In My Right Mind

"We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking." - Mark Twain

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Location: Universal City, Texas, United States

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Problem With Politically Correct Speech

Ok. This is kind of a bit off topic. Well, not the problem with politically correct speech, but the setting where I encountered it in.

This blog is about politics from a conservative view point. I have purposely tried not to clutter it with my personal life. However, I'm going to bend my rules in order to make a point.

Our youngest daughter is 5 years old. She has been diagnosed with epilepsy (uncontrolled seizures) and, as if that wasn't enough, she has also been diagnosed with autism and ADHD.

Anyway, my wife and I attended our second Autism Chapter meeting in our area and that was where I encountered a shocking display of political correctness. The guest speaker was a lady from the Advocacy Center. She began her introduction by apologizing for the presence of the word, "disability" on the paper she had distributed as a hand out. She stated that she should have used the word, "issues".
There was a few nods of assent. I wasn't one of them. I was a bit stunned. Here's why.

Politically correct speech is nothing more than replacing one "allegedly" offensive word with another word, or phrase that, in the end means the same thing. Sort of.

Sort of? Well, let's take a look at the politically correct substitute word, issues.
Exactly what does that word mean? Well, it could mean someone who lives with consequences, (i.e. the autistic person has to deal with the consequences of the limitations, and difficulties that autism imposes on them).

But, the word issues could also refer to the autistic person's opinion and the personal/political opinion that informs that opinion.

So which is it?

Words like "disability" have meanings. If the autistic person fits that meaning then, it is appropriate to use that term with respect to their autism and its effect upon them.

But, once you replace a well defined word with something ambigious like the word "issues", communication is now obfuscated. Now, there is no real way to communicate clearly what is meant by the new, politically correct term.

This now provides a loop hole for each person who uses the politically correct term to make it mean whatever they want it to mean. On the negative side, it allows people to treat a person with autism as simply being, yet another whining victim whose complaints and feelings about what they are going through can be summarily dismissed. On the other hand, it can be used to mean...well, what the original word, disabled means.

There is another more dastardly reason for the injection of politically correct speech into our dialogue. And that is, to limit, and restrict our freedom of speech. And that is the worst damage that politically correct speech inflicts upon our culture.

It would be one thing, if the goal of the liberal driven politically correct speech was to try and stop people from using offensive words to hurt someone's feelings. I believe that most decent people would agree with that goal. But, that's not what is going on here. Liberals are intentionally using politically correct speech to take away people's freedom of speech to use English words in context and instead replace that speech with words and phrases that are ambiguous and actually allow leeway for abuse and control of the person described.

Liberals fool people into thinking that they are helpless victims who need to depend upon liberals for their very quality of life to be protected. Not only does the new liberal speak not free them from their actual condition, it instead, keeps them trapped in a new ambiguous label that leaves no room for them to interpret their condition other than through dependence upon the liberal solution for them; and that is dependence upon liberals to define their existence and provide for them.

This is a travesty that no one should be subjected to. People will always fare better when they can face their own situation for what it actually is and then begin to construct strategies for dealing with whatever impediment they are facing and overcome it or work around it on their own.

Politically correct labels only trap the person as impotent in the face of an ambiguous diagnosis depending upon the liberals who develop such disingenuous labels to prescribe for them a liberal controlled solution.

And that solution is slavery to the liberal, socialist/communist State for help.

This is totally unacceptable here in the United States. Maybe under Marxist societies it is workable, but not here in the "home of the free and the brave".

Freedom and bravery is exactly what disabled people need in order to freely define their lives of their own accord.

And that is my problem with politically correct speech.


Anonymous Kevin said...

I am sorry to hear about your daughter. May God bless you all.
I believe that some (or many) things need to be censored, but some things take it too far.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: “The Problem With Politically Correct Speech”

In general I can see your point and do agree that Political Correctness is a real problem here in the United States. There is really no substitute for good old-fashioned leadership and those of you that have ever labored with a bad leader know what I mean.

