Offbeat

Politically Correct Terms and What the People Using Them REALLY Mean

George Orwell called it.

In his book Animal Farm, in which all animals are equal but some are more equal than others, and 1984, in which language is increasingly vetted to obstruct critical thought, Orwell predicted today’s zeitgeist to perfection. Join us as we examine some of the politically correct Newspeak used today to stifle any thought before it deviates from the party line or blunt messages for fear of offending.

plant

Plant

“Factory.”

Used in the industrial sense, “plant” evokes kinder, gentler connotations that “factory.” See, factory conjures images of a chain-gang of twelve year-old chimney sweeps, scraping carcinogenic encrustations from the inside of soot-belching smokestacks.

Plant, on the other hand, puts in mind growth, and a caring workplace in which human rights are respected and only ecologically-friendly goods (never “products”, oh no) are hand-woven from love and renewable natural resources. So yeah, delight in the presence of a viridian green, enviro-friendly tank plant in your back yard, people.

blackpeople

African American

“Black American.”

Oh boy, here’s a term that sets everyone’s threat-level to Defcon 1. Let’s all just calm down to a hysterical panic and examine it rationally, as scientists in a lab might pick up some radioactive substance with a robotic hand.

To be accurate, “Black American” really makes much more sense. See, not all Africans are black – something you’d know that if you’d ever traveled to Africa. For instance, you couldn’t rightly call an Egyptian immigrant to the U.S. an African American if the term means black.

This misleading term is actually inaccurate to the many, many cultures in Africa, and logically due to that ought to be dropped. White Americans deathly afraid of causing offense to black Americans are even helping keep it alive. Maybe they should recognize that if being called “white” is acceptable, then “black” should be fine too.

Having respect for other people in your heart, mind, and actions is more important than any word.

immigrant

Undocumented Immigrants

“Illegal aliens.”

It’s just not kosher to call people who break the law by trespassing across borders “illegal aliens.” No sir, that’d imply they’re actually, you know, breaking the law, or not citizens of the nations they’re sneaking into.

So instead, we get this little gem of obfuscation, which implies criminals are simply the victims of a bureaucratic foul-up. Poor criminals. Let’s build schools and houses for them.

And yeah, maybe speaking plainly on this issue ruffles the feathers of some folks. But the law is the law. Once you start making excuses for breaking the law and finding “special cases,” how can you expect anyone else to stick to it?

fail

Deferred Success

“Failure.”

Script-kiddies and their “epic failz” aside, it takes maturity to admit when you’ve failed at something. And yeah, the coddling kids’ books have it that failure’s nothing to be ashamed of ‘cause no one’s 100% successful… That’s technically true, but if no one felt bad when they failed and good when they succeeded, no one would do a damn thing to make things better.

So yeah, when you feel like crap ‘cause you failed, let that crap-feeling be the incentive to learn how to do it right next time. Don’t puss out of it by not facing it head on by using weasel words like “deferred success.” Refusing to face things and learn from them only ensures more failure.

crime

Street Activity Index

“Crime rate.”

Ever encounter people who have to touch wood after mentioning a bad future possibility? Like if you mention something bad that could happen, they get uncomfortable because “talking about it tempts the gods.” Yeah, well that’s the same kinda superstition that motivates people to use terms like “street activity index.”

I’m sure some of them really believe that not calling crime “crime” is going to help someone. Yeah, sure. Maybe if we use really nice and sensitive terms to describe rapists and murderers, they’ll stop raping and murdering, huh? We all know hardened criminals break down in tears and reform themselves if someone just uses nicey-nice terms and takes the time to really connect to their unhappy inner children.

If anything, this mealy-mouthed term is more insensitive than straight “crime.” Does anyone really believe crime only happens on the mean streets, never in penthouse suites or corporate boardrooms? Terms like these would – and does – shift the focus away from some of the biggest criminals in politics and business, and instead focuses on coddling those poor “victims of society” thronging the sidewalks. Nice try, but go sell bullshit somewhere else.

salesman

Previously Owned Vehicle

“Used car.”

If you think this is the lowest a used car salesman will go in playing fast and loose with the truth, enjoy your new $500,000 Yugo.

doctor

Negative Patient Care Outcome

“Death.”

Yeah, even doctors and nurses who deal with suffering, pain, and death daily must pander to the softening collective mind.

We get it, death is not a fun topic. But hey, it happens. You can either live in fear of it to the point that all the passion is leeched out your life, or you can deal. You and everyone you love are going to die, not matter what you like to call it. Ditch the euphemisms and get real, because reality’s all we’ve got.

Any PC words you use to cover up the truth?

Leave a Comment

  1. Timothy Dark says:

    Why can't you call Egyptian immigrant an African American if the term means Black? Because of their complexion? So lighter skinned Africans (Egyptians) aren't Black? Then we can't call Obama, Halle Berry, or Tiger Woods, African American either if the term means Black.
    Yes they are all mixed but that is the reason why most Black people have lighter skin than others, because of some race mixing somewhere.
    Now if an Egyptian person prefers not to be called African then thats his choice (and I respect that) but they can still be looked at as African American.

  2. Joseph Engo says:

    Another fun one that George Carlin pointed out is Sunshine unit.

    "The Pentagon has actually begun measuring nuclear radiation in something they call 'sunshine units'!"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strontium_unit

    Side note: Your OpenID login is borked.

  3. godlessgirl says:

    It's not exactly the same, but the trend of giving disorder diagnoses for douchebaggery is on my last nerve. Road rage? Intermittent explosive disorder? Internet rage? How about idiots who never learned self-control losing their temper because they think life revolves around them? Okeedoke.

  4. Ann O'Nymous says:

    SOUTH AFRICA has WHITE PEOPLE in it. SO DO SOME OF THE NORTHERN AFRICAN NATIONS. There are even some SEMITIC/ARABIC people down that way. THEY'RE NOT BLACK, but they are AFRICAN.

    Stupid/

  5. second gen. american says:

    why do we need to use african anyways. i have often heard about irish-americans, german americans, italian americans. we don't say european americans. so why say african and not gabon americans, nigarian americans, south african americans. no color is need then

  6. JoeBlough says:

    What are 'we' going to call Tiger Wood's kids? Skando-Afro-Chino-Americans? I live where Latino is the majority population, yes, in the USA, and the Latino call me an Anglo, wassup with that? I am actually part Anglo, part Franco, part Germo, and part Dano. Once a muslim dude who had a crush on my jewish ladyfriend wrote her a note that said: 'You could be with me, but instead you are with Satan' True story. Does any body really care? Yes, and they who do are the problem.

  7. Brea says:

    truly, if you live in america, why not just be called AMERICAN? I mean, hello, technically we are american citizens unless you're an illegal immigrant sucking my hard earned money out of my pocket. Therefore, if we followed that, then there would be no need for any debate over the fact that white people live in africa and black people live in the united states. So, to be politically correct, if you think we can classify folk by their nationality and location then you're intellectually challenged.

  8. Gary says:

    Wat would you call an "African American" that moves to England, or maybe China? Not meant to be a joke but meant to show that this whole PC era is a bunch of BS. Travel to Europe and the term is black, just as the term for caucasion is white. GET OVER IT!!

  9. ARTH says:

    WE ONLY LOOK ALL COLOR IN AMERICA ONLY, SO WE CAN BLACK PEOPLE LOOKING DOWN ON THEMSELVES.