Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

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Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby Hillary » 2006-05-10, 4:17

Hi, my friend mentioned about political correctness today, and I am very curious about it. She mentioned the words like n*gger (we use 'black people' now) and Chinks (we use 'Chinese people' now).

Could someone tell me what is political correctness? and Can you give me some other examples of a word or words that were used in the past but are not politically correct now? What word or words do people use now?

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Postby culúrien » 2006-05-10, 20:06

Sometimes black people use that word between one another but if you're not black, don't say it ever! It's extremely offensive. As a black person, I don't use that word ever, and plenty of us don't. I would never ever refer to someone who is Chinese by that term either. Somepeople used to be call JAPs (japanese american princesses) also very offensive. I'll speak for my own race: black or african-american. either works.
استیسی

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Postby Gormur » 2006-05-10, 20:28

Here are some current examples --
Old term - New PC term


Terrorist - freedom fighter / misguided criminal / insurgent

mailman - postal worker

janitor - custodian

policeman - police officer

fireman - firefighter

A.D. (In the year of the Lord) - C.E. (Common Era/Christian Era)

B.C. (Before Christ) - B.C.E. (Before Common Era)

Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays/Season's Greetings

failure - deferred success

health nut - LOHA (lifestyles of health and sustainability)

waiter / waitress - waitron

God - Higher Power / Divine Source

Liberal - Progressive

stupid - incurious

(US English) Freshman - frosh / (a) first-year

shellshock - battle fatigue

unemployed - job-seekers / job-hunters

landmines - area denial munitions

invasion of foreign land - preemptive war

genocide - ethnic cleansing

trailer park - mobile home park

trashman / garbageman - sanitation engineer

handicapped, disabled, crippled - differently abled

stripper - exotic dancer

porno - adult movie

poor - disadvantaged

the slums - substandard housing / the inner city

affirmative action - racial quotas
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Postby Gormur » 2006-05-10, 20:50

explosives / nuclear warheads - WOMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction)

On this list - http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& ... rect+terms

I found:

Dorm - Residence Hall


I don't know if it's supposed to be a joke, but that's all dormitories are called here. For short we call it Rez - "which rez do you live in?" -"St. John's". "Rez life is fun"; "it's cool to live in rez", etc...
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Postby Seayuan » 2006-05-11, 8:20

There are some examples:
Police officer - police man
Salesman - Salesclerk
Terminate - Neutralize
Doorman - Gatekeeper
Waitress or waiter - Server
Mankind - Humankind
Christmas holiday - Winter holiday
Milkman - Milk seller

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Postby Hillary » 2006-05-11, 8:31

Thanks Celebrian23, Gormur and Seayuan very much!

The information you provided are very useful and I will search more about it based the the above material!

Thank u again.

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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby Llawygath » 2013-01-28, 2:33

I think Gormur is exaggerating a little. At least, I hope so. :para:

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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby md0 » 2013-01-28, 9:51

He is.
And there is a continuous struggle to pain political correctness negatively, with such (and even worse) exaggerations by people who seek excuses to insult people (comparing nigger with Happy Holidays, to make the first seem as acceptable) and/or lack of knowledge on how words come to be insulting and how semantics work.
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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby Llawygath » 2013-01-29, 16:58

meidei wrote:He is.
And there is a continuous struggle to pain political correctness negatively, with such (and even worse) exaggerations by people who seek excuses to insult people (comparing nigger with Happy Holidays, to make the first seem as acceptable) and/or lack of knowledge on how words come to be insulting and how semantics work.
I don't know what you mean by 'comparing nigger with happy holidays'. The first is clearly not acceptable; the latter is 'acceptable' but rather irritating, at least to some of us. It's well-intentioned, I suppose -- the idea is to convey 'happy whatever-holiday-you-celebrate' rather than specifying a particular holiday because to specify one is seen as non-PC and to literally say 'whatever you celebrate' isn't PC either because it's seen as dismissive and impersonal. Well, I can tell you this, 'happy holidays' is no less dismissive and impersonal, and it has the added benefit* of being sugary and commercialized-sounding. I'll let the PC-pushing people chew on that for a while.

That said, I don't think it's any 'struggle' to paint political correctness negatively. I assume it was started as an attempt to not offend anyone by the use of incorrect terms, but at this point it's grown into an almost paranoid pussy-footing around, it seems, nearly everything. I do not deny that such terms as 'nigger' are to be avoided; that much is clear. Of course, avoid all clearly offensive words and topics if they do not need to be used. But what is to be done about the huge gray area of indefinite offensiveness? PC fanatics avoid this gray area, but that is the wrong way to go about it. We must sort through the gray bits and find out what is or isn't actually offensive and unnecessary, that is, if this is actually that big of an issue. Pussy-footing and hyper-PC-ness get us no farther on the road to a better world. Solving actual problems does.

By the way, I just re-read the list provided by Gormur and only these entries are really exaggerations (or I don't see enough of the world):
failure - deferred success
waiter / waitress - waitron
Liberal - Progressive
landmines - area denial munitions
The others are all in somewhat common use (though I don't understand the affirmative action/racial quotas thing).

[*Sarcasm for those who can't read it.]

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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-29, 17:20

Thanks for you input, Llawygath! That was a valuable addition to the discussion.
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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby Llawygath » 2013-01-29, 17:47

linguoboy wrote:Thanks for you input, Llawygath! That was a valuable addition to the discussion.
What's your point? Is this my cue to shut up and never show my face again? I assume you're not really thanking me for anything.

