Monday, April 20, 2009

Excellent rant against PC-speak

Do you hate PC-speak? Do you hate all the deceptive, cloying, mind-befogging, euphemistic mental manipulation to which the self-styled Guardians of Culture want to subject you by means of telling you how you must talk?

You will love this post. It's a rant. It's a self-styled rant. Warning: It uses one bad word in the course thereof, once. (He says he will hereby redefine it, since language changes and we can make words mean whatever we want them to mean.) It's hilarious. Here are just a few quotes, but you will want to read the whole thing:

Unless you can tell me, off the top of your head and without looking it up, the name in any Eskimo dialect for a Virginian, I suggest your concern for their concern for our names for them is illegitimate...
Maybe if I video-taped myself with a kidnapped and innocent civilian journalist, one to whom I’d falsely promised safe conduct, and battered in his skull with a thurible while dressed in miter and alb all the time singing GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO, my tender feelings would be nourished and guarded. Or is it only the deadly enemies of their own culture the death-cult members of the death-culture Left wish to see lauded, aided and abetted?
Let me explain that I regard political correctness as worse than a lie.

A lie is a straightforward attempt to deceive a victim. It [is] almost honest by contrast. Political Correctness is a corrupt attempt to poison thought and speech, and to impose upon the nobility and courtesy of its victims to get them to deceive themselves. A frequent side effect of PC jargon is that it renders rational conversation difficult, indirect, or even impossible.

Innocent and well meaning people are actually fooled by this simple trick. Sad to say, most people think like magicians. They believe in the rule of true names. They think (or rather, they feel) that when they are calling one thing by another name, that the actual nature of reality changes. They put themselves in a position where they can no longer talk about real things. Words are severed from referents.
If you successfully substitute the word 'Inuit' for 'Eskimo' on the grounds that 'Eskimo' is an insult, you will have successfully convinced the next generation that all their forefathers who used the word 'Eskimo' deliberately meant and fully intended an insult, or were foolish or negligent enough to utter an insult by accident. That conviction will be false, a lie, and you (in a small way, one more straw on the camel's back) will have helped to perpetrate it.

And there's more. Yes, he gets to feminist revisionist language, too. No one is spared. It's a tour de force (a few misspellings notwithstanding).

Bonus link: If you have never read P. J. O'Rourke's glorious rant on this same subject (politically correct language), the one containing the sentence, "I feel a spate of better writing coming on," do yourself a favor and read it, too.

HT: Scott W. at Romish Internet Graffiti

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