Our incredibly shrinking language

November 21, 2017 |

In George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, the official language, Newspeak, is based on making the choice of words ever-smaller. It’s harder to break free of the allowable way of speaking --- or even of thinking --- when words are being eliminated left and right.

In 2017, we find life imitating art. But it’s the Left that wants to take words away from the Right, or even from any middle-of-the-roader who’s not totally on board with radical far-left dictums. The effort to control language certainly isn’t new; in fact, it’s been going on for a long time, with all sorts of politically-correct changes in the language already in place. The late comedian George Carlin had a whole standup routine about words that have been eliminated and replaced with more sterile and less meaningful terminology. (And, no, I’m not talking about his bit on the seven words you can’t say on television –- a different issue entirely.)


Commentary continues below advertisement


Right now, the hot issues are LGBTQ-related. We’re not supposed to acknowledge the reality of actual, biological genders, so gender-specific pronouns and suffixes are on the chopping block, particularly in the classroom of San Diego State University Associate History Prof. Chiou-Ling Yeh. According to a story in The College Fix, she instructed students to avoid the use of gender-specific pronouns in their papers, and even to use the word “humankind” instead of “mankind.”

Personally, I’m shocked that “humankind” would be acceptable to her, as it still contains the syllable “man.” Hey, even “history” should go, because “his” sounds pretty male to me. The language must be utterly purged of all male references, even if their meaning encompasses male, female and everything in between! (It also occurs to me that some other languages will have to undergo a complete overhaul. Take Spanish and other Romance languages, for instance, in which even inanimate objects have masculine or feminine gender. Gee, that’s gonna take some work. But I digress.)


Commentary continues below advertisement


This idiocy goes on in other university classrooms as well. A while back, we had the story of a University of Florida student who was called down for such errors on a history paper. (I find it sadly ironic that these issues are arising in history class.) “Thoughtful paper, although the writing-mechanics errors are killing you,” Professor Jack Davis wrote.

Keep in mind that in a classroom, the concept of political “correctness” is chillingly literal. If a student’s choice of words doesn’t match the teacher’s ideology, it’s counted as incorrect. This has to stop, before key ways to formulate communication are dropped down the memory hole.

READ MORE

PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW. I READ THEM!

Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!
Captcha

More Stories

A contrary opinion

Comments 1-21 of 21

  • Anthony DeBartolomeo

    11/27/2017 12:38 PM

    As a teacher, I abhor the PC adulteration language movement. I do not subscribe to it in my classroom. Singular pronouns are gender specific unless you consider yourself an 'it." The pronouns "they" denotes more than one, not a gender changer. Unless you have multiple personalities, you are not a they, and I will not call you such. I am a stickler for proper grammar, communication that reaches an audience beyond one's narrow community of friends, and reasonableness, not political correct stupidity (is that an oxymoron - or just a moron?).

  • Cleve WIlson

    11/26/2017 10:42 PM

    You have to hand it to liberals. They are much more organized and "end game" oriented than conservatives. In the 1970's their leaders saw the writing on the wall. Elections in the futre would be more and more difficult to win unless "things changed". The plan to change things started with control of higher education at the most fundamental level. Government and college admin would have to become not only liberal but committed liberals that would transform universities over the next 30 years to as close to 100% admin and classroom dominance. The government's roll was the money flowing to liberal controlled admin through grants and guaranteed student loans. Once the admin was secure, then came hiring of the professors. Soon college culture was totally controlled by the left and it has become MORE liberal and controlling as the last 17 years have progressed. They CONTROL what all students are exposed to and the threat is real if you are a student and want to graduate. Either believe it all or understand what you better espouse because your grades depend on it.
    Now with two generations of liberal teachers being indoctrinated fully in anti-American drivel they have invaded the most sacred of all institutions, the public school system across this country. Now liberalism is being taught from kindegarten all the way to graduation. I worked for 40 years in Texas public schools and saw firsthand how the transformation took place...slowly and throughly. If your kid is in public shcools, they are being indoctrinated NOW. Parents NEED to be involved in what is being taught in ALL classrooms. Liberal theology is taught everywhere: History, Science, English, Art, Speech, Civics, Reading, Math, everywhere!
    Conservatives have stood by and allowed this to happen with cavalier attitude and ignorance of the consequences. Wake up America.

