[Dixielandjazz] PC gone mad

Charles Suhor csuhor at zebra.net
Wed Mar 16 10:47:11 PST 2005

I'm all for acknowledging that language distortions, in the form of 
extreme PC, doublespeak, political spin, etc., are damaging and should 
be exposed.

My plea is for making distinctions on a case-by-case basis rather than 
dismissing a given example, like "Darktown" or "idiot" or "s/he" as all 
of the same cloth under the blunt label of PC. We might come to 
different conclusions about particular instances, as we have about 
Darktown, but the dialogue is better than a general tirade against 
language changes that might, just might, attack our comfortable biases.

As another example, I'm appalled at the suggestion that "idiot" is a 
legitimate, scientifically and socially useful description of retarded 
human beings. The successive softening of the language on this might 
well have become excessive and precious, but it's in the right 
direction of not stripping people of their dignity. Those who disagree 
on this one can state their case, and that's a plus-one for 

So it goes. It takes time and effort to sort out what's useful and 
what's b.s. in language change, but the problem isn't solved by 
broadside labels like PC on one hand and, say, "sensitivity" on the 

Charlie Suhor

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