Macaca her­story

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

“Macaca” and “her­story” top the list of most egre­gious ex­am­ples of po­lit­i­cally cor­rect (or in­cor­rect, if you pre­fer) lan­guage found in 2006 by the Global Lan­guage Mon­i­tor (GLM), a world­wide as­sem­blage of aca­demics, pro­fes­sional word­smiths and bib­lio­philes mon­i­tor­ing the latest trends in the evo­lu­tion — and demise — of lan­guage and word us­age.

“In 2006, the po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness move­ment con­tin­ued to gain mo­men­tum to the ef­fect that many were un­aware of the ex­tent that it had in­serted it­self into or­di­nary English-lan­guage con­ver­sa­tions,” ob­serves GLM pres­i­dent Paul JJ Pay­ack, who sends Inside the Belt­way th­ese top po­lit­i­cally sen­si­tive words and phrases for 2006:

1. Macaca: Even though it means “clown” in cer­tain cul­tures, the word helped change the po­lit­i­cal bal­ance of the U.S. Se­nate when ut­tered by out­go­ing Vir­ginia Repub­li­can Sen. Ge­orge Allen.

2. Global warm­ing de­nier: Th­ese skep­tics are now be­ing treated the same as “Holo­caust de­niers,” dealt pro­fes­sional os­tracism, be­lit­tle­ment, ridicule, even jail.

3. Her­story (rather than his­tory): “Her­story” at­tempts to take the male el­e­ment out of “his­tory.”

4. Flip chart: Of­fen­sive to some Filipinos; use “writ­ing block.”

5. 1a and 1b: A teacher split a grade into two equal classes. Par­ents ob­jected be­cause those with chil­dren in “1b” feared they may be per­ceived as aca­dem­i­cally in­fe­rior.

The GLM, mean­while, con­tin­ues its ar­du­ous task of count­ing the num­ber of words in the English lan­guage. The “Mil­lion Word March” cur­rently stands at 991,207.

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