Selectively PC | Wash Your Mouth Out Wednesdays

Really, did you just say that?  Photo courtesy of Darren Robertson /

Really, did you just say that?
Photo courtesy of Darren Robertson /

In a previous edition of WYMOW, I talked about how sometimes people are put off by political correctness. Since that post, I’ve been paying closer attention to PC issues when reading news or opinion articles, but especially in the comments sections. This is really getting under my skin, especially since there are some high-profile PC topics in the news these days.

People are apparently being seriously inconvenienced by having to use a different word for some things. I don’t understand how someone can’t simply substitute one word for another. I’m sure they do it all the time when the situation calls for it. Do they sling the “N” word around in front of their bosses or colleagues?  Probably not.  And if the PC word happens to have more syllables, you may as well forget it ever really catching on. If you have to use a polysyllabic word like “mentally disabled” instead of “retarded” then the odds are not going to be stacked immediately in the favor of political correctness.

I can understand the difficulty of using more syllables, being a lazy speaker from the South; I often shorten words that started off longer. “Probably” becomes “prolly” when I am speaking in casual company, for example, but never “gubment” for government, because I sometimes pretend to be a stickler for pronunciation. I hope, though, that we’re not going in the direction of one-syllable words for everything. Look at how many we already have:

  • Huh?
  • Wha?
  • S’up?
  • Hey.
  • Bye.
  • Pssssshh.

The word, “later” is a shortened version of the sentence, “I’ll talk to you later.” And then consider the word, “Dude”. Somehow, it can imply a whole sentence, simply by how the word is pronounced. Are we devolving?

I don’t think it’s just the issue of extra syllables, because I have also noticed that many people tend to only use PC words that relate directly to people they know, or to themselves. If the PC word in question relates to a cause, condition, or issue to which this person is completely neutral or even opposed, that person is going to deem the prudent politically correct terms silly, and not worth his or her time. This is person is also going to tell other people how silly and ridiculous it is that we are no longer supposed to say this word in mixed company, or let our children say it.

The problem is always everyone else’s, but never their own. Again, I submit to you that if the word which you are using to refer to a person is offensive to that person, or group of people, then IT IS offensive. Perhaps you should stop and think about that.  “Indians” are Native Americans, i.e., not from India. When you describe something as “gay,” you are saying that it is an attribute of people who are homosexual.

It is as simple as this: Put yourself in the shoes of the people to which the word you are using actually refers. If someone said, “Oh, that was so old white dude,” would you be offended?  Of course not! Because old white dudes aren’t really discriminated against in any serious way.  But if you call someone an “Indian Giver,” then you are blasting a distinct group of the US population who have endured discrimination that we can’t imagine in our modern day.

Just stop and think about it before you let those words roll out so easily. Especially if you are having a conversation in my presence.  Because if any of these bad words come out of your mouth in front of me, I might just shove a bar of soap in there and twist it around a few times. At the very least, don’t stand near the Mouth of Truth when spouting this crap, because he just might bite you for your insensitivity. The Mouth of Truth is no weenie (no offense to penises) and he doesn’t evade the facts – he simply respects other perspectives.