OPINION: It worries me that political correctness is growing into such appallingly petty correctness without anyone really noticing.
I am worried because it is this pettiness that is already fanning the flames of intolerance in this country.
Political correctness is not yet mandatory in South Africa. I beg your pardon, I mean ‘personatory’ in this country.
I certainly don’t remember any such legislation being tabled, unless of course at some stage it was quietly manipulated through… oops, personipulated, through parliament without us knowing about it?
I implore our media to use their considerable influence to bring this blind, stampeding rush to be politically correct to a halt before it spreads like the most virulent of cancers throughout our language and society. Reducing both man, um… person and beast to quivering wrecks through fear, inadvertently saying “ag man sies” in public.
I can hardly manage… personage… to control my temper when I watch television or listen to the radio as presenters and journalists get away with saying “centered around” and other such illogical misuses of the English language. But they stick with manic… personic… religious fervour to words such as chairperson and that ultimate manifestation… personifestation… of muddled thinking, ‘waitron’.
I believe that the word ‘waitron’ is in itself highly derogatory, being a combination of ‘waiter’ and ‘moron’. How insulting to those persons who bring us our soup with their thumbs in the bowl and always look the other way when we want them.
All this suggests to me is that some misguided bunch of gender-sensitive busybodies have assumed that women are ashamed of being called waitresses and indeed, of being identified as women. Frankly, at the risk of being called a sexist pig-dog, I much prefer waitresses to waiters. Apart from anything else, they’re prettier and usually a lot more efficient.
I have, incidentally, also forcibly restrained myself from asking why school pupils have become ‘learners’ because, I am sure the rationale will be such, it will prompt me to rush outside and hurl myself under a bus.
I live in fear now, that if I start hearing words like ‘personhole cover’, New York’s ‘Personhattan’ or read about the ‘Persango Growers Association’ in Mpumalanga; ‘persongrove’ forests or ordinary people being ‘personhandled’ by ‘policepersons’; the number of ‘personhours’ being lost through strikes; cargo ‘personifests’ and ‘personequin’ parades, I shall become decidedly homicidal and will probably end up being jailed for ‘personslaughter’.
I would readily admit, of course, that it is a many… personysided… problem and would hasten to assure you that my current obsession with all this is not just born out of frivolous sensitivity.
Political correctness is, I believe, the very foundation of a scourge that is tearing this country apart. Not that those who promote political correctness have hidden and devious agendas. Indeed they are simply innocent pawns.
When you think about it, political correctness is a particularly cosy bedfellow of intolerance.
So please media, talk to the nation. Persuade them that waitresses can be proud to be identified as women. That ‘chairman’ is in fact sexless and that being addressed as such does not mean you are necessarily flat-chested and shave your face every day.
Oh, I know a lot of people will think I’m talking a lot of ‘horse personure’, but it just has to be said.
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