  • priscilla bence

    11/26/2017 08:33 PM

    I know two people now in their thirties who had to write papers from the professors' liberal point of view or their grades would have suffered too greatly. This is so sad. In the sixties I was allowed to voice my opinion freely which sometimes was liberal and sometimes conservative.

  • Phillip LaRoe

    11/26/2017 06:36 PM

    I always thought that “hupersonkind” would be the best term for the left.

  • Nancy Russell

    11/26/2017 05:09 PM

    I HEAR BAD GRAMMAR ALL DAY LONG ON THE NEWS BY PRESUMABLY EDUCATED PEOPLE WHOSE HAIR AND CLOTHES ARE ALL TENDED TO. THE MISTAKES MADE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARE ALL TAUGHT IN GRAMMAR SCHOOL SO THEY HAVE NO EXCUSE. THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA WAS WRITTEN ABOUT DECADES AGO AND THE RESULTS ARE NOW EVIDENT.

  • Jennifer Stout

    11/24/2017 07:34 PM

    My son is currently viewing colleges for next school year. It's amazing how some of the colleges pride themselves on their ultra liberal thinking and the non-acceptance of any other way of thinking. Luckily those schools are off the list for him but I wonder how many parents know what is actually going on at the school their son or daughter is going to ( besides the partying )

  • William Chase

    11/22/2017 07:06 PM

    1984, rewriting History to fit the narrative. Yea, let's take down all them statues. They are offensive anyway.NOT!

  • George Phelps

    11/22/2017 11:08 AM

    Yes! Our precious English language is being assaulted and, excuse the expression, bastardized!
    I remember when the left wanted to use, I think it was called 'ebonics' in the black communities. That was in California I believe. That would have been another way of dumbing down the 'African Americans' since everything else, like schools, was in English.

    The not so 'goody two shoes huggy bears' liberals will do anything to dumb down the citizens so they can take over the country and instill their Socialist ideologies. There main interest is power, control and dominance over us citizens. They already have too much power, control and dominance over us, a.k.a. the Federal Government, education system and so forth!

    Thanks for asking for a comment.

    George Phelps (Decorated Korean War Combat Veteran)
    League City, Texas

  • Catherine Haenze

    11/22/2017 09:01 AM

    So, when will "they" go after female references? Just what we need, a truly genderless society. That ought to help the kids settle into their lives..... she writes sardonically.

  • Wesley G. Vaughn

    11/22/2017 07:50 AM

    For a long time I have seen the connection between PC and newspeak as the intent to prevent independent rational thought. What comes next? For one thing, the majority of people will no longer be called "right-handed" but "altleft-handed." Mike, you are so altleft on!!

  • Richard Rettke

    11/21/2017 05:19 PM

    The decline of the english language has always been a burr under my saddle. I do my best to use meaningful words in conversations and correspondence as often as I can. I am not desirous of being the language police nor a sesquipedalian. I thank you for for this article. Mike, it's also important (to me) that you know in my world I have two primary sources of true and accurate information about the world around us. You and Gary Bauer.

  • Reverend Dr. James B., Ph.D., D.D. P.E. (physicist)

    11/21/2017 04:51 PM

    A blessing of my old age is watching civilization behavior in the USA, Europe, and Pacific Rim change profoundly through several younger generations. The loss of manners and courtesy is the worst of it. We also have drifted in the meaning of our words. Here is an example of a word's meaning drifting with time: Epitome: the original meaning in my generation was "representative of the whole or group", in other words "average". Now, it is mostly changed to meaning: "the top or apex". I saw a top-quality magazine publishing an expensive ad for BMW that said the "BMW's were the epitome of automobiles". I resisted writing BMW a letter sympathizing with their not able to build better than average. I resisted the urge. Keep up your good work. Reverend Jim

  • Nancy Murphy

    11/21/2017 04:47 PM

    I love your commentaries, Mike. You are a voice of reason in a world gone mad. God bless you and keep fighting the good fight!????

