Talk about things getting out of hand. The phrase "politically correct", when used by someone who takes it seriously, shows little more than Standard-Issue Merkin Ignorance. I seem to remember it being used tongue-in-cheek, back in the day - to refer to those who read the "right", trendy political book or author of the day, supported the leftist cause-of-the-month, or wore the right t-shirt.

It was a subtle (or not-so-subtle) dig at folks like Maoists, for example (didn't you have a Maoist cell in your neighborhood when you were a kid?), who themselves were only aping the parent company in Beijing (circa the Cultural Revolution). But subtlety and Merkins are an oil-and-water thing, at least in political matters.

I may not have all my data straight - I was young then, and then I was dropped on my head during adolescence. But I equate people who, sans humor, sans irony, use the phrase "politically correct" with mouth-breathers, people who chew their gum like cows, script kiddies, and slack-jawed yokels. Grow the fuck up, all of you!

And, on a related subject: while "vertically challenged" is a stupid phrase, I don't seem to see very many people take issue with the hundreds of equally-stupid euphemisms that have littered the English language long before "politically correct" constructions became an issue. Read the New York Times, watch CNN, listen to a day or two of speeches on C-SPAN - but with a pair of open eyes and ears, for a change - and you'll be amazed at the amount of glib, shorthand, malevolent obfuscation you'll find. Political and socio-economic discourse has suffered a lot of collateral damage over the past 35 years. We should send in the freedom fighters to rectify matters; one hopes the liberal media and the feminazis won't stand in our way.

Grow the fuck up, all of you!

Political correctness, as a movement, was a fairly effective widespread attempt to stifle freedom of speech on university campuses by claiming that the speech hurt other people. Strangely enough, the movement was carried out primarily by baby boomers, who had a few things to say about freedom in their own college days in the 60s.

Now the phrase is widely misused to promote political agendas by disparaging people who freely modify their own speech because they (personally) wish to avoid hurting people.

Your professor requiring you to use the term "developmentally disabled" rather than saying "retarded" would be an example of the former. But me calling you politically correct because you personally chose to use the term "developmentally disabled" -- and didn't require me to use it, too -- would be an example of the latter.

Political correctness, to a certain extent, when people are actually being deliberately offensive and prejudiced, can be a good thing, however it has now got completely out of hand.

For example: In schools, nothing, but nothing is allowed to have connotations that might be considered racist. Blackboards and whiteboards do not exist any more, but are simply 'boards'. Children are also no longer permitted to sing the song 'baa, baa, black sheep', as it is also racist. The lyrics have been altered, and the song is now titled 'baa baa sheep sheep'.

In the wider world, my favourite example of policitical correctness gone quite crazy is 'follically challenged', translating as 'bald'.

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