Mastering PC Speech
Back in September of 2005 during a briefing with reporters, Army Lt. General Russel Honore had reached his limit answering foolish questions about Hurricane Katrina evacuations.
“Don’t get stuck on stupid,” he admonished the mouth-breathing media monkeys chattering at him.
Well, I’m sorry to report that more of our fellow Americans are not only stuck in full blown stupid mode these days, they’re drowning in dumb and flailing in foolishness.
Exhibit A: The increasing influence of the politically correct language police. Because of this linguistic lunacy, someone cannot be bald. He is follicly challenged. A person is not deaf but hearing-impaired. That bunch of young thugs is not a gang, it’s a youth group. There are no terrorists on Planet PC, only insurgents – or better yet, freedom fighters. One is not handicapped (unless one is golfing), but differently abled. And here’s good news: We no longer have drug addicts in America. We do have a whole mess of chemically dependent individuals, however.
Someone doesn’t have a large nose, they are nasally gifted. That out-of-work cousin isn’t lazy, he’s motivationally challenged. You don’t detour around the ghetto or barrio, you avoid the ethnically homogenous areas. Refugees no longer wash up on our shores, but asylum seekers do. Students don’t live in dorms, they co-habitate in residence halls. Oh, and many of those students are no longer freshmen, they are first year students.
We no longer have janitors, but sanitation engineers. The title of stewardess was grounded long ago in favor of flight attendant. Your mail isn’t delivered by the postman, but rather by a letter carrier (for as long as the USPS still exists, at least). Those openings in the street are not manholes, they are maintenance access points.
I’m likely stepping onto a linguistic landmine by pointing this out, but someone who lives in the U.S. without the benefit of citizenship, green card or visa is abso-posi-lutely not an illegal alien. Woe unto any knuckle-dragging cretin who even thinks of using such a vulgarity. Until recently, the correct handle for such a person was undocumented alien. Now even alien is verboten and the acceptable label (at least until something even more benevolent and condescending comes along) is undocumented worker. Huh. Here’s a thought – why not call that individual an undocumented benefits recipient? Sounds truly positive, doesn’t it?
Millions of Americans today are not unemployed, they are involuntarily leisured. That blob of fur on the highway isn’t road kill, it’s a vehicularly compressed life form. It ain’t plagiarism, it’s previously owned prose. Okay, I may have made up those last two. But we’re certainly approaching the day when saying anything to anyone is to risk offending some group or another.
If you still think common sense will eventually win out, consider the news report just last week about homebuilders in Washington D.C. who have stopped using the description of “master suite” and/or “master bedroom” due to implications of racism and/or sexism.
Wait … what?
Apparently, enlightened thinking has it that because the word “master” was once used to describe slave-owners or dominant males in a relationship, the word should be forever banished to the land of never-ever-spoken-again.
What’s next? An angry movement for the elimination of those blatantly racist terms “master cylinder,” “master copy,” “master plan,” “master of ceremonies,” “master key,” “masterpiece,” “master chef” and “master work”?
The hilarious flip side to this foolishness is the word these buffoonish builders are using instead of “master.” That word is “owner.” As in, “owner’s suite.” I’m not kidding. Forgive me if this sounds progressive, but … isn’t “owner” even more imbued with negative connotations?
Maybe they’ll eventually have to resort to calling the space in question the “Really Big Sleeping Room,” or “VIP Suite.” Or how about the “Place Where the Mortgage Holder Sleeps”?
It all makes me want to go hide in my master – oops – closet and not come out.
I’ll see you ’round town.