Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 08:34:23 EST From: David Muschell Subject: Re: offending idioms In response to Gregory D. Waltigney, who wrote: >Perhaps those out there who feel the need to use this forum as a soapbox >for determining political correctness could take their drivel elsewhere >rather than degenerating into a bunch of blathering "offending idiots"! "Political Correctness" has in itself become an offensive tag, and the vague reference to "those" using this discussion group takes away from the uniqueness of the forum as a kind of instantaneous, on-going conference. For me, the exploration of language has nothing to do with PC. Political correctness implies that there is some kind of agenda behind the user with an intention to bleach language of its dirtiness. The discussion on offending idioms was started innocently enough by Judy Kuster several weeks ago and has, for me, been extremely interesting. Whether or not a sense of prescriptivism exists within some of the responses is irrelevant to the positive use of this new format for interconnectedness. As an admirer of Priestly, I find the descriptive approach more useful, but in describing, it's hard to overlook connotative usage and its impact on language. I have read very little drivel as I've followed (and participated) in this particular discussion and even less blather. Personally, the suggestion to take the debate elsewhere is a kind of prescription in itself--one that would negate the very value of this computer conference. Of course I take the above suggestion seriously, and at a real conference I'd probably laugh it off as a small, crotchety response to the more important issue. But since budgetary constraints probably won't allow me to attend a "real" conference, this electronic space for analyzing, conversing, and "listening" to other fine scholars has become a fine way to breach the isolation of individual institutions. Intuitively, ADS has gotten involved in a thought-provoking line of discussion that mirrors an issue seen being explored in the media with the publication of THE BELL CURVE. David