You couldn’t really make up some of the PC nonsense currently either in operation or being proposed in the UK.
The latest revelations relate to the Emergency Services, namely the Police, Fire Brigade and Rescue Service and include some real humdingers.
Apparently, one must not assume that words for the time of day, such as afternoon or evening, have the same meaning in different cultures. In some countries including the UK, the evening meal time is traditionally thought of as being being between 5pm and 7pm, but this might not apply to a family from America who might have their main meal earlier and thus for them ‘evening ‘ may be an earlier time.
The PC answer: Avoid saying ‘Good evening’, ‘good afternoon’, ‘evening all’ etc.
Do they really expect anyone to say, ‘What a lovely 3.17pm it is to be sure’? If the UK evening mealtime is 5pm to 7pm, then ‘evening’ is absolutely fine.
Phrases such as ‘manning the phones’, ‘layman’s terms’ and ‘the tax man’ are not to be used on the grounds that they make women invisible.
The London Fire Brigade instructs staff not to use the terms ‘businessmen’ or ‘housewives’ because they reinforce outdated stereotypes.
Phrases that include the word black in a negative context, such as ‘black mark’ or ‘black day’ are taboo. So why isn’t ‘white mark’ or whitewash’ also taboo?
The words ‘child’, ‘youth’ or ‘youngster’ should not be used as they have connotations of inexperience, impetuosity, and unreliability or even dishonesty.
Good four minutes past four,
As a professor of persontory at the University of Non-genderchester University, I cannot help but think back to my non-adulthood and a time when we were free to speak the Queen’s English without fear of rebuke. How times change.
It’s enough to turn one into a personic depressive. Anyway, must go now as I need to turn my house round to face Mecca.