insight as to how things really are? Nobody. Who gave the people that make up PC terms in their spare time their "unique" insight? Nobody. I tell it like I see it. I may be sometimes mistaken(and I will admit it, when shown), so I don't always tell it like it is, but it sure beats speaking out of both sides of my mouth.

I still maintain that the original post that I reponded to was offtopic.

--rabbit

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
In other words ... (1.66 / 3) (#53)
by streetlawyer on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 09:07:41 AM EST

Who gave the people that make up PC terms in their spare time their "unique" insight? Nobody. I tell it like I see it. I may be sometimes mistaken(and I will admit it, when shown), so I don't always tell it like it is, but it sure beats speaking out of both sides of my mouth.

So in other words, you're as mistaken as they are, but they're trying to be nice to people, and you're being rude.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I'm inclined to think that you're just a troll (3.00 / 1) (#75)
by rabbit on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 05:31:28 PM EST

I find it interesting that it's not worth your time and or effort to consider the rest of the argument. It looks to me like you're just looking for phrases that, when taken out of context, support your position. Your position being that you're an asshole.

Well, consider your point proven. Sir.
-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
I am a troll, but you are not "inclined to th (1.50 / 4) (#81)
by streetlawyer on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:28:04 AM EST

Quite the opposite; your natural inclination appears to be quite the other way.

I thought I was doing you a kindness by snipping the rambling emotional bullshit which padded your post and focusing on your actual argument -- it made you look far sharper than you actually are.

If, on the other hand, you had another point buried in that morass of poor writing, bring it on. Twat.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Ad hominem attacks abound (4.00 / 1) (#82)
by rabbit on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:16:32 AM EST

Name calling is the last ditch retort of the man without an argument.

While I'm here, I'd like to know precisely what it is you mean by "emotional bullshit". I try to make a point of keeping emotion and argument separate. So if you can tell me where I was being overtly emotional in a bullshit fashion, I'd quite apprecatiate it. If you'd like to debate my other point in a civilized fashion, that's a plus too.

Otherwise, back under your bridge, troll.


-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
well forgive the hell out of me (2.50 / 4) (#84)
by streetlawyer on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:19:27 AM EST

Name calling is the last ditch retort of the man without an argument

Sorry, I thought I was "calling it like I saw it". And you responded by whining like a bitch and abusing the k5 moderation system. But when someone else objects to the same being done to them, it's all "Political Correctness"? Like hell. Whiner.

Oh yeh, and you might want to try that line about "name calling" on Socrates, Schopenhauer or Dr Johnson, none of whom seemed to be visibly short of an argument.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Well well well. (3.00 / 2) (#85)
by rabbit on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 04:37:45 AM EST

Very interesting. I had no idea that this was a little hobby of yours - your whole devil's advocate/unpopular viewpoint thingy, served with a side of acid.

See, I just read your diary info since I was rather wondering what the deal was. Good job. Keep up the bad work. Or something. Hope you had fun while it lasted since from now on, I'll probably just ignore you.

Have a nice day, sir.

--rabbit

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
Hang on (2.66 / 3) (#60)
by retinaburn on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 11:45:20 AM EST

The question is "why don't we call a spade a spade, a shovel a shovel, and a dumb motherfskcer a retard?"

So a retard is a dumb motherfsker and not someone who is physically/mentally disabled. The first two are precise definitions. Why not call a dumb motherfskr ignorant. That should be more accurate. PC is not lying. It is being polite enough not to hurt somebody's feelings.

No one is forcing you to change your ways. You may get fired but thats the price for you valuable individuality isn't it.


I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


[ Parent ]
you got me there (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by rabbit on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 05:45:40 PM EST

First: I can't get fired. I own the company. So, I guess I win there.

As for the dumbmothu/retard thing. You're right. It was an unsuccesful attempt at being witty.

As they say in the hood: my bad.

-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
[ Parent ]
Loss of Linguistic Richness (3.22 / 9) (#25)
by lucas on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 10:05:11 PM EST

In the early 90's people were renaming every sort of potentially inflammatory word possible. I remember getting into an angry debate over the changing of "A.D" to a very flat and doubleungood "C.E."

I felt that the changing of the word would obscure the meaning of how our system of time came to be and why the year is 2001, for instance. The substitute for "Anno Domini" (In the Year of Our Lord), C.E. (or "Current Era"), entirely destroys the background and richness of how the "years" came to be. B.C. (Before Christ) changes to "BCE", which is simply "Before the Current Era".

I envisioned what would happen in 200 years when only scholars knew why the "Current Era" was named so. The "explanation" of the name change would fall out of usage and teaching. We would lose a significant piece of richness in our language.

I wasn't Christian, so I didn't have a vested interest in this... but I knew it was not a good thing. It was a technique used by Ingsoc in 1984; purposely destroy the richness of the language to promote a political agenda. When you can control the people's language, you can control their minds and their history.

In this case it was people who were offended by the Christians and how they named the calendar after their best reasonable estimate of the birth of the Christos. Whether or not you believe that Christ was divine or even existed is completely irrelevant; there is no way to deny the historical truth that a standardized system of numbering years with 0 representing the birth of Christ was put into place and has been used since.

Don't get me started on (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by Holloway on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 10:07:45 PM EST

Female and male connectors... phwoar!


== Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

[ Parent ]
Religion isn't really at issue there... (4.80 / 5) (#33)
by elefantstn on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 11:02:00 PM EST

...semi-anal correctness by scholars is. The fact is that there is almost zero chance that Christ was born in 1 A.D., so it makes no sense to name a calendaring system after his 4th birthday. The use of C.E. (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) are not just PC jingoism, they are the standard used in scholarly works in all fields, from history, to linguistics, to classics, to anthropology. The system wasn't changed to avoid offending non-Christians, it was changed because it was inaccurate, and every serious scholar, including devout Christians, uses it. I wouldn't worry about the original reason for the dating being lost; it's been a millennium and a half since anyone dated things on the Roman consular calendar, but it's still known.

On a side note, I've always wondered why the monk who devised the A.D. system chose Christ's birth instead of his death. Besides being more accurately datable (both with modern scholarship and with medieval biblical analysis), it's generally considered more theologically significant than his birth. Then maybe all the schoolchildren who think A.D. standards for "After Death" would be right.



[ Parent ]
Not zero (none / 0) (#142)
by leonbrooks on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:28:27 AM EST

a standardized system of numbering years with 0 representing the birth of Christ was put into place and has been used since.

There is no year zero. This is both inconvenient for date arithmetic and a handy way to spot a dud (or default) date.

And - not that it really matters - they were a couple of years astray in figuring out the birthday, and then part of a day astray in figuring out how big a year was.
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

Hmmmm... tasty (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by _Quinn on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 10:47:33 PM EST

   linguistic mind control. Who needs Orbital Space Lasers?

-_Quinn
Reality Maintenance Group, Silver City Construction Co., Ltd.
Basically.. (3.00 / 1) (#34)
by harb on Mon Mar 26, 2001 at 11:11:07 PM EST

"It isn't what you say anymore, it's how you say it." -- Mr. Parker, The Way of the Gun.

harb.

bda.

This is no different than... (4.35 / 17) (#38)
by elenchos on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 02:45:41 AM EST

...a US Marine who has a fit if you call a rifle a gun, or a Sailor who shits his sailor suit if you think boat and ship are even remotely interchangable terms. They will literally die on the spot if you think a person who flies airplanes can be called a pilot. In the Air Force it is cockpit and flight deck that get their panties all in a knot. But it isn't just the military that arrogates themselves to prissy language police functions. Join the GOP and make the mistake of calling the Democrat Party the Democratic Party, then look out. And of course the picky damn Jesuits get all whiney about who is a Father and who is a Brother and a Sister and why you are a reprobate if you can't be bothered to care. And try telling a Southern Baptist that Baptism is a religion.

There is a lot of this crap that goes on. And actually it goes back really far-- as far as recorded history if you care to look. But you naturally don't expect some blowhard who explores the world he lives in by turning on the Limbaugh show and stretching back in the Lay-Z-Boy with a bag of pork rinds to know any of this. That kind of guy thinks this is some kind of new trend started by feminists and hippies and the rest of those freeloaders who never appreciated America to begin with.

The funniest one is when one of these brilliant social critics manages to get Linux to boot on his Packard Bell. The next thing you know he is whining like a little pink piglet each and every time anybody anywhere fails to appreciate the vitally important difference between an hacker and a cracker.

Cry me a river. I can't believe this submission isn't dead yet.

Adequacy.org

Reminds me of... (3.00 / 1) (#55)
by dorsai on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 09:29:44 AM EST

cracker vs. hacker (smiles, ducks, runs)

Dorsai the sigless


[ Parent ]
Here's another one (3.00 / 1) (#70)
by logiceight on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 03:44:08 PM EST

It's GNU/Linux not Linux


[ Parent ]
well (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by jeanlucpikachu on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 05:13:32 PM EST

your example is bad. Of course people are going to get upset with you, you're throwing words around and telling people that what they do isn't of any concern to you so you can look down on them and their extensive mastery of their craft by using whatever words you damn well please.

--
Peace,
Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu AIM: jeanlucpikachu
[ Parent ]
Well, exactly. It is annoying. (3.50 / 2) (#77)
by elenchos on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 05:48:56 PM EST

And what good is served by pissing people off over something as trivial as a word?

Which raises the question of why anyone feels so motivated to complain so much because they have been informed that a particular word is offensive and so please choose another word. What is it about the old usage of the word that anyone is so invested in that they can't make small change for the purpose of not antagonizing other people?

No one has to tell my what this Abooey guy's motive is. He is a boor and he lives for the sole purpose of irritating as many people as he can. The question is, do you want to be like him? And if so, at least admit it, instead of putting up some righteous-sounding but spurious argument about politically correct language police.

If nothing else, the whole "I'm a victim of the PC police" is sooooo 1993. It has been done. If you are here to piss in the pool, please, at least come up with something fresh. What next? Tenured professors? Ellen? Bill Clinton? Is this like some kind of trip back in time? Nostalgia for the days when somebody somewhere gave a shit about Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich? Why? Why?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Man, never realized how partisan you are (4.50 / 2) (#80)
by Sheepdot on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 12:32:53 AM EST

First off, your parent thread absolutely had nothing to do with what the guy wrote. He's talking about using words and then getting called on them because they aren't politically correct.

You're talking about using words to offend people as if it is something you are trying to do.

You're probably the kind of person that finds the term "niggardly" offensive. From that whole debacle I think it is safe to say that PC has gone overboard and it isn't self-righteousness that is going to solve the situation.

You keep mentioning Rush Limbaugh as if you have some sort of obession about him. Give the spiel up, not everyone on here who doesn't think as you is a conservative or even Republican.

[ Parent ]
Then what inspired this rant? (3.50 / 2) (#89)
by elenchos on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:31:56 AM EST

If he isn't sitting around watching ten year old videos of debates over the Contract With America, what is the inspiration for feeling like the world is after you because you didn't use the right word? Characterizing it as soley liberal complaints in favor of minorities is a distorition that is either ignorant or dishonest. That was the only point I set out to make in the beginning: that people of all kinds try to frame the issues by demanding that others use only the language they approve of.

The thing is, everybody else in the world long ago figured out that this is just not that difficult. Which is why this is a dead issue. Anybody with an abslolute minimum of basic human socialization can guess what not to say in order to get along peacably with others. The only time normal people get offensive like this is when they intend it. So I am only being charitable in assuming that it is deliberatly irritating. The alternative is that this is someone with a third grade education and the social skills to match.

So when you take this attitude, who do you want to be associated with, if not the great fat one? Davd Duke? Jesse Helms? Is there anybody respectable out there who needs to be told what to say so as not to piss off half the poulation?

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Like I said... (none / 0) (#140)
by Sheepdot on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 03:11:59 AM EST

..not everyone who disagrees with you is a conservative or Republican.

[ Parent ]
I beg to differ (4.75 / 4) (#90)
by Bob Abooey on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:12:29 PM EST

boor (boor)
n.

1) A person with rude, clumsy manners and little refinement.
2)A peasant.

