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.)
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.)
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.
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