Reading Current Events

Jun 27, 2003 08:19 # 13536

null mindlessly drivels...

Political Correctness

100% | 4

This morning my beloved Peter Schneider (news 'analyzer') talked about a new word: apparently it's now politically incorrect to say "the poor". You now use the politically correct term "Armutsbetroffene" (something like "people affected by poverty").

Have you ever noticed how our language has changed over the years? I can only mention German examples seen in Switzerland, maybe it would be interesting to know about other languages.
Some years ago, the word "Neger" was a commonly used term to describe a person with dark skin. (Not to mix up with "Nigger", which has always been depreciatory.) Nowadays it's politically incorrect to use this word. You now say "dark-skinned person" or sometimes "Afro-American" instead. Neither should you call somebody a Jew. These persons are merely "members of the Jewish religion". The same goes for Turks, Yugoslavs etc (they're now "citizens of country xxx"). And so on.

Where will this end? And am I the only one to find this a little bit exaggerated? I mean, just because some individuals used certain words in an unrespectful manner doesn't mean it's suddenly a swearword. Thinking like this would mean that from the 100,000's of words you'd maybe be allowed to use 2 or 3. If politicians want to talk like this so be it, but having to fear to be considered a Nazi for using a newly 'politically incorrect' term seems a bit too far-reaching to me.

Let the .02's flow. :-)

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Jun 27, 2003 08:25 # 13537

Orchid *** replies...

Re: Political Correctness

?% | 1

It's the same thing with some occupations. E.g. "Putzfrau" shoouldn't be used nowadays. It's now "Reinmachefrau" or something like that.
Generally people tend to make occupations look worthier or more modern through giving them some english words. Like Human Ressources Manager insted of Personalchef.

Sorry, these are german words, I can't look up the english ones.

"Sie wollen nichts anderes. Sie wollen kämpfen! Sie sind Soldaten! Fucking Wahnsinnige!" - Noel G.

Jun 29, 2003 13:19 # 13557

Jeanette *** throws in her two cents...

Re: Political Correctness

?% | 2

Don't forget "garbage collector" (or "Garbo" here in Oz) now being called "Sanitation Manager".

Which world is Plato in?

Jun 29, 2003 15:09 # 13558

Magnifico *** laughs about...

Bloom County

95% | 3

"Sanitation Manager"

This reminds me of an old comic by Berkely Breathed (I think that's his name. . . something like that, at least) called Bloom County, where one of the characters gets a job as a garbage man. When he talks to his friend about it, the conversation goes like this:
[Milo]: You're a garbage man now?
[Opus]: I'm a "Waste-management artisan"
[Milo]: Right. A Garbageman.
[Opus]: What is it that Reagan called arms-sales to the Contras again?
[Milo]: (looking somewhat deflated now)Goodwill gifts.
[Opus]: (grinning)I'm a waste-management artisan.

I'll believe in anything if you'll just believe in anything

This post was edited by Magnifico on Jun 29, 2003.

Jun 27, 2003 14:16 # 13545

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Political Correctness and Genocide

92% | 2

This morning my beloved Peter Schneider (news 'analyzer') talked about a new word: apparently it's now politically incorrect to say "the poor". You now use the politically correct term "Armutsbetroffene" (something like "people affected by poverty").

Ahh, the uses of language, what an interesting topic! As far as I'm concerned, the PC movement is good only as far as it protects people from hurtful or abusive language. When it precludes us from honestly acknowelding and assesing problems, then PC is a hindrance rather than a help. But I never liked any kind of censorship, and I think people know how to not say something blatantly offensive without the aid of some arbitrary standards--so let's dispense with PC.

The example you cite is a good one. "Poor" might not be a pretty word for it, but poverty isn't a pretty thing. Let's call a spade a spade.

I have another one that has always bothered me quite a bit. The PC movement softens the term "genocide" to "ethnic cleansing." This raises some alarming questions. First of all, why would you want to soften the blow of something as hideous as genocide? Secondly, why do they use the word "cleansing" instead of "murder" or "extermination?" Are these ethnic groups "dirty?" It sounds like they're on the side of the exterminators! I mean, "cleansing" has a positive connotation.

So, PC ain't all that PC to begin with. In fact, it's preventing us from addressing real problems and seeing things for what they are. Not only that, it's causing unneccesary confusion and hypersensitivity that inhibits communication between privileged and underprivileged groups. I seriously have concerns for the future of the PC movement. I can see an Orwellian situation where language is under the aegis of the State and we are disallowed linguistic freedoms. And as far as I'm concerned, he who controls language controls the mind--all it takes to realize this is a brief survey of propaganda throughout the years and into our modern age.


Ewige Blumenkraft!

This post was edited by mclaincausey on Jun 27, 2003.

Jun 30, 2003 11:55 # 13579

Jaz *** replies...

Re: Political Correctness

92% | 2

First off, I want everyone of you to head over and read through How to be Politically Correct:


A: Sure. You just have to feel very guilty.


Cows are animals, just like humans are animals. That means that they have rights. When you eat meat, you're oppressing animals!


No, not always. Sometimes killing can be justified, like in the Persian Gulf. You have to be able to tell when an animal has rights, and when it doesn't.


The general rule is as follows:


Examine the following chart:

RIGHTS                       NO RIGHTS
--------                     -----------
cows                         cockroaches
cute bunnies                 flies
dolphins in tuna nets        tuna in tuna nets
whales                       sharks
red squirrels                gray squirrels
owls                         loggers
harbor seals                 barnacles

'Yeah, That's what Jesus would do. Jesus would bomb Afghanistan. Yeah.' - snowlion

Jun 30, 2003 13:41 # 13587

mclaincausey *** replies...

Leftist Carnivore

?% | 1

My name is McLain, and I'm a leftist envorinmentalist hippie meat eater.

[bad support group joke there]

I love animals, especially their ribs, loins, shanks, breasts, rumps, shoulders...

[ok, another bad joke]

But seriously, I am an animal lover. I even regard lizards, toads, and bumblebees with wonderment and affection. I'm viscerally disgusted by rats and cockroaches (this is probably an evolutionary program to protect us from disease) and other urban scavengers, but I love most of the rest of the animal kingdom. I can't help but anthropomorphize little critters I see on the Discovery channel. Even if it's a brutal carnivore like a polar bear, I watch them and empathize with their struggles, seeing so much in common with our mamalian cohabitants. But I don't see anything wrong with wearing leather and eating meat, milk, and honey. As a matter of fact, I'm an avid devotee of all these things. I feel strongly that humans are meant to be omnivores, like our majestic ursuline cousins. We have been successful hunters for much longer than we've been successful agriculturalists, that's for sure. I think we should be responsible and careful about what we eat, knowing that our population is unnaturally high as a species, and I don't eat veal, endorse fur, or other results of torture, but most anything else is fair game. Pun intended.


Ewige Blumenkraft!

Jun 30, 2003 11:58 # 13580

Jaz *** has all the information you need...

The Old Man and the Sea

By the way, Hemingway fans better take care:

[About banning politically incorrect words from American textbooks]

A lot of people are having fun finding new titles for Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea which presents problems with every word except "and" and "the." Ravitch said old is ageist, man is sexist and sea can't be used in case a student lives inland and doesn't grasp the concept of a large body of water.

'Yeah, That's what Jesus would do. Jesus would bomb Afghanistan. Yeah.' - snowlion

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