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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'Master/slave' Most Politically Incorrect Phrase
Dec 3, 9:13 AM (ET)

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The computer term "master/slave," which was banned as racially offensive by a Los Angeles County purchasing department, was named the most politically incorrect term of the year on Thursday.

Among other terms on the top 10 list of politically charged words and phrases, issued by the word usage group Global Language Monitor, were "non-same sex marriage" to describe heterosexual unions, "waitron" for waiter or waitress and "higher being" for God, a term some people found too religious.

"We found 'master/slave' to be the most egregious example of political correctness in 2004," said Paul JJ Payack, president of The Global Language Monitor.

"This is but one more example of the insertion of politics into every facet of modern life, down to the level of the control processes of computer technology."

In computer terminology, "master/slave" refers to primary and secondary hard disk drives. But a Los Angeles county purchasing department told vendors in late 2003 that the term was offensive and violated the region's cultural diversity. The county's department of affirmative action undertook a hunt to replace it on packages.

After a public uproar, the county backed down. Payack said that while the incident took place in late 2003, debate about it grew enormously in 2004.

The phrase "non-same sex marriage," was used by a former congressman who did not want to offend gay people by using the term traditional marriage, Payack said.

Also on the list this year were "Red Sox lover," to use in place of "Yankee hater," "progressive" for classical liberal, "incurious" rather than more impolite invectives for President Bush, "insurgents" instead of terrorists in Iraq, "baristas" for waiters, and "first year student" rather than freshman.
 

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""higher being" for God, a term some people found too religious."

We can thank Alcoholics Anonymous for that one. The Second Step used to be make an explicit reference to God's ability to restore one's sanity, but many many years ago, long before the term "politically correct" had been coined, it was changed to "higher power" in a feeble attempt to evade the Christian underpinnings of the twelve steps.

Stupid, even from my orthodox-heathen perspective: The twelve steps are an excellent synopsis of the best of applied Christianity.
 

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It is always a bad thing when you can't call a "Spade a Spade". People do not realize that all this PC crap is designed to destroy our 1st amendment rights and get us to talking "New Speak". Orwell was a genius.
 

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Agree that Orwell was a genius. Anyone who hasn't read the Appendix to "1984" in which Orwell explains the principles of Newspeak, the language of Insoc, should read it:
http://www.liferesearchuniversal.com/appendix1984.html#append

At the same time, I rather like the concept of political correctness. I think it's a good idea to stop and consider the implications of the language you're using.

For example, while I think it's stupid to refer to pets as companion animals, that's a reflection of my beliefs regarding the relationship between people and animals: It's a good idea to stop and consider your beliefs with regard to the relationship between people and other species. And then refer to them as "pets" or as "companion animals" according to which fits your beliefs best.

For another example, I try to be careful in both my written and spoken English to avoid non-sexist language - e.g. I'll sometimes use a plural so I can refer to "them" instead of being stuck with using only "him" when the folks I'm referring to include women. (e.g. "When cooks make soup, they shouldn't use too much salt.", not "When a cook makes soup, he shouldn't use too much salt."). After a while it becomes habit.

It's when folks use the concept of politically correct to dictate our beliefs instead of to examine our language to see if it accurately reflects our beliefs that I have a problem with it. For example, PETA folks insist that we call pets companion animals because they want to impose their beliefs upon us. I also have little patience with folks who insist that they be called pets because they want to impose that belief about the nature of the relationship between people and animals.

Not that long ago some folks were trying to impose their beliefs about the Iraqi war by insisting that we never refer to what's going on in Iraq as an occupation. Doesn't matter that we're occupying the country after its military defeat. We should say we're liberating Iraq, not occupying it.

I find it equally bad when folks toss civility to the winds in the name of political freedom and avoidance of feel-good political correctness. Yes, you should call a spade a spade. But you should never call a spade a ******.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Civilityis good but whatever ever happened to the lessons of "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me"?

We all need a little dose of toughening up.
 

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Custer said:
Civilityis good but whatever ever happened to the lessons of "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me"?

We all need a little dose of toughening up.
Well, names can and do hurt folks. One of the things I like about this site as opposed to Brand X is that far fewer epithets seem to be used here. But agree with you that folks need to toughen up some. And I suspect we agree that folks also need to lighten up some.

I mean, if you're a fascist insect who preys upon the life of the people, deal with it. Get over it. Cockroaches don't mind being called insects, so why should conservatives?
 

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Gunco Goddess
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Insignificant little poodles who do nothing of value don't mind being called pains-in-the-ass, so why should liberals? See, works both ways. PC isn't necessary.
 

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aseay said:
Insignificant little poodles who do nothing of value don't mind being called pains-in-the-ass, so why should liberals? See, works both ways. PC isn't necessary.
Whew! Glad I'm not a liberal.

Say, what do you have against poodles?
 

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Gunco Goddess
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Poodles are small, obnoxious creatures....I can't figure out why someone wouldn't just buy a cat? At least they clean themselves.
 

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aseay said:
...At least they clean themselves.
Well, perhaps, but my cat and dog both serve as a reminders to be very very thankful that toilet paper was invented.
 

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Gunco Goddess
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Very good point! I guess something can be said of the poodle's inspiration to optimism.
 

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A cat? Quite possible the worlds most worthless animal. At least a dog can feign affection. Not to mention the obligatory shitbox that cats require and stink up the house.
 

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I understand the need to keep other peoples feelings in mind when you speak. I also understand the need to "stick to your guns." I am a firm believer that you can do both. This is sometimes difficult for me because I was raised to believe that a disagreement automatically meant argument. I've came a long way to now believe that a disagreement is just that, a disagreement. Although I still have some more to work on.

But like some of the references Dzerzhinsky pointed out, I agree has gone too far. A pet is a pet. Cut me a break! Just like a janitor wanting to be called a sanitation engineer, but he's still a janitor. I'll pick on myself a little. I'm a contractor. No fancy name I give myself will change the job that I do. I still get up every morning and use my hands to earn a living. I am not belittled when someone calls me a roofer, or electrician, or tin knocker, or furnace man, or even carpenter. Those are all things that I am trained to do. I don't need a fancy title to do my job.

I think Shakespear said something about "a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet."

BTW A while back, our very own Sen Robert Byrd used the "N" word during an interview. Never seen that on CNN. But no one would dare say anything bad about ol' Byrdy boy, unless you come to my neck of the woods.
 
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