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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The New Politically Correct Language


Illegal alien gang member




Nazis in London




Nazis in Iran hanging gays




Nazi in New York City



War on Terror


I thought the British couldn't be outdone when they recently began referring to Islamic terrorism as "anti-Islamic activity". Now comes the Obama Administration declaring that the war on terror will now be called "Overseas Contingency Operations"!!?? It looks like we are entering a new world of Orwellianism with the liberals running this country.

Already, schoolchildren in many American schools are coming back from school and informing their parents that St Patrick's Day is being called, "Potato Day" or Shamrock Day", as it was just labeled at the White House celebration.

For a few years now, many of us have been called to task for using the term, "Islamofascist" to describe terror carried out in the name of Islam, as well as everyday incidents of intimidation and calls for imposition of Shariah law in the West. Actually, radio talk-show host Michael Medved has it right; what we are experiencing around the world is not fascism (a rather difficult term to define), but more like Nazism-very easy to define and containing anti-Semitism at its core-as does militant Islam. I have no problem referring to Islamic terrorists and other radicals (such as we see on the streets of London damning everything about British society)as Nazis. Yes, those Muslims who are assaulting and intimidating Jews on the streets of European cities are acting like Nazis. Those who carry placards on British streets calling for the beheading of those who "insult" Islam are acting like Nazis. Those who recently demonstrated against Israel on American streets and campuses and shouted out, "Long Live Hitler" and "Jews go back to the ovens" are acting like Nazis.

Similarly, a person who is in this country illegally-or in any country illegally- is an illegal alien-not an "undocumented worker". (MS-13 gang members are not workers to begin with).

I recently wrote a piece on that insane university, the University of California at Santa Cruz, where the word "queer" has been injected into a myriad of courses and departments. Have you ever heard of "Queer Theory"? Don't take my word for it. Go to the UCSC course catalog. It's online. When I was growing up, the word "queer" was a pejorative-just like the word, "fag". Now it's in at UCSC.

Similarly, universities still use that silly term, "Chicano" to refer to Mexican-Americans. When I was growing up in Los Angeles, the word implied a young tough, not a self-respecting adult person of Mexican or Latin descent. Somehow, in the 1960s, universities fell in love with the term, and it is still used today.

In yet another example, when I was a child, polite terms for blacks were "Negroes" or "colored people". The term "Negro" has been out of favor for years now, as is "colored people". But "people of color" is in. Go figure. It is also frustrating to a lot of people of all races that as hard as we have tried to rid ourselves of the N-word, which should be dying out from simple disuse, so many young blacks are embracing the word among themselves.

What we see in the US, Canada and Europe is political correctness gone wild. First it was speech codes on our university campuses. Now it is the twisting of the English language to the point where it loses its meaning and becomes laughable. Certainly, any form of ethnic or religious epithet is unacceptable, but we should never lose the ability to call something what it is.

13 comments:

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I'm pretty much on board with you on this, and I even pointed out some things that the Obama administration was doing in connection with 1984 and Animal Farm in my class.

However, it was super-easy to find examples of conservative, Orwellian doublespeak. They're just as good at labeling things to make them sound a lot more appealing than they are. (The "Patriot" Act springs immediately to mind. You have to support it! It's patriotic!)

On another note, I'm pretty skeptical about the whole St. Patrick's Day/Potato Day thing. Seems to be another one of these fabricated wars (like the one on Christmas) to stir people up and get ratings.

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

God! How did I forget the Winter Solstice-Winter Event and all that?

Anonymous said...

Gary, for someone who studies language, I'm a little bit surprised at your apparent lack of understanding of how language evolves and the meanings of words change, with even previously "taboo" words becoming socially acceptable.

Gary Fouse said...

Bryan,

I am very aware of how languages evolve. It is a natural process that is inescapable (though the French try to stop it). In the cases I just described, however, we have groups of people altering the language for the purpose of their own political aganda (N-word excepted). I have no problem with language evolving, but when new terms are invented for indoctrination purposes, I think it should be pointed out.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

God! How did I forget the Winter Solstice-Winter Event and all that?

Gary, what exactly is the meaning of Christmas? Is it about what car dealers call it?

Nobody's taking it away from you. There's too much money in it.

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

So I can't mock car dealers calling it a winter event? Yes, just what is it we are celebrating- snow and sub-freezing temperatures?

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

So I can't mock car dealers calling it a winter event? Yes, just what is it we are celebrating- snow and sub-freezing temperatures?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Gary, that loud whooshing sound was you missing the point.

There is no War on St. Patrick's Day, just as there isn't a War on Christmas. "Winter Events" do not a war make.

Gary Fouse said...

Lance,

Then why are so many politically-correct people coming up with all kinds of terms to say except Christmas.

Why is it that more and more people are being made to feel uncomfortable in saying, "Merry Christmas"?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Then why are so many politically-correct people coming up with all kinds of terms to say except Christmas.

They're trying to be inclusive and thoughtful of all belief systems. What a bunch of jerks. And it's not just them, it's businesses, who want to bring as much business in as possible. How crazy for them.

Why is it that more and more people are being made to feel uncomfortable in saying, "Merry Christmas"?

Wow. Can you be more vague? More and more people, huh? Was this determined from a study from The Department of Obfuscation and Nebulousness? I don't know about you, but people wish me Merry Christmas, and I wish a Merry Christmas to all sorts of people.

Are there a few people here and there who might get offended? Sure. But there are people who'd get offended if you offered them ice cream.

The fact is, many of the so-called examples of the War on Christmas turned out to be nothing more than lies. That's right. Outright, bold-faced LIES. I'm sorry that you bit the hook, but you can let go now.

And you can have a happy St. Patrick's Day too. Potato Day? If I didn't read a conservative's blog, I doubt that I'd ever even hear of it.

It's like I've said again and again, I don't care who you are. If somebody wishes you a happy anything, be it Christmas, Solstice, Hannukah, or Ramadan, and your reaction is to get upset or feel offended, then you're a jerk.

Gary Fouse said...

"If somebody wishes you a happy anything, be it Christmas, Solstice, Hannukah, or Ramadan, and your reaction is to get upset or feel offended, then you're a jerk."

Right you are, but it seems some folks only get offended when they hear the words, "Merry Christmas".

(And that's not a BOLD FACE LIE!!!!!!)

"Lies, lies, lies".

Which reminds me, tomorrow, I will be off to Vegas and the Hofbrauhaus. About 11 pm, I will be standing on a table and yelling "Lies, lies, lies" in German, of course.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Right you are, but it seems some folks only get offended when they hear the words, "Merry Christmas".

Then how do you explain guys like Bill O'Reilly raising a stink over people saying "Happy Holidays"?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Oh, and I meant to add the following:

While this is hardly a scientific study, I have never met an atheist/agnostic/skeptic/whatever who got offended by "Merry Christmas". I have met a Christian who got offended by Happy Holidays - the point where he refused to go to a restaurant any more when the waitress said that to him on his way out.