How very ad hominem of you sir, indeed, you have certainly done your part to "raise the bar" as it were.

Perhaps you have trouble seeing the forest because all those pesky trees are blocking your view. My argument is about not slinging insults or name calling. I attempted to outline how our culture tends to take the approach that we should try to act proper and speak in socially agreed upon phrases as a means of solving complex problems. You propose this topic is pass however I feel it's more relevant than ever. It's the whole idea of being politically correct that I'm questioning here. Are we being taught that as long as we smile and act politely that the ills of society will heal themselves?

Meanwhile you, my good sir, have certainly not proven yourself to be among the worlds deep thinkers with your hollow response. Perhaps *you* are the troll, eh.


-------
Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
You raise the question of... (3.00 / 2) (#91)
by elenchos on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:26:48 PM EST

"Should we be considerate of the feelings of our fellow human beings?" How deep. How relavent. How productive.

Where did I say I was going to raise any bar? I called you a boor because you are, and if you take offense, good. At least I know when I'm being offensive.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Very well (2.00 / 1) (#92)
by Bob Abooey on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 01:37:23 PM EST

I humbly suggest you add reading comprehension to your list of skills in need of improvement.

Yours,
Bob


-------
Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
And conversely... (3.50 / 2) (#93)
by Mr. Excitement on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:11:10 PM EST

"And what good is served by pissing people off over something as trivial as a word?"

What good is served by being pissed off over something as trivial as a word?

1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]
[ Parent ]

Every kind of person does it, so... (3.00 / 2) (#94)
by elenchos on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 03:31:13 PM EST

...it is probably just part of human nature. There are occasions when it is unreasonable, but if you make half an effort to pay attention to the world around you, it is not very hard to avoid offending people by accident. And it is all the easier to offend people on purpose when that is your mission.

The thing is, if you don't know which words bother people, it probably means you are seriously clueless, whereas if you don't care, then you are being a dick, and so have no right to act surprised when you find everyone pissed off at you. This is nothing more than a nerd trying to say his lack of social skills are everyone else's problem. You can say that if you want, but it is a waste of time.

I'm really stating the obvious here, which is why this PC thing is an old and dead issue. If this nostalgic rehashing of the past keeps up I'm going to start believing Kurt Cobain is still alive and Dubya is still on coke.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

Right (3.00 / 3) (#101)
by Mr. Excitement on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:51:12 PM EST

So your argument can be summed up as, "Cater to the irrational, and your life will be easier."

That's still only tangential to my question: what good is served by holding such irrational attachments to certain words in the first place?

1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]
[ Parent ]

Well I don't know. (5.00 / 3) (#103)
by elenchos on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 11:30:54 PM EST

Just ask yourself why so many people are so obsessed with gettng the terminology "hacker" and "cracker" right (in their opinion). Why don't they have something better to do? Who knows? I think it is maybe an issue of respect of territory: "If you can't do this one little thing for me, then I reall must be dirt to you." Maybe a psychologist could give you a more professional-sounding answer; that is just my guess.

But if somebody asks me to say "rifle" instead of "gun" or if they would prefer if I didn't call computer criminals "hackers," I will try to cooperate in order to not antagonize them. Maybe I will slip sometimes, but if they are a reasonable person, they won't hold it against me, because they know I'm at least trying to be polite. I just don't see why I should try to argue about it without something else of compelling value at stake. If the word "retard" is out, I am not going to fight over it. I have other words to use. In fact my vocabulary grows all the time: I just added the term "bobabooey" to it, to replace the one I just recently lost. See how well things go?

And as far as this being some major trend or plague, this is just false. Debates over ephmeistic terminology go back to the dawn of civilization. For some bobabooey to act like it is new or important, or worth worrying about, is just bobabooeyish.

But that is only what works for me. If you find that using choice words that you have been told are irritating is winning you friends and influencing people, then by all means, keep it up. If the Star Trek fans you know like it when you call them "Trekkies," call them that, and tell them they are irrational when they ask to be called "Trekkers." I don't think your rational strategy will work, but then maybe I am mistaken. Do it your way if it has been working so well for you. Good luck.

Adequacy.org
[ Parent ]

New term for people who agree with this guy: (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by DavidTC on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:46:39 PM EST

F***ing morons.

What do you mean you don't like that term? Who cares! I get to decide what your name is! Mwhahahaha!

Seriously, I fail to see how it's irrational to dislike being called something derogatory. I think gay people probably fixed this the right way, though, and turned everything around. They call themself gay, queer, flames, and even sometimes fags. Ironically, the name I hear them called as an insult now is 'homo', with is arguably the most scientifically correct name, or at least short for name. ;)

Gay people got it right, and turned what other people were calling themselves as an insult into something they jokingly or now seriously call themselves.

Black people have also started calling themselves a very degratory name, but that doesn't really count, because they'd still get really pissed if someone else used it as an insult. And half the time it's just for shock value, at least in the music.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

No, no, no... (none / 0) (#150)
by Dr Fau5tus on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 08:22:24 AM EST

It's whinging fucking morons. tut. :-)

"Gay people got it right, and turned what other people were calling themselves as an insult into something they jokingly or now seriously call themselves."

Agreed. Most of my gay friends prefer 'queer' to 'gay' and it's great that they've taken the word back, though I do remember having to point out to a (lesbian) friend that the word 'gay' is never ever going to mean 'happy' ever again and objecting to it on the grounds that it's bad english is a lost battle.

Anyhoo...

It wasn't, though, until you made the comparison with the apparant fondness of many black people for the *ahem* 'n-word', in music especially, that it occurred to me that the reappropriation of offensive language tends to be seen as having been a more successful project for gay people than black people. The use of 'nigger' is still deeply problematic for many, many, many black people, in the UK at any rate, and the practice is often defined as "internalised racism" (whatever the fuck that means) or as some kind of psychic fallout from centuries of racism. Why this differentiation is made? *shrugs*

Dr Fau5tus

P.S. I have ten English pennies that says they start referring to themselves as 'fucking morons' before this thread dies in an attempt to defuse the insult.
_________________________________________________ I'm not censoring you, I'm censuring you. Stop complaining.
[ Parent ]

Words. (4.00 / 1) (#158)
by Mr. Excitement on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 09:53:27 PM EST

"Seriously, I fail to see how it's irrational to dislike being called something derogatory."

