Some time ago I was corrected by someone who felt a term I had used was “politically incorrect” and the person was offended by the term. I must assert that the term I used was not morally wrong, dirty or slanderous. It was merely what some might feel is politically incorrect by standards that have only existed over the last 20-30 years – created by someone out there who decided to coin the term – someone who decided suddenly what was and what wasn’t acceptable language.
The definition, according to Wikipedia, says that the term politically correct is not that new – “examples of the term can be found as early as the 18th century. The previous meaning was ‘in line with prevailing political thought or policy.’” Nowadays, the term – actually – political correctness – “is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies …” This is according to Wikipedia, which allows just about anyone to post anything on its side – within their rules … not according to Webster’s Dictionary.
And it has nothing to do with politics.
I have long wondered who decides what is politically incorrect. Who decided we had to change the way we said things? Who decided what was right and what was wrong? I thought the Ten Commandments pretty much had that covered.
Somewhere along the line, words that were common, not meant to slander anyone and are not considered terrible now have the person speaking them criticized for being racist, prejudiced, socially and ethically offensive.
In fact, those who declare someone as being politically incorrect – is taking away one’s freedom of speech – a freedom this country’s forefathers fought hard for us to enjoy.
I consider myself a good Christian woman – a believer. I would never intentionally slander another person for his/her race, beliefs, way of life or physical condition, so why, if I use an old term, do I become the one being persecuted?
This person who found my term politically incorrect – never heard what I said fully. Instead, the person focused on the term, didn’t hear the context in which it was used and didn’t see the value in everything that was said.
Yet, I was made to feel like I should be censored, not express my opinion because at the ripe old age of 56, I still use some terms with which I was raised.
Do we live in a communist society where we cannot have freedom of speech any longer? It sure seems that way.
The “political correctness movement” distorts the actual seriousness of racial and gender discrimination – pointing blame at someone who means no harm through the use of politically incorrect words and taking the focus off of the real issues of the day.
To further elaborate on the ridiculous wave the term politically incorrect has moved toward – newspapers in Great Britain reported that a school there altered the nursery rhyme “Baa Baa Black Sheep” to what they felt was more politically correct – “Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep.” The original rhyme has been around since 1761 and to call it something racial is silly and a waste of anyone’s time.
The policing of language among the people of today has extended to the removal and attempted removal of long-time terms associated with religion – Christmas and Easter – just to name a few.
Seriously – is it really politically correct to call an Easter egg a spring-time decorated egg? Or how about calling a Christmas tree a prettily-decorated spruce tree for your December living room?
Now that’s a mouthful.
Along with freedom of speech – religious freedoms are being taken right out of our hands.
It seems politically incorrect words are much longer words and terms than the originals that denoted the same thing.
What about the politically correct term, administrative assistant versus secretary – another mouthful and for goodness sake – what’s the difference?
In the end, speaking politically correct does not make a person good or bad. Frankly, if one is speaking in the politically correct language deemed proper by some unnamed group of people – you truly cannot tell exactly what the person does believe. How would you tell the difference between Mother Theresa and Jack the Ripper as long as he/she spoke with political correctness?
The Bible tells us to speak the truth and speak it in love. Those are the true “politically correct” terms we should be using.
By Liz Johnson • firstname.lastname@example.org