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Opinion: “P.C.”

March 1, 2013

As08-16-2593

With such a vast population, who or what determines what is politically correct or not?

In some ways more foreboding than an actual disease, political correctness is quite possibly the bane of my existence. So many times, I’ve been mid sentence before proceeding to stop abruptly and verbally flail around a bit, attempting to recover from the realization that the contents of what I was planning to say would likely be misconstrued. Recently, I’ve been giving the concept more consideration. This may be in part related to my watching the rather candid speech neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson delivered a couple weeks ago.

Most people would claim P.C. exists primarily in the media. I, however, disagree. The latter of which is actually a risky thing to do nowadays because an innocent opinion can be manipulated into malicious intent or oppression. P.C. violators risk being labeled ‘insensitive’ or ‘ignorant.’ Careers have been tainted, and in some cases ruined, due to the offender’s words being twisted in the name of P.C.

Like cancerous growths, P.C. epidemics begin benignly. But as is the case with such afflictions, they have the possibility of becoming fatal. ‘Political correctness’ may have taken on a pejorative connotation, but only since it’s managed to subtly integrate itself into our society. Most disturbing may be the passive way in which people have accepted it.

P.C. can stifle individual expression through speech. After a while it impedes the incentive to even think of certain phrases, gradually turning us into a more severe group of mindless conformists than we already are. There’s no point in wasting breath on a bunch of flowery technicalities which result in a watered down version of the English language, not to mention all the confrontation that stems from individuals purposely flouting P.C. Over time, P.C.-approved terms tend to become derogatory anyway. This just leads to a euphemism treadmill.

The bottom line is that people react differently. Some are extraordinarily thick-skinned, while others are bound to be offended by anything. You just can’t please everyone, and trying to is foolish.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Opinion: “P.C.””

  1. Mark on March 15th, 2013 8:05 am

    A lack of “political correctness” usually indicates a naivety towards basic social sensitivities, propagated by the sheltered and the ignorant. It’s absurd to claim that basic moderation of society’s speech will lead to some sort of Orwellian euphemism-filled language. Of course, political correctness can go too far (the term ‘African-American’, for example, is often misappropriated) but I doubt that’s what the author of this article meant.

    [Reply]

  2. Mark on March 15th, 2013 8:05 am

    A lack of “political correctness” usually indicates a naivety towards basic social sensitivities, propagated by the sheltered and the ignorant. It’s absurd to claim that basic moderation of society’s speech will lead to some sort of Orwellian euphemism-filled language. Of course, political correctness can go too far (the term ‘African-American’, for example, is often misappropriated) but I doubt that’s what the author of this article meant.

    [Reply]

  3. Some Jewish Guy on March 15th, 2013 8:19 am

    Don’t get me wrong, there is a point where political correctness can get a touch excessive, but those points are few and rare. The simple rule to go by is: If a term offends somebody, don’t use it. We try to be politically correct to accommodate for all peoples. It’s kind of hard to make the slippery slope argument of PC now, no free speech later, because we have made strides in cultural awareness since the 1960′s, yet there have been no greater restrictions on free speech. The Westboro Baptist Church is a great example of people choosing not to be PC, yet their free speech is not outlawed.

    [Reply]

  4. Some Jewish Guy on March 15th, 2013 8:19 am

    Don’t get me wrong, there is a point where political correctness can get a touch excessive, but those points are few and rare. The simple rule to go by is: If a term offends somebody, don’t use it. We try to be politically correct to accommodate for all peoples. It’s kind of hard to make the slippery slope argument of PC now, no free speech later, because we have made strides in cultural awareness since the 1960′s, yet there have been no greater restrictions on free speech. The Westboro Baptist Church is a great example of people choosing not to be PC, yet their free speech is not outlawed.

    [Reply]

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