My qualm was not against being offended by a vicious sentiment, but rather against taking offense at the mere words themselves.

Changing the words won't solve the problem; one can easily put just as much venom in the intentionally ironic phrasing of the latst PC euphemisms, (e.g. Schoolyard kids can now say, "We don't play with Johnny; he's special.")

By clinging to individual words instead of trying to tackle the underlying sentiment, you provide ample opportunity for your new, improved, sanitized terms to become new vehicles for expressing blind hatred.

1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]
[ Parent ]

re: Southern Baptists (none / 0) (#136)
by DavidTC on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 11:32:37 PM EST

I really don't see why any Baptists would have an issue with you calling 'Baptism' a religion. It's rather obviously an action, the act of getting someone wet to 'cleanse' them of sin, not a religion, but I've never heard Southern Baptist even remotely complain about it. Of course, I've never heard anyone refer to 'Southern Baptisms', either, and it sounds rather nonsensical. I think you just made that example up. ;)

Actually, other Christian denominations that baptise people might have more issue with the idea that by baptising people, they are baptists, then any baptist would. ;)

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Humpty Dumpty (4.33 / 9) (#39)
by driptray on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 02:48:42 AM EST

Humpty Dumpty said in Alice in Wonderland:

When I say a word it means exactly what I say it means. Nothing more and nothing less.

Now as for the term "political correctness", I've always associated it with conservatives who use it against those trying to effect social change.

If "retard" has attracted a bunch of negative connotations, and is associated with an unecessarily negative view of, er, retards, then there are two things that can be attempted.

One is to find a new word that will hopefully lead people to cast aside the negative views associated with the old word. In the short term this is partly successful, while also creating a fair bit of antagonism amongst those who don't like change. In the long term most of the negative attitudes associated with the old term migrate to the new term.

The second (and I think better) option is to attempt to reclaim the offending word and change its meaning. Maybe the best example is "black", which I understand to once have been somewhat derogatory, but was reclaimed by blacks with phrases like "black power" and "black pride".

But as you like throwing around insults like "simpletons", I'll tell you that quoting a dictionary to try to prove what a word means is really dumb. Haven't you read Humpty Dumpty? Dictionaries can't hope to capture all the meanings inherent in the way a word is used. And words can hurt just as much as sticks and stones, faggot.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
The word didn't cause the connotation..... (5.00 / 1) (#132)
by nads on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 04:21:11 AM EST

The word 'retarted' did not cause the connotation of the word to be negative. There is nothing particular about the arrangement of letters that indicates a negative connotation. The negative connotation arises from teh fact that society views retards negatively. The mentally slow have never been valued and changing the terms will not change anything. "Mentally Challenged" imo carries the exact same connotation. Hell, now a days no one says someone is fat or a retard, they say he is mentally or horizontally challenged. Its not just commedians who joke on the <condition> challenged lingual game. Kids use it too. If anything, its even more amusing then just calling someone retarted. There is a great sense of irony in it. They key point is that the freaking word didn't cause the damn connotation, but the idea the word encapsulates causes the connotation of the word to be negative. It doesn't matter what you change the word to. The idea will remain the same. As long as the idea is somethign society doesnt like (mentally, horizontally, physically, emotionally, whateverly challenged) it will carry a negative connotation. NO one wants to be called <anything> challenged.

[ Parent ]
Connotations (4.00 / 1) (#139)
by driptray on Sun Apr 01, 2001 at 08:46:06 PM EST

The word 'retarted' did not cause the connotation of the word to be negative. There is nothing particular about the arrangement of letters that indicates a negative connotation. The negative connotation arises from teh fact that society views retards negatively.

Mostly true, but "society" is not monolithic. There may be many people who do not view retards negatively, and are therefore reluctant to use a negatively loaded word such as "retard". They thus invent a new term, free (for the moment) of negative connotations. By avoiding the negatively loaded word they avoid reinforcing the negative attitudes about retards, and thus help to provide space for people to think about retards without the negative connotations.

I think this is perfectly understandable, and apart from the fact that its effectiveness diminishes over time, and that some can be a little dogmatic about trying to enforce usage, I can't see why people get so upset about it.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]
Offending others... (4.00 / 2) (#50)
by ignatiusst on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 08:39:13 AM EST

but in my mind retard is not a dirty word. It's short for retarded which means "to cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede" which is hardly offensive.
In my mind, "dirty-son-of-a-bitch" is not offensive, nor should it be taken as such. I am simply saying <that person> is not the type of person I find acceptable, which is hardly offensive...

hehehehe.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift

Conversation and Offense (4.00 / 1) (#99)
by raelin on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 08:05:24 PM EST

With a conversation, you have to take the connotation implied in the statement, not the one taken in reciept. By that I mean, whether or not you take offense should be based on why I say it, not what you take offense at. If you were having a conversation with me, and I decided that all usage of prepositions were offensive, and directly insulting, it would make the conversation difficult at best. By using prepositions, you're not intending to be offensive, so I shouldn't take offense. By calling someone a dirty-son-of-a-bitch, if you use it offensively, then it should be taken as such, but, if you use it either in jest, envy, or in some other way without trying to be offensive, I shouldn't take offense, since you weren't meaning it.

This is just a part of conversation.

--Wes

[ Parent ]
Atlantic Monthly Article (4.00 / 2) (#51)
by sjwillis on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 08:45:01 AM EST

For a slightly different take see: this

Princeton ?????? (2.33 / 3) (#57)
by Bob Abooey on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 10:13:38 AM EST

Uh... the guy goes to *Princeton* to see how the "future elite" is behaving these days????? Pffftt... Send him to UCLA or have him hang out in downtown NYC and watch the *real* youths to see how they behave... besides, what do you expect these kids to tell this guy... these kids are thinking about their futures, they're not going to tell him they are all strung out from staying up all night doing bong hits and trying to get laid..

That just kills me... the (exact quote) "future elite"... sigh...


