Monday, July 13, 2020

"Politically correct", "treating people with respect", "being polite to people"

I like replacing "political correctness" with "treating people with respect", as in this altered Donald Trump quote from 2015: "The big problem this country has is treating people with respect." It fits, because his political ascent began with birtherism and thus with disrespect for Barack Obama. Or there's this version: "I think the big problem this country has is being polite to people." Etymologically, the pun on "political" and "polite" doesn't work: "political" comes from the Greek for "citizen"; "polite" from the Latin for "polish". Yet people challenged for being PC are often from disrespected groups, and those challenging them apparently see "PC people" as lacking the "polish" of proper "citizens". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 13 July)

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