John Derbyshire wrote that the mindless liberals of Newsday had criticized Glenn Spencer of American Patrol for the heinous crime of calling illegal immigrants “illegal immigrants.” I have to report that is now the official doctrine of the politically correct crowd, otherwise known as the “differently brained.”
In How to Write It : A Complete Guide to Everything You`ll Ever Write blonde authoress* Sandra E. Lamb tells you various useful things about writing letters, résumés and proposals. At the back of the book, she has an appendix, “Avoiding Discriminatory Words” which takes 15 pages, and often wanders into the realm of fantasy.
The proscribed words include:
“Illegal immigrants is used to describe people who come to this country illegally, without a passport, visa, or other legal document that entitles them to visit, work, or live in this country.”
Be careful in using illegal or alien, because both are offensive and require certain knowledge of this fact [She gets half a point for that. “Illegal immigrant” is libellous where it`s untrue, and where there`s a law of libel.]. It is better to avoid these negative terms, but use undocumented and without a passport if necessary.
[“If necessary” means that you never mention anyone`s race, sex, or immigration status if you can avoid it. I just found out, five years after I first heard of him being sent away for having sex with an underage girl, that Congressman Mel Reynolds is black. No one mentioned it, so I didn`t know until I came across a story where he mentioned it himself. “In classic Clintonian style, Reynolds smeared his young accuser as a “liar” and “nut case.” A diverse jury of six blacks and six whites believed the troubled girl, not the conniving Rhodes Scholar. Yet, Reynolds bitterly blamed racism in a 40-minute courtroom tirade: “When they shackle me, like they shackled my slave ancestors and take me off to jail, nobody in this room will see me crawl.” But I digress.]
Do not use to describe someone who has entered the country illegally. [Because it might offend legal aliens?]
Illegals, illegal aliens
Offensive terms for people without a passport, visa, or other legal document that entitles them to visit, work, or live in this country.
She should also get two points for knowing that American implies citizenship: “If someone is of Chinese descent, but not an American citizen, don`t call them Chinese-American.”
But it must be heartbreakingly complicated to be politically correct: “It is important to remember that Spaniards are not Latinos.”
Speaking of Latinos, there seem to be a lot of offensive words in the Spanish language, which are listed in the offensive terminology section, gringo being the only one that I`m sure is printable. You would think these Hispanics were racists or something.
Now, I was brought up not to use bad language, and to include racial epithets in that category. But, short of actual insults, I don`t think that people should be allowed to control what I call them.
Especially when they keep changing it. For example, How To Write It gives “African-American” as the preferred usage for the people who used to be called “Negroes” (now used “only if chosen by the black people who are the subject and audience of your communication”) and who were briefly referred to in my youth as Afro-Americans.
Walter Williams, who is old enough to have been “colored” in his youth, has decided to settle on being black. As an American patriot, he`d feel silly being African-American when his family has been in America since colonial days.
But according to Miss Lamb, Professor Williams is behind the times. (Although she will allow him to be called that if that`s what he likes to be called.)
But do people get to choose what we call them? Germans used to like to call themselves the Master Race. Eskimos and Cherokees have names that mean “The People,” meaning The people, no others need apply.
All the fog of PC is designed to help people avoid issues.
A pet peeve of mine is that you never hear of an abortionist on the news. Abortion has been legal in the U.S. since 1973, and there are 1.3 million abortions every year. You`d think there would be abortionists all over the news, especially since people occasionally shoot them. Instead you hear that “doctors” are in danger, or that “abortion providers” are wearing bullet-proof vests.
This is “official” too:
Offensive term. Use the most correct term.
Miss Lamb gives four ways of saying provider:
I suggest “Doctor who happens to be an abortionist”, or possibly “differently ethical.”
Understand that I`m not making an antiabortion point here. That`s of interest to some but not all of VDARE`s readers.
What you are seeing here is the English language vanishing, a noun at a time, which will leave it a bloodless corpse, probably not even called English anymore. After all, why call the language your Language Arts teacher teaches after “one race and one historical period?“
*Authoress is offensive, of course, on feminist grounds. (My spell checker doesn`t even recognize it.)
The feminist part is a hoot. While the word authoress is in fact, silly, Miss Lamb wants us to call priestesses priests, prioresses priors, and call a grandfather clause a “pre-existing condition” clause. She also wants to neuter foreign languages, eliminating masseuse and blonde, and change founding father to founder.
But the most unbelievable is the change from “goddess” to “god.”
Get that one wrong, and look out for thunderbolts.
April 10, 2001