-------
Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the link (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by Kellnerin on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 01:05:34 PM EST

Good article, if a bit long and only tangentially related to this story -- though arguably a more interesting topic. As for a good rant against the worst of political correctness, see here. To me, this is obviously not a black-or-white issue (no pun intended) but one where the extremes are the problem and a sane approach would be one that shows respect for people without resulting in overly silly turns of phrase.
Somebody go tell Kellnerin it's time for her to change her sig. -johnny
[ Parent ]
Words (3.40 / 5) (#54)
by retinaburn on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 09:21:21 AM EST

When 'retard' was first used to people with disabilities it was simply meant to describe with no negative connotation attached. As time progressed it began to be used in a negative connotation. People were offended by the use of this word when used in a negative manner, so they asked those that cared to use a different term 'mentally challenged', etc.

People who care about not hurting others will try to use this more positive term. Its a sign of respect. Most people will not call their parents "mother-fucking-assholes" because they respect them even in anger. If you don't care and continue to use the term with the negative connotation then so be it. People may look at you differently and believe you to be ignorant. But if you care so little about the feelings of others than surely this should not stop your behaviour.

Change is inevitable, why are you resisting it.

I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


Negative Connotations (3.00 / 1) (#98)
by raelin on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 07:24:25 PM EST

The problem with this line of thought is that eventually people start using the new term with negative connotations. Any time you single something out as different, people who hate/fear/disrespect that thing will use the euphemism in a bad way. Thus, as time progresses, all words you use to describe it become bad. Words themselves shouldn't be offensive, but negative connotations should.

--Wes

[ Parent ]
retarted -> handicapped -> challenged -> (1.00 / 1) (#109)
by provolt on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 03:51:58 PM EST

When 'retard' was first used to people with disabilities it was simply meant to describe with no negative connotation attached. As time progressed it began to be used in a negative connotation. People were offended by the use of this word when used in a negative manner, so they asked those that cared to use a different term 'mentally challenged', etc.

When I was in grade school it was already past the time when "retard" was an acceptable word, so we were told to say "handicapped" because that was the correct way to say it without being offensive to the handicapped. By the time I reached high school everyone had figured out that "handicapped" really meant "retarted". So then we were told we were bad to say "handicapped" so we should say "mentally challenged." Everyone has pretty much figured out now that mentally challenged really just means retarted, so in the next couple years I would guess we'll get a new buzzword.

[ Parent ]

Good then (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by Betcour on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:39:19 AM EST

Then maybe they can phase out "African-American" (16 letters), because obviously it's a long and painfull word to write when all you mean is "black" (5 letters). As a French-European, I find it quite odd too that "black" is taboo but "white" is perfectly fine to say. Replacing "black" with "African-American" is just acknowledging that being black is somewhat a shamefull disease of some sort, and that by saying that someone is black, you hurt his/her feelings. I think there's no shame to have a black skin and therefor should be no need to call it any differently than the natural word used to describe it.

[ Parent ]
Hate crimes (3.60 / 5) (#59)
by /dev/niall on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 10:43:58 AM EST

We have separate crimes which are labeled "hate crimes" where the perpetrator is punished differently than other criminals. Since when has any criminal act been friendly? If someone murders your family member because of the color of their skin how is that person any worse than someone who murders your family member for $100?

The idea is that if someone wipes out your family because they hate you, it's a crime against you and your family. If someone wipes out your family because you all have purple skin, it's a crime against all people with purple skin.

I understand the concept, sometimes I'm not sure I agree entirely. Then I remember people like James Byrd Jr and I agree.

Just because a crime is commited against a black/white/asian/purple person doesn't automatically make it a hate crime. It has to be proven that the offender was commiting a crime against the person because of what they are, not who they are.

Personally, I'd be a little more upset at the millions of people sent to prison with these same murderers and torturers just because they like to smoke pot.
--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot

James Byrd Jr. (4.75 / 4) (#78)
by raelin on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 06:42:56 PM EST

Texas didn't have hate crime laws. James Byrd's killers got punished without them. To change what they did from killing James Byrd, to killing a black man is a bad thing for either side. (them or the people seeking justice.) Punishing people for what they think is a dangerous road to go down. Punish people for what they do.

Hate crime laws won't stop the crime from happening, so why invent another crime?

I guess I just see it as the law needing refactoring, or some such.

--Wes

[ Parent ]
Hate crimes (none / 0) (#104)
by gbd on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:19:45 AM EST

Let's say that I go to a shopping mall with a can of spray paint and spray-paint my initials on the wall. I am defacing private property.

Let's say that some far-right white supremacist goes to the home of a Jewish family and spray-paints a Swastika on their front porch. He is defacing private property.

Yet we are (apparently) meant to believe that these crimes are identical.

I don't claim that hate crime laws are perfect, but clearly they are required. You don't have to murder somebody to commit a hate crime.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

How many crimes were committed? (3.00 / 1) (#107)
by raelin on Thu Mar 29, 2001 at 12:43:11 PM EST

Two or one? I'm saying one crime was committed. At the trial, and during the deliberations, the judge and jury should definitely take into account the fact that It's a Swastika, and meant for hate reasons, but that doesn't need a new crime.

It's just one crime that was committed. Trying him for multiple crimes would be double jeopardy, or something similar in my mind.

Now if you're saying something like Manslaughter vs Murder, I guess I am still unsure on that... I'm not sure how to handle the swastika, or say, a cross burning, but to me turning it from an attack on the Jewish family, to an attack on Judaism is just what the supremacist wants. There's something about that that strikes me as wrong.

--Wes

[ Parent ]
Curious to know your collective thoughts on this. (none / 0) (#164)
by videum on Tue Apr 10, 2001 at 10:05:04 AM EST

I don't have details concerning the exact nature of the dispute, but it goes something like this.

( and to humor the intent of this article, I will drop some Euphemisms. )

White Developer ( as in construction ) owes money to Black Contractor for work done.

Black contractor files suit to reclaim money. Somewhere, if I remember correctly, between 1 and 1.5 million dollars.

White Contractor allegedly places a hangman's noose inside the trailer ( HQ ) of the Black owned contracting firm.

Yes. A hangman's noose. I hope I don't have to explain the significance of such imagery to those of us living here in the United States.

