Don’t worry, only the TRUTH gets through….
With the addition of a simple Google add-on to your Chrome browser, each and every appearance of the term pro-life will be replaced with, “anti-choice,” rescuing sensitive abortion advocates from having to endure a a term that reminds them that there’s a material difference between abortion and choosing which flavor to get at Baskin Robbins. This means that the journalistic, scholarly and expositional communications of individuals with varying views from the Great and All -knowing Left will be edited without their approval, and can be copied, quoted and distributed in that weakened and distorted form.
We should have seen this coming. The anti-free speech instincts in the modern progressive movement betrays its totalitarian DNA. This is the next step down the slippery into the abyss from oppressive political correctness, from intimidating and punishing those who express opinions and positions that the left deems hateful (or too close to the truth), to making it impossible to communicate non-conforming ideas aty all by translating them into something less persuasive.
What other words and phrases will be subjected to this treatment? I’ll give odds that the next one will change “illegal immigration” to just “immigration,” not that the mainstream media isn’t regularly doing that already. Continue reading
Space Teacher would have a word with you…
Extradimensional Cephalopod, Ethics Alarms’ mysterious, erudite, squid-like commenter, offers this fascinating, if puzzling, perspective on the Rachel Dolezal scandal. I think he’s agreeing with my conclusion that this episode exposes the absurdity and corrupting effects of the progressive obsession with race. I don’t know that this was really told to him by a “space alien elementary school teacher,” but it may well have been said by someone who self-identified as one, and if so, what difference, at this point, does it make?
Here is EC’s Comment of the Day on the post, Further Observations On The NAACP’s Self-Made African-American Exec. Continue reading
WHAT did you say?
There is more to discuss, a lot more, regarding what I will now call “The Klosterman Apology,” because it sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel. For now, however, since it is fresh in my jet-lagged mind, I’d like to focus on the inevitable result of declaring certain words and phrases so objectionable, hurtful, uncivil or politically incorrect that extraordinary means are employed to eliminate them. In the case of The Klosterman Apology, the words were “retard” and “retard,” and a Mom with a blog threatened “The Ethicist” from the New York Times magazine with an onslaught of political correctness bullies if he didn’t immediately express his abject contrition for having used these words in a harsh way a decade ago, in another job that didn’t directly involve ethics. Chuck capitulated, gracefully and well. As I will discuss in another post, I don’t think he had much choice. Still, word-banning is an ugly, and ultimately unethical business. Continue reading
I know, I know.
Tell me about how the English language is dynamic. Next, “irregardless” will be in the dictionary—heck, maybe it is already; I’m afraid to look. Baloney. The fact that “everybody does it,” defined as “people in high places, like Joe Biden, who should know better but don’t,” does not justify treating inarticulate, lazy, careless, embarrassingly stupid language as acceptable. If “literally” means figuratively, then nothing means literally. When someone says that “her marriage was literally destroyed,” thanks to Google and the rest, the only way we know whether her marriage was destroyed or not is if we can find out whether or not the speaker is literate, and maybe not even then.
Call me a stickler, call me a crank, but making the public dumber and communication harder by declaring that those who are poor speakers and lazy thinkers are right and those who champion expressive and accurate language are wrong is not ethical. It is literally irresponsible.
"The haboobs are coming! The haboobs are coming!"
The line between national pride and patriotism on one side and small-mindedness and bigotry on the other can be perilously thin. Some Arizonans, however, have stumbled over the line where it is thicker than the annotated Federal tax regs,
The Arizona natives are objecting to local weathermen adopting the Middle Eastern term haboob to describe the small dust storms that have bedeviled Arizona this summer. Haboob is a wonderful word, considerably more colorful than its Arizona equivalent, which is—-wait for it—“dust storm.” Nonetheless, the newspapers and local talk shows have been been awash recently with complaints like this letter to the editors of the Arizona Republic: Continue reading
Gore Vidal once said, “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too.” Certainly the media is accelerating the decadence of society; does it have to intentionally do in the language as well?
On ABC’s This Week, host Christiane Amanpour casually used the word “perspicacious.” Discussing the Constitution, one of Amanpour’s guests mentioned that Benjamin Franklin wrote that he wouldn’t mind being preserved in a vat of Madeira wine in order to see if the Constitution held up 200 years later. Amanpour responded that Ben was amazingly perspicacious when the Constitution was signed.
Apparently the word perspicacious stumped the 7th grade drop-outs in the booth, because suddenly a box appeared with the definition and pronunciation of the word under Amanpour. Then, commenting on the incident, the web site Mediaite wrote that Amanpour “might avoid using such fancy language so that viewers in the future don’t mistake her show for a Rosetta Stone class teaching the English language.” Continue reading
On a very strange blog called “Approaching Women is An Art” appears an even stranger post called “Creationism in Schools: an Unethical Approach,” apparently imported from another blog. This essay suggests several possible conclusions: that illiteracy is apparently no bar to writing what purports to be a scholarly essay; that the American educational system has hit rock bottom; that English is an endangered language, and that Ed Wood is alive and blogging. It is also possible, I suppose, that the article was originally written in Mongolian and translated by a fifth grader. Continue reading