Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 09:58:55 -0500 From: "Gregory J. Pulliam" Subject: Re: PC It seems to me that "politcal correctness" really just has to do with being polite to others, and with the tendency of labels towards pejoration. As s label for a group of people becomes more common, there is often a tendency to view the label itself as negative, prompting members of the group represented by the label (or those who speak for them, such as the families of "retarded" people) to come up with a new, less connotative "name" for their group. Non-group members who find themselves asked to relinquish a term they are used to for another, less-familiar term, can either politely acknowledge that the term they have been using is hurtful to the members of the group, and _ATTEMPT_ to use the new, suggested term, or they can assert their right to free speech (which they have, and SHOULD have) and use whatever term they want. If they choose the latter course, though, they will in many cases find themselves on the defensive for using a now-pejorative term. Rather than acknowledge what they are doing--insisting on prioritizing their own right to free speech over the need to treat others politely and respectfully, some of these folks choose to assault the linguistic phenomenon of _euphemism_ which drives this whole process by calling it "political correctness." I could assert the same "right" by insisting on saying "I have to take a piss" in whatever situation I find myself at the time, accusing those who object to my saying this--say, in front of children--of being PC but suggesting that I should say "I have to go to the bathroom" instead. I suspect those who most object to so-called PC-ness would not allow me to speak so freely: it's the right-wing that objects so vehemently to the "adult language" on television shows such as "NYPD Blue," after all. I have my asbestos suit handy, BTW. Greg Pulliam Chicago HUMPULLIAM[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]