Please allow me to illustrate. My Father-in-Law is now confined to a local nursing home and aside from some problems having to do with a real lack of communications we are satisfied with his care. Most everyone on the staff are good, dedicated professionals, the facilities are clean and with no bad odors, etc., but as I said they suffer from bad communications coming from the top of management down to the lowest levels.

Here’s what I mean. One day, while visiting Dad, I had a little time to kill so I busied myself by reading their bulletin board. The director of the facility, a fine young lady who is highly educated and I’m sure well qualified, had posted a directive that warned all personnel that the “lunch period” was mandatory and further that there would be no one allowed to skip this required period. She used up almost a whole sheet of paper to try to get her message across and ended her message with a rather terse warning that anyone not observing her directive would be “Subject to Consultative Supervision”.

Being a little amused by her attempt to be “Politically Correct” I decided to have a little fun with it. A couple of nurses were close by so I asked them to please explain to me what this term “Consultative Supervision” means whereby they each in turn attempted, with some enthusiasm I might add, to get to the real meaning of what the term meant. After two or three failed attempts they became confused about how to explain it to me and began to politely disagree with each other becoming a little bewildered and now willing to abandon the question I was still showing concerted interest in. At this point I offered: “Do you think that what she really means is that if you don’t follow her directive she will ‘Kick Your Butt’”? When I said this there appeared two genuine smiles on their faces as both snickered and nodded in agreement.

Language is of utmost importance. In fact, I’m convinced that because of our language (English) being so universal here in these blessed United States of America and the language itself being superior for expression to other languages, we have very much attained an overall superiority to all other nations on planet earth.

However, I notice that it seems that everyday a younger generation appears to be making quite an effort to abandon our English Language and make a new language for themselves that is sure to set them apart from the rest of the unenlightened population. When you get right down to it “Politically Correct Language” is unnecessary, pointless and deleterious to overall society causing misunderstandings and giving loopholes to those who have no real desire to communicate.

To illustrate my point please consider the following. Let’s take the word: homosexual. Webster’s dictionary defines homosexual as having to do with sexual orientation wherein same-sex individuals show sexual interest (lust) in each other. What does the word “queer” mean? What does the word “gay” mean? Those two words that are used to promote “Politically Correct” language fall far short of the mark. What is wrong with calling a spade a spade? Call it what it is and be forever done with it.

God Bless,

Phil in Florida

8:38 PM  
Blogger Clay said...


Thanks for your prayers. We can always use prayer!

Phil in Florida,

Your escapade with those nursing home workers in trying to decipher what "consultive supervision" meant is both hilarious and telling as to just how worthless politically correct speech is when it comes to communication.

I agree with your take. Let's just go back to calling things for what they are and lose the deceptive doublespeak of politically correct mumbo jumbo.

If liberals want to continue clinging to this nonsense then, they have that right. And the rest of us have the right to summarily dismiss them. They can just try and talk amongst themselves.

If they want to talk to me, then, pure, unadulterated English is the language that I prefer.

4:23 PM  
Blogger James said...

As a dear friend of mine is fond of saying, "Words have meanings."

Why are we afraid to use words that mean what we want to say? Why do we feel it's preferable to couch our meaning and intent in more subtle or palatable phraseology? Let's stop calling foreign invaders "undocumented workers." Let's stop calling subversive traitors "anti-war protestors." Let's stop calling deviant sinners "alternative lifestyle" adherents.

Words have meanings. I agree with Phil, "call a spade a spade and be done with it.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Lawman said...

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has feathers like a duck...

Political Correctness is for sissies. How we ever became a Nation of whinny arsed cry-babies is beyond me.

I'll agree some phrases (and we all know what they are) should neve be used in police conversation. The rest of it, people need to grow thicker skins, grow up, and get over it.

7:29 PM  

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