Is this simply a normal everyday threat of bodily harm? This, of course, is similar to placing a cross on someone's lawn and setting it on fire, which the Supreme Court has already declared to be A Very Bad Thing.

Are they right? What does one do about this sort of thing?



[ Parent ]
Manslaughter vs Murder (none / 0) (#167)
by exotherm on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 10:06:48 AM EST

Now if you're saying something like Manslaughter vs Murder, I guess I am still unsure on that...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always assumed that murder was premeditated whereas manslaughter wasn't. In the case of a "hate crime", the assailant already has a preconceived notion of what kind of person the victim was (based on stereotypes, hate, etc.). In this case, one could argue the assailant knew the victim and plotted the attack beforehand based on assumptions about sed victim. Whether actually knowing the victim is relevent or not I don't know, but IIRC, there were some cases where some acquaintance between assailant and victim effectively ruled that manslaughter isn't possible, thus the cases were tried as murders. 'Course, I don't know if race-based murders carry the same sentence as first-degree murder (premeditated, whereas second is manslaughter), so I suppose there is some discrepency between having hate crimes legislation and trying "hate crimes" using existing laws. I'm not even going to bring up the issue of police enforcement regarding race-based crimes.
Those who can are driven mad by those who can't.
[ Parent ]

Hmm? (none / 0) (#115)
by fvw on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 04:23:28 AM EST

According to that logic, killing someone for $100 is a crime against all people with money, since it would make them feel insecure/threatened, just as killing a black man would make other blacks in the neighbourhood feel threatened... Only difference is that the threat in case of a discrimination-based murder is usually against a smaller collection of people (in africa people wouldn't feel more intimidated by a killing of a white man than a black.. After all, their chances of getting killed are as small as in a non-discrimination-based crime), while there are a lot of people with money.

Hmm, seem to have started rambling a bit. Hope I've made my opinion clear a bit...

[ Parent ]
Words shape thoughts (4.00 / 3) (#62)
by kostya on Tue Mar 27, 2001 at 12:54:36 PM EST

The whole goal of political correctness is to change the way we view other people. This goal is partially accomplished by changing the language of the dialogue.

Now perhaps it has turned into the latest version of McCarthyism (Communism witch hunts were caused by one McCarthy in the US during the cold war, thus the term), but the original goal works. I disagree with you. Words do impact thought. Some words, due to the way they are said can carry connotations--negative, hateful, mocking, whatever. By changing the words, we impact some of the problem--we keep reinforcing the idea that these differences are not inherintly negative.

As for the term retard, please, admit that it is negative. Retarded migth perhaps be neutral, but the slang is that--slang. And most slang words tend to draw on negative connotations.

It should be noted that the words are only a part of the problem--we can make anything sound hurtful. But changing the way we speak is a good first step. Perhaps the naive assumption of political correctness is that the words alone will change everything.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
i would like to think of it as.. (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by dr3 on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 02:18:19 AM EST

thoughts shaping words.

since there has to be a coreelational value in thought assigned to a verbal sound. In order for language to function correctly. well that is my look on things. it is all a very subjective matter thought. Depends on your perceptions i suppose.


As Confused as a toddler in a topless bar.
[ Parent ]
It's kind of both (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by kostya on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 10:21:22 AM EST

Words come about in response to thoughts. But since words represent thoughts, they also shape how we think, perceive and describe things.

At the risk of tying the good parts of political correctness and speech with something sinister, I think this was best expressed in 1984. The government sought to control the populace and what it thought. One division did this by revising the dictionary. They slowly phased out words about freedom and dissension, leaving the populace ill-equiped to express itself outside the state's definition of proper thought.

So, thoughts are the impetus/source of words, but words are inherintly thought (i.e. they represent concepts). By changing the words we use, we affect the underlying thoughts.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
language can't limit thoughts... (none / 0) (#131)
by nads on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 04:11:59 AM EST

Language can not limit thoughts. Thus Big Brother's idea of eliminatign words woudl not have eliminated the ideas the words encapsulated. The hypothesis that language controls our ideas was postulated by several linguists a few decades ago, and it was proven to be incorrect. (don't havel ink, but check google). You don't have to change words to change ideas. I'm only 20, whenever I've seen the word man in the context of mankind or any man in general, I've always assumed this meant any individual male or female. I've grown up with the idea that men and women are equal. The fact that the word 'man' is used doesn't make me think men are supperiro or the ideas only apply to men. Stupid lingual games like these just seem to irritate people more than help.

[ Parent ]
you refer to... (4.00 / 1) (#135)
by goosedaemon on Sat Mar 31, 2001 at 09:56:46 AM EST

you're referring to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Poke around on google.

[ Parent ]
Newspeak (none / 0) (#141)
by leonbrooks on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 08:19:45 AM EST

The whole goal of political correctness is to change the way we view other people. This goal is partially accomplished by changing the language of the dialogue.

This is the goal of more than just political correctness. As in Orwell's 1984 and again in Animal Farm, most of those participating are at some level well aware of the charade - and are often willing to abuse the charade by selectively respecting it. Favourite quote: ``Some animals are more equal than others''.

This essentially pointless abuse of language is often used to politely do nasty things to people. Instead of being taught to ``pay no attention your parents'' children are sometimes taught to ``respect your parents' words'' which may sound quite different and noble but as-implemented means ``politely look interested when your parents speak, then dump what you hear''.

I'd rather call a spade a spade. I'm dealing with some Latter Day Saints at the moment, and you can just hear the Capital Letters on some of the words that they use; the Capital Letters mean that this word sounds like plain english, but really means something quite different. Communication becames extremely difficult and frustrating, even with this sub-verbal cue.

Another big political correctness lie is ``empowerment'' which often in reality means either placing someone amidst stricter boundaries (e.g. limiting the help that a bank teller can provide to a customer by ``better defining'' their responsibilities) and/or interfering more with what they do (the non-PC word for this is ``do-gooder'').

Sorry, not interested.
-- If at first you don't succeed, try a shorter bungee
[ Parent ]

their own grave (3.50 / 2) (#86)
by axxeman on Wed Mar 28, 2001 at 09:53:06 AM EST

Euphemisms used in a non-satirical way tend to indicate that the speaker may be communicationally challenged.

