Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stop the Subversion of Our Language

A couple of days ago, I think it was Monday, I read there was a move to change the name of “Swine Flu” to Mexican flu. The reasoning behind this change in nomenclature was so that Jewish and Muslim people would not be offended.
The first thought that entered my mind was that there would be a hue and cry from Mexico and people born in Mexico living elsewhere that “Mexican Flu” would unfairly stigmatize them.
Then I thought, “WHY? Why would any sane organization change a logical label for an illogical one?” The answer is that the United States and many Western European nations have buckled to the minority clamoring for politically correct everything.
Swine flu indicates the origin of this infection. It somehow jumped from pigs to humans. NOW, the infection vector is human to human. That's basic logic. Mexican flu would indicate the country of origin. Like the Asian flu of years past indicated the region of the flu's origins. Again, logical. However, there was not a hysterical reaction from Asian folks and nations to change the name of the flu, now was there? Or was that what Avian flu was before a similar name change? No, I think [and I'll accept correction on this] Asian flu and Avian flu are two different strains of influenza.
Epidemiologists are a logical lot. They will name a disease in a way that indicates the beginnings of the infection. But now the politically correct idjits want to change a perfectly logical way of naming infections to a method that will give no offense to anyone. And our governments and institutions are struggling between being logical and being politically correct.
My question is this, how long are we going to allow the degradation of our language, our COMMON language, to be subverted in the service of an increasingly restrictive standard? We can no longer use the word “niggardly” for fear of offending black [and in some circles even the word black is offensive to the overly sensitive] citizens, even though the term refers not to race, but to stinginess. We are told by government officials we will no longer use the words “terrorism” or “terrorist acts”. We are now to refer to this despicable behavior as “man-made disasters” or some such twaddle. As to the term “Islamic terror” or any variation thereof, we MUST not offend Muslims. They, the terrorists of course, are not restricted in their use of terminology. Westerners, especially Christian Americans, may be called “the Great Satan” with impunity. References to Jews or Israelis can be even more harsh, “sub-human”, “dogs” and suchlike.
I think it's time we put a stop to this insanity that is restricting the use of descriptive language in favor of an idiotic principle. If you love language, resist the pressure to be politically correct in your choice of words. Use the language we have used centuries. It's serviceable and more than that it is clear what your meaning is.
I'm not advocating the use of vulgarity or profanity, those terms were a pervasion of truly legitimate language from their inception.

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