Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 13:29:18 -0600
From: Katherine Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BGA.COM
Subject: Re: PC Language
On Tue, 21 Nov 1995, SETH SKLAREY wrote:
In answer to your question, Wayne, the line is drawn at the point where the
person or group requesting the political correctness doesn't have a sense of
This is an interesting point.
If a group
can ask for a sensitivity, they should also be able to laugh at themselves
become a societal stereotype.
Here I would have to say it depends on what you expect people to find
funny. I don't suppose a mother of a child in a special ed class would
get a chuckle from hearing that class called "the idiots who
were thrown into the public schools during the Reagan administration."
And where I live "faggot" is a fairly grave insult; nor would it be
generally considered humorous to tell someone with AIDS "you're not
'living with it,' you're _dying_ from it."
I suppose I'm sounding rather humorless myself, and I wish I could get
around that--I think of myself as quite jolly, I swear! What I'm trying
to say is that while I think your point about humorlessness is a an
excellent one, I'm not quite seeing how your examples always fit up with
it. (On the other hand, if I ever heard someone seriously call short
people "vertically challenged," I'd find that funny. I've only ever heard
that in the parody category, however.)
Some of this difference may be regional. Here in Austin I've never heard
an objection or confusion about the term Anglo (even from my Cajun
husband who sometimes calls non-cajuns 'white people'), but then it tends
to be used in clear and limited contexts. And I've never met a Jew who
thought that word was a slur, or at least one who told me so--is that
Sorry I know this is a bit incoherent. It's an interesting discussion,
Kate Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]bga.com