Jul 282015

I was less intellectually and spiritually sure of myself in college than at any other time in my life. That’s just how it should be. Higher education is about many things, but it must be about questioning everything we think we know.

It should be more difficult to be fat and happy with your beliefs at a university than at just about any other place in the world.

And that is why the proliferation of “safe zones,” the prattling about “microaggression,” and the massive growth of speech codes is one gigantic travesty.

Look, we’re all adults here. Let’s seriously consider the notion that if it takes longer than ten seconds to explain why using this term or that is offensive, then there’s a really good chance the offense is manufactured. Political correctness is obnoxious everywhere, but it’s hugely toxic on college campuses.

For example, I learned today—hat tip, Katherine Timpf—that the word “American” is offensive. Do go spend some time with the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide.

You see, “American” excludes South America, as well as Canada and Mexico. (Never mind that there is not another country whose official name ends with “America” besides the United States of America. “United Statesian” just rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?)

“Senior citizen” is offensive, too. Use “old person.” (Really?)

“Obese”? “Overweight”? No. “People of size.” (Presumably “lard ass” is verboten as well.)

I’m sick of this crap. You know if someone’s offending or not without reading some stupid “language guide.” Grow up.

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 Posted by at 8:49 pm

  4 Responses to “Universities and political correctness should be fundamentally incompatible”

  1. I’d have to ask my dad (currently a Regents Professor in his field of study) who’s been teaching for 35+ years his thoughts. Most of his assignments are written papers that he has to subjectively read and grade. My guess would be that he wouldn’t ding a student for using the term “American” unless the context of the writing actually required more specifics (I tried to write up an example, but it turned into almost two paragraphs, just use your imagination that there would be very limited times when it would actually matter). I doubt he’d ever ding a student for using terms like “obese” or “senior citizen”. I would think professors prefer to have a little bit of a student’s character show through in their phrasing and wording.

    I would think that the only place politically correct terminology use might be preferred is in writing scholarly papers and journal articles that are meant to be published, and only then, just because authors tend to want to present themselves a little more formally/professionally when potentially being published.

    At best, I think “politically correct” is just something that should be understood, but only exercised when it’s really really necessary.

    • It has nothing to do with being formal or professional. It has to do with control. Political correctness is a cancer for that reason alone, but it’s also dangerous because it often obfuscates. No euphemism for “illegal alien” is as accurate, for example.

  2. I have a perfect example of campus PC run AMOK, and having nothing to do with student expression but everything to do with control and mob rule. I can’t divulge details, but it centered around certain intellectual types being upset at the name of a course being offered in another department, even though the name stated exactly what was being covered in the advanced course.

    • Perfect! Political correctness and the truth don’t usually get along very well. Too much accuracy, sounds like. 🙂

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