  • Marian Jacoby

    11/21/2017 04:25 PM

    I went to UC Berkeley in the 60's. My grandfather and uncle were professors there, and my parents met at Berkeley. However, everything changed while I was there. I remember getting a D+ once on a paper about poverty. Since it was an English class, the TA could logically criticize my presentation or grammar. However, there were no such comments or corrections. Rather, the TA was simply appalled at my conservative conclusions and left this comment next to the D+: "How could you think this way?" I also went through a picket line one day to get to my class and was spat upon by a protester. I can still feel that angry spit rolling down my arm. When I got to class, the TA had a note on the door: "No class due to protesting". I have never given a dime to Berkeley, and I wouldn't send my dog there today. Too many professors and TA's seem to be progressive twits. Thank you for letting me vent! :)

  • Larry Rhodes

    11/21/2017 04:18 PM

    Spot on. I have read 1984 several times and it is chilling to see the direction that is being taken. Side note-Luther said "It is not that we think we are more powerful than God but that we think we are smarter than God".

  • Melvin H. Strickland

    11/21/2017 04:13 PM

    Satan indeed is setting up the Planet for the soon-coming New World Order, the Tribulation and the soon-coming Millennial Reign of Jesus. (Yeshua) On the back of our Dollar Bills---Novus Ordo Seclorum---Latin for New World Order. Been on our Dollar Bills since 1934. (Also on back of Bill is All-seeing eye of Egyptian Sun God, Horus.
    Melvin H. Strickland-CAC, CNC---Called Spiritual Warrior for Jesus for 45 Years, Called Prophet of God for 12 Years.

  • John Prentice

    11/21/2017 03:54 PM

    {This is not about the shrinking language story, sorry} Maybe you know someone at the RNC. They consider me enough of a Republican to often ask me for money. But I haven’t ever been asked about spending it. (I don’t count the demeaning surveys attached to the requests for money.)

    It’s simple. I expect the RNC to support persons of character. I expect the RNC to vet candidates before they support them with money donated by me. I expect that the RNC will run background checks and give each potential candidate a lie-detector test with a thorough and well thought through list of questions to expose motives for running, any character flaws, legal or moral entanglements that would make them unsuitable for the office. I realize that we all are imperfect people with things we would like to keep secret but it is unrealistic to believe at this time, we can keep anything secret from a motivated enemy. So let’s get all these potential issues out in the open and move forward. I believe this type of vetting is still used for job candidates where public safety and trust are involved, police depts. and convenience stores.

    In fact this could be a great fund raising event by holding these interviews on TV! This would pole-vault the Republicans onto the moral high-ground. Once the Republicans begin fielding candidates of unimpeachable character, the Democrats would be forced to keep the debate on issues.

    I’ll keep withholding my monetary support until they come back to me with a better suggestion.
    Thanks,
    John Prentice

  • JoAnn Nichol

    11/21/2017 03:46 PM

    Thanks, "Mr." Huckabee, (Gov. Huckabee) for speaking out on this! It is truly societal treachery that enables "those who wish to change what they are" to force an entire society to change: its thought processes, its language, and so much more! I hope your comments may be spread throughout the land, much as President Trump's comments have been on "political correctness". For far too long Idiocy has reined in this great U.S. of A.! If many, many don't speak out, such outrageous attitudes are allowed and then, become acceptable. They are not!!! They are NOT acceptable! THEY ARE NOT!

  • Sarah Menne

    11/21/2017 03:43 PM

    There are entirely too many liberal professors and teachers in our schools and universities who are NOT teaching, but attempting to indoctrinate our youth. This MUST be curtailed.

  • Bonita Mentzer

    11/21/2017 03:26 PM

    Yes it is sad. But even more sad for the far left, I won't stay quiet. I will speak up and if they try to shut me down/up, I'll say been there done that, so you knock it off.

  • Douglas Anderson

    11/21/2017 02:54 PM

    Personally, I have closed the doors to the liberal's Church of Political Correctness and What's Happening Now.