the devil and merriam-webster.

August 25, 2011

political correctness n.
1. Conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.

politically correct adj. Abbr. PC
1. Of, relating to, or supporting broad social, political, and educational change, especially to redress historical injustices in matters such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.
2. Being or perceived as being overly concerned with such change, often to the exclusion of other matters.

…hmm. These definitions seem pretty sound, but then again, it depends on who you ask…

RightTruth.typepad.com:
Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical, liberal minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

…and for shits and giggles…

Urbandictionary.com:
1. A way that we speak in America so we don’t offend whining pussies.
2. A method of controlling and dictating public speech and thought.
3. A form of censorship practiced by faggots and leftist subversive fucks so they don’t have to hear any points of view that they don’t agree with.
4. The laws of moral and ethical relativism; all systems of cultures and thought are equal in value, steming from a perceived guilt from white liberals who believe that the Western Civilization is the root of all evil to the exclusion of all else.
5. A powerful form of censorship.

Take a chill pill, number 3. Regardless of who is defining the damn words, the term “political correctness” describes a fundamentally moral system. You can’t speak about equality and not speak about humanity, and consequently, morality.

mo·ral·i·ty n.
1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
3. Virtuous conduct.
4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct.

There is an assumption here – that all points of view (cultures, traditions, backgrounds, religions… this has the potential to get sticky) are equal, and should be treated and spoken of as such. “Spoken” is the pivotal word here. Personally, I see the first half of this assumption as no different than what Martin Luther King, Jr was talking about, right? All men are created equal. Oops, excuse me! All people are created equal. Whew, that one almost slipped by me. Is there not a difference, though, in the belief system that all people are created equal and are subject to the same fair rights and laws and the belief of, let’s say, the first amendment? Notice I said difference, not discrepancy. Yeah, I’m taking you back to 8th grade Political History class; everyone loves to talk about their freedom of speech but no one wants anyone else to disagree with them. This is just an example of an idiosyncrasy of human nature, which is to always be right. We can’t all be right. Any adult with at least some capacity to think abstractly can understand why that’s logically impossible. Notice I said logically, not philosophically. Not to mention, political correctness holds the tendency to edge towards Authoritarianism, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

au·thori·tari·an·ism n.
1. the habit of conduct, thought, and speech expressing total submission to rigid principles and rules.
2. the principles and views of the rule maker. – authoritarian, n., adj.

So, then, political correctness has a fatal flaw, shits and giggles aside. If all points of view are equal, and therefore, correct – how does the term “politically incorrect” even exist?

This was written for Turnstiles Review.

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4 Responses to “the devil and merriam-webster.”

  1. Now I’m not defending politically correctness–such an unnecessary and awkward complication to our language, but I have to take issue with your last sentence (well, second-to-last if you want to be all technical about it) All points of view are not equal (there is a reason for mental institutions, for laws, for punishments). You said, “We can’t all be right.” My definition of politically correctness?
    Politically correctness– a vocal veneer meant to present the least offensive facet to all audiences, thereby distancing the speaker from all of them
    “Hi, I’m a Mac” “And I’m a PC” 😉

    • Fountains said

      You make a valid point, but I’d have to argue that they are supposedly equal again, at least according to political correctness. The reason for mental institutions, laws, and punishments are to protect others from ourselves (or ourselves from ourselves) and not because our point of view is unlawful, punishable, or worrisome – but our actions were. Good definition, I say.

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