Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 13:29:18 -0600 From: Katherine Catmull 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 > humor. 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, though. Kate Catmull kate[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]