Being or not being married isn't going to stop bestiality or incest. --- FlightTest

Why it is right to say "Man", not " (4.50 / 2) (#112)
by Jacques Chester on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 12:15:08 AM EST

"Man", in its original sense, actually means "human" or "person" as we take those words today. As a word it is meant to be gender-neutral.

As it turns out, the sexist word woman, wo-man, or "wife-man". This is akin to saying "female human".

For more, read about it in Jacques Barzun's "From Dawn to Decadence", and look up his various "Digression on a Word" entries.

--
Well now. We seem to be temporarily out of sigs here at the sig factory. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

kinda like... (3.60 / 5) (#116)
by tralfamadore on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 07:15:34 AM EST

PC term: Troll non-PC term: Fuckhead

Bigotry is still wrong (4.25 / 8) (#122)
by keyeto on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 08:45:54 AM EST

Political correctness is a position entrily lacking support. Nobody ever describes themselves as politically correct. There are only two occasions when the term gets used. The first is as an intorduction to a piece of downright bigotry. You will be familiar with the expression "This may not be politically correct, but ...". The second is when an aging bigot denounces the term, saying that the expressiveness of the English language is be reduced by politically correct efforts.

Since the term is only ever used in order to deny its desiribility, how come people get so worked up over it? It's because people do understand that bigotry is wrong, and they don't like to be reminded of just how much bigotry is treated as the norm in our present society.


--
"This is the Space Age, and we are Here To Go"
William S. Burroughs
Also (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by zek93 on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:26:55 PM EST

The term is also used when some zealot claims that there is bigotry when there is actually none.

[ Parent ]
True, but... (none / 0) (#148)
by keyeto on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 01:26:07 PM EST

... it is extremely rare for there to be zeolot and no bigot. In very few cases there is both a zeolot and a bigot. In the vast majority of cases, there is no zealot, but there is a bigot.

Zeolotry is always questionable, but not always totally wrong. Bigotry is never questionable, it is always totally wrong. Given the frequencies of the uses of the term, and the positions they represent, I'd still say that for all practical purposes, political correctness is a only a tool used by whining bigots, and not a position that anybody actively supports.


--
"This is the Space Age, and we are Here To Go"
William S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]
Bigotry (none / 0) (#151)
by theboz on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 10:17:46 AM EST

I disagree with what I think you are saying. The first example given wasn't exactly bigotry. The word "retarded" became an insult, but originally was not. The problem is not the word itself but that the people using it in a bad way mean to use it negatively. These people use the word to focus on the bad aspects of being retarded, making it a condition that is mocked and not understood by them.

Another example is the term negro. If you referred to a person as a negro in the U.S. now, they would not be too happy with you. However, it once was acceptable, and simply means "black" in languages like Spanish. Actually, that is a very good example. You can see with the name of a certain group of people have been called negros, colored, black, african-american, and each name is abandoned as it is deemed socially unacceptable. I'm quite amused by the term african american, since it should only apply to people that came to this continent from the continent of Africa, not someone that has already been living here their whole life.

Anyways, the point is that bigotry is bad, and it corrupts words to have negative meanings. What the politically correct movement does is put a blanket over this. They change the words but not the negative feelings and ignorance underneath. Bigotry is still strong and the PC movement does nothing to help solve anything, it is just overbearing and trying to neuter our freedom of expression.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

what's important: action! (4.00 / 3) (#123)
by hany on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 09:38:21 AM EST

We need to educate our children and we need to show our children with actions, not just with words.

That's very important statement in article.

Now a lot of people are teaching kids to have a nice "interface" but do nasty and cruel things - how else we can interpret situations like this:

Adult is walking with kid. They meet another adult - say neighbour. Adults greets each other, smile at each other, exchange some nice words. Kid is adviced to do the same. And right after departure adult with kid say something like "Stupid bastard that neighbour!" and if neighbour is not observing, adult kicks his car and broke his window. All of that because adults have problems beween them, they are unable to solve them inteligently and because they are those "politicaly correct simpletons".

This kid will learn that "saying nice words and do whatever (even bad) things while not observed is enought to be good".

That's evil!!!

So I agree with you, Bob, that we need to act - act nicely so our children will understant that talking is not enought!


hany


PC in sports (3.33 / 3) (#128)
by Frigido on Fri Mar 30, 2001 at 02:28:15 PM EST

Since PC is being forced down our throats in everyday speech, why should sports go with out a little hint of PC. I think we should rename the sports teams that have offensive names. Here's my list:

Cleveland Indians --> Cleveland "People who were here first"
Atlatna Braves --> Atlanta "Warriors of the people who were here first."
Kansas City Chiefs --> Kansas City "Leaders of the people who where here first"

For the sports teams with animal mascots, we could use thier sceintific names...so as not to offend the animals...or better yet, why don't we ask the animals what they want to be called, that we as a PC society can refrain from offending anyone or thing...since that is possible



"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
-Albert Einstein

Send the PC debate to Miss Manners (4.00 / 1) (#155)
by jolly st nick on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 03:29:38 PM EST

I don't have a problem with aborigines of this continent being called the Indians; in fact, I agree with George Carlin on this one: it's much better to be called an Indian than to be labelled with some European explorer's name. And I don't have a problem with the Cleveland Indians being called the "Indians".

But then there's Chief Wahoo and the nonsense that goes along with him.

These PC debates always seem to boil down to two sides, neither one of which I have much desire to be part of. On one side we have the arrant do-gooders who want to establish a fundamental human right never to be offended, real consequences be damned. On the other side we have thick skulled oafs who act like idiots and think they're being clever. It's your choice of narcissim.

We don't need commisions to stop people from picking their noses in public. Its not illegal, morally bad or even particularly unhealthy, but most people manage to figure out that the rest of us don't want to watch them doing it. Racial caricatures and slurs are in my opinon bad things because they do inevitably color the way we think about people. However they are gradually disappearing due to the fact people don't want to appear mentally defective by using them. This is a natural process as we learn to live together as equals.

