Posts Tagged ‘London’


I was watching a program that was dealing with the recent economic crisis, along with some of the pratfalls that many municipalities are encountering, and the talking heads got into a heated, and misdirected, discussion on political correctness. More to the point, they argued about the term ‘Manhole’, and what it should be called instead of this.

What was interesting about this is that about 5 minutes of the program were wasted arguing their point, five minutes of network time, which I hear is pretty expensive. So some sponsor like ‘Bounce’ had to pay for some dunderheads to show just how smart they actually were which wasn’t very. Incidentally, the term ‘Maintenance Access Port’ became the accepted manner of stating ‘Manhole’, which they also said ‘just sounded dirty’.

I was aghast. Manhole sounded dirty to some of the panel. Lord help us. Granted, if you used the word in a naughty way, it could be perceived as such, but they weren’t. It was at this time that I wished the television was an interactive tool, so that I could join the panel with a few choice words, and maybe a swift kick or two. I would have asked, ‘Do you object to the term ‘Ladybug’? I’m sure if you scour the Ladybug population, some ‘Man-Ladybugs’ must exist! Let’s call them ‘PeopleBugs’, or ‘Ambiguously-Sexed Bugs’ .

Being politically correct today shouldn’t mean hobbling our intelligence. I have a son, Alex, who happens to have autism, and sometimes people try to search for a more suitable term to describe his situation. It isn’t necessary, believe me. We, and he, are not offended by his status. It is what it is. We work with it. He is a person first, who HAPPENS to have autism. We are working ourselves into a lather trying to please anyone who is in the least sensitive about this, and it shouldn’t be that way.

The following example, to me, proves my point. Here’s a sentence written in the Queen’s English: ‘The bald & blind immigrant happened upon a corpse, who happened to be a homeless person, and the police surmised that this was the work of a ‘serial killer’.’ In politically correct terms, this could then read ‘The comb-free photonically non-receptive person happened upon a terminally inconvenienced person, who happened to be residentially flexible, and the law enforcement official figured that this was the work of a ‘person-with-difficult-needs-to-meet’. Let’s hear them say THAT on CTV!

I realize that some terms have had to change, in particular with certain handicaps, because many were derogatory in nature, and counter-productive to say the least. I am thankful that we as parents live in a society of inclusion, so that people can be all they can be. We all benefit by being multi-cultural and diversified. A friend of mine, his name is Randy Wood* (last name changed to protect the identity), who rails against racism of any kind, and refuses to accept e-mails with racist jokes, or harmful remarks of any sort. I admire and respect the fact that he publicly says this.

But to call a dirty old man ‘sexually focused’, a dead person ‘living impaired’, a fat person a ‘person of substance’, or even someone with PMS ‘cyclically challenged’ is, I think, going a little far. I myself am ‘comb-free’ for the most part, am also a ‘person of substance’, and have been known to be ‘cyclically challenged’ once in a while….but you can call me a balding, bitchy, fat guy if you want. I would appreciate if you didn’t, though. I might get ugly, or ‘cosmetically challenged’ on you.

If someone is a cannibal, do we call them an ‘intra-species diner’? When we sing, ‘Momma, don’t let your boys grow up to be cowboys!’, do we replace ‘cowboys’ with ‘bovine control officers’? It doesn’t have the same ring to it. Is a dead person ‘living impaired’? If we ‘fail’, do we actually ‘achieve a deficiency?’

In one of my first jobs, I was a petroleum transfer technician (I pumped gas), I was also a ‘mobile flat-pie bringer’ (pizza delivery), a height-challenged food preparer (short order cook), and many other jobs that defy political correctness. Let’s just call a spade a spade (or a garden implement a garden implement). Let’s put an end to the ultra sensitive mish-mash of verbal diarrhea, and expend our energies where they should be.