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  • #9636

    You’ve got to be kidding! The GOP is trying to censor words that people use? What’s next are they going to censor who can breathe in certain places in America next or who can use certain words at the corner grocery store?

    Looks like the GOP is turning into Nazis…. WOW!

    Deane Johnson

    The whole thing sounds rather childish to me.


    Like a GOP power grab.


    Freedom Fries.


    1984 is probably the best analogy because in that book, people in power deliberately erased words from the English language in order to control the political discourse. The government approved English was called “Newspeak.” One example that sticks in my mind was that there were three levels of goodness–“good,” “plusgood,” and “doubleplusgood.” Alternative words, such as “excellent,” “great,” and “fantastic” did not exist.

    In the 1990s, various groups sought to change the vocabulary used in public discourse with the intent of altering the content of said political discourse. However, they didn’t attempt to completely remove the concepts associated with those words:

    • “Oriental” became “Asian.” (The former means “from the east,” which is geographically correct if one’s point of reference is Europe. I also heard accounts that some people were offended by the therm “Oriental” because it implied that people from Asian cultures had to “orient” themselves to the language and cultures of the countries into which they immigrated.)
    • “Homosexual” became “gay.” (Religious groups tended to use the clinical term “homosexual” to give some of their rhetoric an air of scientific legitimacy and authority. Deliberately changing to the slang term “gay” was done by that community to distance itself from the propaganda of religious groups.)
    • “Handicapped” became “disabled.” There were also attempts to change to the term “differently abled,” but these were largely unsuccessful.
    • “Black” became “African-American.”
    • Feminists attempted to change the spelling of “Women” to “Womyn” as a symbolic attempt to remove the letters M-E-N from the word. These efforts were lampooned, and they never gained much traction.

    Sometime in the late 1970s, in the aftermath of the Pinto disaster, Ford Motor Company forbade the use of the word “fire” in company documents. I heard a story years ago that an engineer at Ford was demoted because he wrote a report that said that an electronic module in one its cars had a design flaw that could cause it to start a small, self-extinguishing fire. The “politically correct” verbiage for his report should have been “this module has a design flaw that can cause it to overheat and self-destruct.”

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