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Wednesday, June 08, 2005 

I am a dinosaur

I am tired of being politically correct. I sat in a meeting this morning and was halfway in putting forward an argument why I believe a certain project is not viable, when I noticed one or two raised eyebrows around the table. Now, up to that point I knew I was fully in control of the conversation. My argument was well thought out and my proposal made perfect business sense. I am not the world's most well spoken person, but I am intelligent, can hold my own, educated and well mannered. Therefore the raised eyebrows threw me a little… well lets admit it, it was downright disturbing. I stopped and asked if there was anything I needed to clarify or explain, when one of the ladies pointed out that I had used a word that was... (gasp) p-o-l-i-t-i-c-a-l-l-y incorrect. To be honest with you... I was floored (it was 9am so I know I had not been drinking!). In fact I felt like a bug that had just hit a windshield at 300 km/h. SPLAT! How is it possible that out of all the things I had said… the whole goddam argument I put forward… out of all that… the only thing these people noticed, was the use of a word/phrase that can be classified as politically incorrect? Come, on people… surely we have evolved beyond the pettiness and the metaphors and the semantics that we can overlook the trivial details and focus on what is important!!? Now I know that there are some words and phrases in the English language, and other languages for that matter, that are offensive, derogatory, demeaning, racist and sexually biased, and… well... just plain nasty. In South Africa we can probably write the dictionary of what can be regarded as politically correct or incorrect. We been there and done it like no one else in the world could. I can therefore see the need to banish and condemn the use of certain words to hell and gone and make it a law to never use them again. What I do have a problem with is the substitution of one word with another simply because it sounds nicer or more acceptable, but in actual fact does little or nothing to improve the condition, situation, the context in which it is used and the object or person it refers to. What is the big deal! If you do happen to use an "incorrect" word or phrase, you had better prepare yourself a good verbal ass-whipping from the do-gooders. Yep, there are plenty do-gooders are out there and they have your number, baby, trust me. Do I make any sense at all or am I just boorish and nasty? Why do we have to refer to everyone and everything as a syndrome or as challenged or disabled? Are we becoming a society where speaking frankly and to the point is seen as a “social crime”? I know words can hurt ,but the truth is not meant to be sugar-coated. And it is not just in the workplace…we have to politically correct in whatever we do and say and wherever we go. Short people are vertically challenged, fat people are horizontally challenged, dumb people are intellectually challenged... bllah-blah-blah... white noise. Pefectly good English words suddenly became obsolete, redundant and with them so have the humour, quirkiness and uniqueness of the language. E.g: Don’t you dare tell me that you have diarrhea... NO… it is Irritable Bowel Syndrome.... say it with me.... Irretable Bowel Syndrome. Yikes... try saying that when you have a few drinks in. Come to think of it, one can come up with a challenged or syndrome based version of almost every condition known to mankind. Heaven forbid we damage someone’s fragile ego by telling them the truth about their capabilities or who they are! We have reduced all and everything to the level of mediocrity so that nothing and no-one stands out or is in any way offended. Screw the truth and speaking plainly... serve it up on a sliver platter, make it sound nice and flood your conversation with a plethora of meaningless words and phrases. No matter what you think of me, give it to me in such a way that it sounds like a compliment. It is an offence to offend your fellow man, even if he offends you. Now if you’ll excuse me I suffer from Low Nutrition Disorder and I need to get some nourishment into my Nutrient Deficient Physically Challenged Body. WhOoP-De-fucking-DoO. You can whip my ass!! Anytime...


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