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

for having

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

really true?

Sorry I know this is a bit incoherent. It's an interesting discussion,


Kate Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]