Political correctness to me seems not only inappropriate, but more importantly, sometimes misleading and potentially perverse. Focusing on and encouraging the least provocative (and often the most tepid) use of words and expressions is too much collective thinking for my world. I see the words used as valuable reflections of the source they come from and this helps inform me as to the overall temperament and nuance of the expression.
I want to understand communication as fully as possible and it is always preferable to hear the original statement rather than a polished and sanitized version – which inevitably loses something in translation. If a person has biases or phobias I’d much rather know about them rather than have them cloaked in misleading euphemisms; a variety of expressions and some discordance is preferable to too much harmony. If we all think and speak alike then all but one of us is redundant. I don’t mean to suggest that there is not a place for common courtesy, empathy, and human sensitivity, but this is a matter of social etiquette and not of free speech.
I’m only a bit reluctant to think we WWII babies were cut from tougher cloth than younger generations, but the basic mindset instilled in me by my mother in preparation for facing the rigors of kindergarten was “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”
I have too many things to focus on rather than worrying about how who said what: things like improving my quality of life, contemplating runaway human population, making architecture that respects all life forms and drawings that captivate the viewer, studying fishing conditions at local lakes, keeping abreast of USC’s football season, helping with my extended family’s well-being, puzzling over quantum mechanics and astrophysics, reminiscing about Bob Dylan, …and on top of this I should find time to avoid words drawn from my unique life’s experiences that might offend some thin skinned, narcissistic malcontent? I don’t think so.