Turning every instance of good natured teasing into harassment, and pedantically trying to reconstruct common usages are overreactions and counter productive. The backlash they create inhibits the natural wish to be seen as a reasonable, if not sophisticated person.



[ Parent ]

PC not the way to change... (3.00 / 1) (#160)
by Frigido on Wed Apr 04, 2001 at 10:18:06 AM EST

It was polemical...intentionally inflammatory. I honestly don't think that we should call Indians "the People who were here first." I was only attempting to show the stupidity of extreme PC.

I agree that stereotypes do color people's thinking, but I don't think we need a commission to regulate PC and i certainly don't think institutions should force PC on people (not saying u said this). Let the people who go around using racial slanders appear to be uneducated idiots (which they are) and maybe they'll stop. Unlikely, just because of the way human nature is, but its an admirable goal to achieve. But I don't think PC is the way to achieve it. The hearts of people is where changes are made...not their vocabulary.



"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
-Albert Einstein
[ Parent ]

My point: it's cool to be rude. (2.00 / 1) (#161)
by jolly st nick on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:05:05 PM EST

Of course extreme PC is stupid. Extreme anything is bound to be stupid.

I think moderate PC is a sensible thing -- it's basically good manners. You consider the effect of any action, including speech, on people who hear it and particularly how it reflects on you. If you were a top executive at HP, you wouldn't hang up a Playboy centerfold in your office, simply because your boss, Carly Fiorina, might think you haven't worked through your adolescence. What you display at home is your own business.

In any kind of position that is supported by a number of people there are profesional self-promoters who find it attractive to be the most hard core in the group. Pick any position patriotism, conservatism, environmentalism, christianity. The most radical people are really pursuing their own narcissism more than anything else: extremism in the defence of liberty is indeed a vice -- when it undermines liberty. The people who are strident in support of PC are the ironic subersive elements in the egalitarian movement. What the PC police have done is sieze on two self evident propositions you have made -- that stereotypes color our thinking and that our thinking has to be changed, and connected them a simple (read superficial) way to demonstrate their zeal.

The witchhunt mentality that results produces an equal and opposite backlash. In the PC debate, this takes the form of a kind of anti-PC chic. In other words, the PC police have made it cool to be rude. The logic of this is addle-pated: if what my opponents value is stupid, then it's diametric opposite must be clever.

Reasonable people can shade to either or sides of the argument but if you throw enough heat people who are to one side or the other tend to get pulled to the poles.



[ Parent ]

I can't believe (1.66 / 6) (#146)
by Spendocrat on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 10:14:18 AM EST

This shit gets voted up. 3 days every even.

I can't believe (1.57 / 7) (#147)
by Spendocrat on Mon Apr 02, 2001 at 10:14:40 AM EST

This shit gets voted up. 3 days early even.

Zero? (1.00 / 1) (#153)
by Spendocrat on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:43:07 PM EST

Modding that comment to hidden is BS. In my ever-so-humble opinion the story is a piece of shit. Furthermore, I can't believe it got voted up.

[ Parent ]
Mod comment (3.00 / 1) (#154)
by Signal 11 on Tue Apr 03, 2001 at 12:52:59 PM EST

I agree it's not worth a zero; I gave you a "2" to offset it. Try to post something more contributory next time...


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]
Blah... (none / 0) (#165)
by NovaHeat on Wed Apr 11, 2001 at 01:52:55 PM EST

I hate political correctness. Here where I work, i had to make some signs for certain computers, which identified them as giving priority to disabled people in wheelchairs, etc. (i.e. they're easier to get to, on lower tables, etc.) So... my original signs said "Handicapped people have priority usage of this computer" However, my boss thought that was too 'poltically incorrect' and I had to change 'handicapped' to 'physically challenged.' What on EARTH is the difference?! Handicapped is a pretty neutral adjective, in my opinion. It states a condition... it's not as if I used the term "gimp" or "crip." It's just ridiculous.

I remember a few years ago, "Native Americans" (Indians? whatever) wanted "Native Americans" changed to "First Nation" Give me a break. "African American" is another stupid misnomer, as most "African Americans" have never been to, and will never go to Africa. If someone called me a "European American" or a "Second Nation"(now that'd be funny), I'd laugh in their face.

People are just too sensitive these days, and I think alot of the time it's on purpose... I'm all for treating people with respect and not being blatantly offensive, but sometimes enough is enough. We don't need more senseless hoops to jump through.

-----

Rose clouds of flies.

Respect to others. (none / 0) (#166)
by Tezcatlipoca on Thu Apr 12, 2001 at 09:38:35 AM EST

"Political correctness" ( a term that as far as I know has thankfuly not spread to other languages but English) is the term that some people with some hangovers use to refer to a series of attitudes that take into account how others different to us feel about something. If the term handicapped is not used anymore is because people with disabilities found it themselves degrading, it is not up to you to decide if a term is "neutral" as you call it or not, but up to the people that will have to live with it for the rest of their lifes and that have the right to be referred to with terms that they find appropriate. You yourself used the word disabled, that according to disabled people themselves best describes them. The same goes for all other kind of terms like retard, which clearly was used in a derogatory manner, and you will never understand it until somebody refers to somebody in your family with such a term. The least one can do with respect to people that wish to be addressed with a particular name is to respect their whishes, unless it is something that implies hate or insult against others. If you don't like it fine, but you will never understand how important it is for an African-American to never been called "nigger" anymore without shame on the person that uses such utterance. You will never understand situations like this because most probably you have never been in the receiving end as an individual, and most importantly as the member of a community. Although I find your boss'es term a little bit over the top (disabled I think would have been enough) he had the right attitude: trying to be sensitive to the needs of others, and he should be commended for it. I wish you are never in a minority that has to endure incomporehension and derogatory terms, then you will know why what you call "political correctness" is important and necessary. BTW, European-American will clearly be a good description of Americans of European descent, and being of the 2nd nation of what now forms the US will be a gracious acceptance that there were some people living there before, but since neither term is deemed necesary by White Americans I will still refer to them as White Americans as long as they wish that to be the case.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]
A society of Polically Correct Simpletons | 167 comments (151 topical, 16 editorial, 0 hidden)
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