alto , notwithstanding the oil and water effect when it comes to you and Mike Essig , I read your article and I think you’re absolutely right. I have a small problem though because I think Mike is absolutely right as well.
Political correctness came into popular usage as a means of bringing both awareness of and a call for change to the way people so callously used biased, insensitive, offensive and bigoted terms and language to publicly identify certain people, groups, races, sexes, and so on. And this has been and still is a very big problem in our society. I believe, in simple terms, the root of the issue is a desperate lacking of any basic respect for individual human identity and a general misguided and immoral belief that the “freedoms” we are so entitled to should also allow us to use whatever language we want, you know..freedom of speech and all, towards others regardless of how inflammatory and offensive it may be. It’s ridiculously self-righteous and self-serving to believe it is ok to use words that are blatently offensive, using “constitutional right” to justify being an asshole. Ok, that wasn’t very PC of me but it was still accurate, and slightly hypocritical, but I’ll own that one. Anyway, I may not have really gotten to the grit of your argument on this but I think it was along these similar lines.
Now when I read Mike’s comment, I immediately thought to another side which has become a gross misuse of PC. And Mike is correct in his somewhat flippant definition of the term. If there is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, there will always be those who feel the need to take that issue to the extreme of ridiculousness. Hence, the creation of the minefield. It is when you can no longer refer to someone as “short,” the PC term is “vertically challenged” and a whole list of similar PC terms to replace what are already benign terms. I read a story of a chain bakery in England, whose regional manager decided that “gingerbread man” was exclusive and misogynistic. Now they have “gingerbread persons” (no joke) and the staff are required to correct customers who are insensitive and callous enough to ask for a gingerbread man. Are we really to believe that somewhere there is a group of excluded socially oppressed gingerbread women that have had their status improved by this grand PC act? These are just a couple of examples, but it is the ridiculously extreme side of political correctness and it is here where you step into the minefield where no words or terms are safe from attack and ridicule.
Disclaimer: the minefield does not include terms, words, language that IS in fact offensive under the guise that the offended are just being too sensitive. Because this struggle is real too.
Alto, you have a hardwired view and definition of PC that is based at the heart of the real issue. But alas, it is not the only definition of the term, even if another is a twisted perversion of the original. So depending on which side of the term you have been exposed to, the definition would actually be very debatable. And both would be right.
Just my two cents. Daily value and conversion rates of that two cents varies. For what it’s worth.