WATCH YOUR MOUTH!

Your A-Z guide to po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and nav­i­gat­ing In­dia of 2015

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - NEWS - rachel.lopez@hin­dus­tan­times.com Fol­low @GreaterBom­bay on Twit­ter

A wrong word here, a mis­step there, spells dis­as­ter th­ese days. For­tu­nately, we have an A-Z guide to help you stay sane (and safe) through the mad­ness

IT STARTED off in­no­cently. Peo­ple be­gan us­ing the term “po­lit­i­cally cor­rect” in the 1970s to be sure their views did not of­fend any­one else’s po­lit­i­cal sen­si­bil­i­ties. The ges­ture ac­knowl­edged that the world was made up of those dif­fer­ent from one­self. For a while, all was well. Then sud­denly, it wasn’t. Po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness turned into a way for any­one who’d ever felt vic­timised to de­mand ap­pease­ment. Civil-rights ac­tivists and gen­der-equal­ity cham­pi­ons got on board. Right wingers, left wingers, pro­gres­sives and con­ser­va­tives

joined God­men, cul­ture-cru­saders, ag­nos­tics, aca­demics and sci­en­tists piped up too. Four decades on, what you can and can­not say (and to whom you can and can­not say it) is a con­found­ing mine­field of mad­ness. In Amer­ica, Seat­tle’s peo­ple are not “cit­i­zens”. The PC term is “res­i­dents” so as to in­clude those with­out US cit­i­zen­ship. Pork pro­duc­ers in the

West don’t want you call­ing theth dis­ease Swine Flu be­cause it slights their pro­fes­sion. In­dia, things are just as com­pli­cated. Our A-Z guide to fig­ur­ing out what’s safe (and what might get you trolled, ar­rested or killed) cov­ers not just your Ps and Qs but the whole al­pha­bet. Want to add to the list? Tell us here...

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