Today, it is almost impossible to go through the day without hearing the term âPolitically Correctâ at least a dozen times. It is a phrase weâve taken for granted and it is a phrase that in itself is Politically Incorrectâ.
The Websterâs Dictionary defines âPolitically Correctâ as: a term used to describe language, ideas, policies, or behavior seen as seeking to minimize offence to groups of people. So basically youâre insulting them butâŠ.doing it nicely.
Today âPolitically Correctâ has become the watch word in the present administrations vocabulary. According to a memo sent to senior Pentagon staff, âthis administration prefers to avoid using the term Long War or Global War on Terror (Gwot) … please pass this on to your speechwriters”. Instead it is now called “overseas contingency operations”. I wonder who thought that one up.
âIslamic Extremistâ is now a âViolent Extremistâ. Guess we wouldnât want to upset the Islamic Extremists would we.
Individual acts of terrorism will now be referred to as âMan-caused disastersâ. Like a forest fire or an oil spill. Gotcha.
But this goes way past the White House and has entrenched itself deep in the fabric of our society. With the utmost respect to George Carlin, here are seven words that are no longer âPolitically Correctâ
âMerry Christmasâ has been replaced with âHappy Holidaysâ
âChristmas Treeâ is out âHoliday Treeâ in
Close the book on âNursery Rhymesâ itâs now âChildrenâs Storiesâ. Has anyone told Mother Goose?
Hereâs a good one: âFoundersâ instead of âFounding Fathersâ. I guess they thought it was sexist.
âUndocumented Immigrantsâ instead of âIllegal Aliensâ. Guess that one needed to be changed because of the run on Food Stamps by the Klingon Empire.
âPhysically Challengedâ instead of âHandicappedâ. Just think of the money it will cost to change all those signs.
And âEconomically Disadvantaged Areaâ instead of âGhettoâ. How about we just get rid of the Ghettoâs. Oops, I mean âEconomically Disadvantaged Areasâ.
Here are three more to round the list to an even ten.
âVisibly Challengedâ instead of âBlindâ
âAlternative Sexual Lifestyleâ instead of gay or lesbian. The homophobes must love that one.
And âImprovised Explosive Deviceâ (IED) instead of âRoad Side Bombâ (RSB).
Even major retailers like Target have jumped on the âPolitically Correctâ band wagon this âholidayâ season. All Targetâs flyers and ads sell Christmas lights, trees and ornaments but nowhere is the word âChristmasâ mentioned. Who are they worried about offending? Next theyâll want to change âA Christmas Carolâ to âA Holiday Carolâ. Bahh Humbug!!!
What I want to know is who is responsible for saying what is politically correct and what is not. Like Monty Pythonâs âMinistry of Silly Walksâ is there a âBureau of Politically Correctâ tucked away somewhere in the bowels of the capitol. Or is that âdigestive tractâ of the capitol. Where a Director of Vernacular, Vernacular Engineer, sits around all day and just thinks up alternate words for phrases he deems offensive.
But letâs take this one step further. When did this all begin? According to the renowned Wikipedia, âduring the First World War, British Ministry of Information official (I knew there was a Ministry of something involved) Arnold Bennett used the expression politically correct in vetting language for âappropriatenessâ. They continue, âWidespread use of the term “politically correct” and its derivatives began when it was adopted as a pejorative term by the political right in the 1990s. âPejorativeâ, now thereâs a Politically Correct word if I ever heard one. And the rest is history.
It appears in todayâs society you canât open your mouth without offending someone somewhere. And that is sad. Sanitation Engineer, Educational Instructor, Administrative Assistant; the list goes on and on. When did people become so dissatisfied with what they do and who they are that they felt the need to adjust the language to make them feel better about themselves? It may sound good but doesnât change the fact a âspade is still a spadeâ. Or is that a âdigging implement is still a digging implementâ?
Iâm sure all of you have seen the ads by AARP in favor of the Presidents Healthcare Reform Bill now in the Senate. I always wondered why they continue to do this even though a majority of seniors are not in favor of this Bill. Now we know why. According to the administrations website, Recovery.gov, AARP was given 18 million dollars in stimulus money to create jobs for seniors. The report listed on the website(link below) clearly shows that even though 6.5 million has already been spent AARP has managed to produce ânoâ jobs.
According to âPoliticoâ AARP has moved on to lobbying for passage of health care legislation, even though Democratic proposals have called for several hundred billion dollars in cuts to Medicare, a program that the group typically defends tooth and nail when Republicans propose cutting it. A recent Pew survey found that just 31 percent of those over 65 supported health care legislation being touted by AARP.
âThe American Spectatorâ goes on to say, âAARP is also in a position to benefit financially if the health care legislation passes, because seniors losing benefits as a result of cuts to Medicare Advantage will be forced to buy Medigap policies, which is the main source of AARP revenue.â
Well now we know the truth. AARP is just another example of a large corporation flushing its members down the political drain for its own financial benefit. Several of my friends have called AARP and cancelled their membership. If money is the only thing the
y understand maybe a lot more members need to do this.
Â© 2009 by Ira Schwartz. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission