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Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term denoting language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social offense in gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, handicap, and age-related contexts. In current usage, the terms are almost exclusively pejorative, connoting “intolerant” and “intolerance” [1][2] whilst the usage politically incorrect, denotes an implicitly positive self-description. Examples include the conservative Politically Incorrect Guides published by the Regnery editorial house, [3] and the television talk show Politically Incorrect. Thus, “politically incorrect” denotes language, ideas, and behavior, unconstrained by orthodoxy and the fear of giving offense.

Current usage

Widespread use of the term "politically correct" and its derivatives began when it was adopted as a pejorative term by the political right in the 1990s, in the context of the Culture Wars. Writing in the New York Times in 1990,[15] Richard Bernstein noted "The term "politically correct," with its suggestion of Stalinist orthodoxy, is spoken more with irony and disapproval than with reverence. But across the country the term p.c., as it is commonly abbreviated, is being heard more and more in debates over what should be taught at the universities." Bernstein referred to a meeting of the Western Humanities Conference in Berkeley, California, on " 'Political Correctness' and Cultural Studies," which examined "what effect the pressure to conform to currently fashionable ideas is having on scholarship". Bernstein also referred to "p.c.p" for "politically correct people", a term which did not take root in popular discussion.

Within a few years, this previously obscure term featured regularly in the lexicon of the conservative social and political challenges against curriculum expansion and progressive teaching methods in US high schools and universities.[16] In 1991, addressing a graduating class of the University of Michigan, U.S. President George H. W. Bush spoke against “ . . . a movement [that would] declare certain topics ‘off-limits’, certain expressions ‘off-limits’, even certain gestures ‘off-limits’ ” in allusion to liberal Political Correctness.[17] The most common usage here is as a pejorative term to refer to excessive deference to particular sensibilities at the expense of other considerations. The converse term "politically incorrect" came into use as an implicit term of self-praise, indicating that the user was not afraid to give offense.

The central uses of the term relate to issues of race and gender, and encompass both the language in which issues are discussed and the viewpoints that are expressed. Proponents of the view that black people are less intelligent, on average, than white people, or that women are less intelligent than men, state that criticism of these views is based on political correctness.[18]

Examples of language commonly criticised as "politically correct" include: [19]

  • "African-American" in place of "Black", "Negro" and other terms
  • "Native American" in place of "Indian"
  • “Gender-neutral” terms such as "firefighter" in place of "fireman"
  • Terms relating to disability, such as "visually challenged" in place of "blind"

More generally, any policy or factual claim opposed by the political right, such as the claim that global warming is a serious problem requiring a policy response may be criticized as "politically correct".[19]

World-wide

The term politically correct is popular in Scandinavia (politiskt korrekt=pk), in Portugal, Spain, and Latin America (Sp., políticamente correcto | Port., politicamente correcto), France (politiquement correct), Germany (politisch korrekt), Poland (poprawność polityczna, poprawny politycznie), Slovenia (politično korekten), The Netherlands and Flanders (politiek correct), Italy (politicamente corretto), Russia (политкорректность, политкорректный), and New Zealand,[20] .

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Quick Tip by . October 01, 2011
I absolutely detest political correctness, because I think it's a huge obstacle to free speech. People that push for political correctness in all areas of society aren't making people like certain demographics, they're only making those people more volatle.
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