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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby linguoboy » 2013-01-29, 18:10

Llawygath wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Thanks for you input, Llawygath! That was a valuable addition to the discussion.
What's your point?

What's yours? Between all the peeving, question-begging, and strawman arguments it kind of got lost.
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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby ling » 2013-01-29, 18:16

The term "political correctness" is abused a lot. Sometimes it's used as a way to dismiss more polite and socially acceptable terms in the hopes of legitimizing the use of extremely offensive words like "ni**er".

Politeness should not be dismissed as "political correctness". The term should also not be confused with "euphemism", despite overlaps in usage.

"Happy holidays" and "Season's greetings" aren't good examples of "political correctness" either, since they've been acceptable variations for a century or more.
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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby Llawygath » 2013-01-30, 23:40

Nice to see everyone thinks political correctness is just fine and that no one wants to hear what I have to say. linguoboy, you need to be more specific about what you mean instead of just dismissing my views out of hand. My point was that meidei was making inaccurate assertions, and I will repay you your vagueness by letting you look back at my post if you give a straw about what these assertions were. ling, you are wrong, political correctness is a subcategory of euphemisms. I hate them equally because they are annoying in the same sugary way, though of course my opinions do not matter because as you implied, I am nobody*.

I've just wasted many precious minutes of my time replying to this thread. I know I have not accomplished anything by writing here, and I know that this will never accomplish anything and will only make everyone mad. I know I will get no thanks for wasting my time replying to you guys, so why then do I do it? Because I can't let unfounded attacks on me stand unchallenged.

Thank you for taking my time when I could have been doing something much less pointless. I will now take my leave of you.

*ling says that happy holidays and season's greetings are acceptable. If that's true I must not exist because they are not acceptable to me. Of course the majority's opinion always overrules, hence ling's wording.

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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby johnklepac » 2013-02-04, 23:57

Llawygath wrote:Nice to see everyone thinks political correctness is just fine and that no one wants to hear what I have to say. linguoboy, you need to be more specific about what you mean instead of just dismissing my views out of hand. My point was that meidei was making inaccurate assertions, and I will repay you your vagueness by letting you look back at my post if you give a straw about what these assertions were. ling, you are wrong, political correctness is a subcategory of euphemisms. I hate them equally because they are annoying in the same sugary way, though of course my opinions do not matter because as you implied, I am nobody*.

I've just wasted many precious minutes of my time replying to this thread. I know I have not accomplished anything by writing here, and I know that this will never accomplish anything and will only make everyone mad. I know I will get no thanks for wasting my time replying to you guys, so why then do I do it? Because I can't let unfounded attacks on me stand unchallenged.

Thank you for taking my time when I could have been doing something much less pointless. I will now take my leave of you.

*ling says that happy holidays and season's greetings are acceptable. If that's true I must not exist because they are not acceptable to me. Of course the majority's opinion always overrules, hence ling's wording.

Political correctness is a controversial topic, and it can be a little insulting, as well as inaccurate, to assume that no one finds any issue with it. Hell, even the term itself was originally coined in sarcasm and cynicism. But the idea was created for a reason. Generally speaking, we prefer being nice to being callous. Does it go overboard sometimes? Sure. In fact, I'm vehemently against campaigns like the current one about stopping the use of "retarded" altogether, because even that word was once a euphemism for "moron". Once we stigmatize words, new euphemisms are created, which themselves eventually lose their clean and nice look. The cycle continues, and it seems to be speeding up. All the same, though, we shouldn't act like political correctness is all bad, especially in its aim.

For what it's worth, I don't get the sense that ling was trying to say that you were flat-out wrong for not liking those words. To do so would be in near-complete denial of the idea of subjectivity.

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political correctness

Postby AlanF_US » 2013-02-05, 22:26

Wikipedia is a decent starting place for reading about the history of the concept of political correctness:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby BlackZ » 2013-02-06, 12:44

As someone already pointed above, Political Correct terms will end up becoming as much perjorative as the "Political Incorrect" words. I know this is an English forum, but I'll use an example from Brazilian Portuguese to ilustrate this:

[flag]pt-br[/flag] rapariga

That word (whose original meaning was "girl") begun being used as a euphemism for "prostitute". Now, the word became as much as offensive in Brazil as the word people were trying to avoid.

In Portugal, the original meaning remain because such an euphemism didn't exist in the country.

In my humble opinion, the same will happen with Political Correctness.
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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby linguoboy » 2013-02-06, 14:07

BlackZ wrote:In my humble opinion, the same will happen with Political Correctness.

You mean the term "political correctness"? It already has happened. Reactionary ranters use it indiscriminately in the same way a previous generation used "fascism" (that is, to quote Orwell, "something not desirable").
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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby BlackZ » 2013-02-06, 20:48

linguoboy wrote:You mean the term "political correctness"?

I worded it badly, I meant "political correct terms".

Anyway, it's quite ironic that such a thing is happening with the term "political correctness" itself too.
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Re: Question on Political Correctness (N*gger & Blackman, et

Postby linguoboy » 2013-02-06, 21:15

BlackZ wrote:
linguoboy wrote:You mean the term "political correctness"?

I worded it badly, I meant "political correct terms".

I don't really get your point then. Yes, we all know about the euphemism treadmill. But it's a basic mischaracterisation of political correctness to present it as being only about what words you use. The reason for replacing, say, "prostitute" with "sex worker" is not to have a new euphemism to use for a few years, but to change people's attitudes toward the activity and the person involved in it. (In this example, if it's "work", then maybe it should be regulated like work is, with all that that implies--health and safety guidelines, limits on hours, protection from exploitation by employers, etc.)
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