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Not Exactly What I Had In Mind

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Posted by Aurino Souza on April 16, 2002 18:33:01 UTC


I don't think I was successful in expressing myself. I don't see any problem with the PC thing, or the anti-PC thing. I think it's hard to achieve a good balance between being honest and being nice, and choosing the right words is paramount. That's not where the problem is.

The problem, in my opinion, is when people stop talking about facts and start debating the PC issues brought about by those facts. For instance, I do believe women are more intelligent than men. As Dick said, notice how they don't waste their time with philosophical fluff the way we do here. That, to me, is a fact. Now instead of concentrating on what I stated as a fact, misperceived though it might be, you chose to accuse me of "trying to be nice to women", which was far beyond my point. As I said, I see these kinds of things happening everywhere, entire issues being overlooked in favour of criticizing one's improper honesty or improper politeness, whatever the case might be.

That's what leaves me puzzled.

Political correctness can imply that stifling free speech is NOW okay, because the goal of speech has been attained

I don't see it that way. Remember, yesterday's PC is today's unacceptable language. There was a time when it was OK to call a dark-skinned person a nigger. I'm sure fifty, a hundred years from today "African-American" will be just as unacceptable as "nigger" is today. The real issue, however, gets overshadowed by linguistic debates. The real issue is why does one have to resort to euphemisms to hide the fact that a person's skin has a different colour?

So PC can be the worst enemy of the human race when the process that made it was trying to be the best friend.

As I tried to explain above, to me the real problem is that while people are debating whether PC is good or bad, the real issues behind PC are not being taken care of.

The thing about pre-owned called a "euphemism"

That's how you see it from the "inside" point of view. From the "outside" it looks a lot different. All human languages are full of euphemisms, it's the way Americans use them that I find intriguing. See, "pre-owned" is not the same way as "used", in the same way that "African-American" is not the same thing as "black". While in my native language an euphemism is just an artifice to avoid bringing to mind an unpleasant idea, Americans seem to use them to distort or hide the facts. "65 or better" is a case in point; "65 or wiser" could work, "65 or more" perhaps, but "better"? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Well, so much for cultural idiosyncrasies.

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