Friday, May 19, 2006

PC? No, SC: Semantically Correct

There is no such thing as "politically correct" anything, certainly not "politically correct speech", so I propose Semantically Correct (SC) speech.

[This is an exact replica, with different title, of a post I published recently at my Blog Core Values site.]

Political means unjust domination. To be political means to manipulate the masses to gain power over the masses and become financially secure, famous, important. Thus, anything that's political is always already corrupt.

Semantics is "meaning in language usage", or "the relations betweeen signs and the influence of these relations on human behavior".

In other words, good semantics is saying what you really mean, in a manner that will make sense to your intended audience, so they can autonomously adjust their actions if necessarry, for their own and others benefit.

Severed Heads "Pilots Hate You"

If I want a woman to help me or listen to me, I cannot call her "bitch", for example, or "chick", or "girl" or "you sexy witch".

If I want a native American to help me or listen to me, I cannot refer to him as "chief", "how", "Tonto", "injun", or "redskin".

To speak respectfully and optimistically seems to be the underlying basis of the Politically Correct speech movement. I think most of us can champion and applaud that. But to gloss over real phenomena, to downplay a heinous crime, to sugarcoat a grievous situation is a troubling, linguistically incorrect, mishandling of the original object of PC.

Here is my comment posted to "Politically Correct" post at Mr. Angry:


I champion the underlying issue of Political Correctness, the desire to include everyone and to not make fun of anyone.

When right wing evangelical whackos attack PC, they talk about how "innocent" it is to say "he spazzed out", "fat guy", "trailer trash", "colored guy", "those people", "tree-hugger", or "weaker sex".

All these things are said by Non PC twerps with prejudice and White Male Patriarchal Religious zeal, as if God was a White Male Republican, probably American too.

So even though I hate all politicians and politics, as an Ethical Anarchist, I still applaud the sane aspects of PC.

I hate the term "politically correct" which implies you belong to the Communist, Fascist, Demopublican, Labour, or whatever, party.

It's more *correctly* "Linguistically Correct" or "Nominationally Correct" or "Semiotically Precise"...??? Somebody help out here, not you, you white bread cracker.


King Crimson "Sleepless"

Semantically Correct speech is respectful and optimistic, but not deceptive in phobic glossings, criminal coddling, or political bias.

To call an illegal alien an "immigrant", gangsta rap "urban reality", a static corporate web site "online presence", or an occupying force "liberators" is Politically Correct and Semantically Deceptive.

Public Image Ltd. "Tie Me to the Length of That"

1 comment:

Mr Angry said...

I'm with you 100% - I think the term "Politically Correct" is mainly used by right wingers to discredit things as simple as being decent to other people. I like to talk about "inclusive language" rather than PC language.