Bitch on the Blog

January 12, 2012

PC – polite company

Filed under: Communication,Culture,Despair,Errors — bitchontheblog @ 10:45
Tags: , , , ,

Always run with one who is just that little faster than you are. They will pull you along. Making you excel yourself. At grammar school, 100 meter short distance, we ran in pairs. A very fast runner myself (to this day, meep, meep) I always tried to be teamed up with Susanne (her of the extra long legs). She was as fast as the wind, ambitious too, a quality I am sadly lacking. I quickly recognized that her speed, always just that tiny bit ahead of me, pulled me along and, whilst she always won, resulting in ever fewer seconds for me to reach the finishing line. Loved it.

Yes, so Totsy (see my currently pulling me along and covering a subject, so dear to my despairing linguistic heart, of PC, political correctness. If I weren’t such a talker, I’d shut up – in public. Use of language has become a mind field. Please NOTE: I did not say minE field, I said minD field. The former leaving you limbless, the latter mutilated.

My father, sometime back in the Sixties, brought me a toy, plastic, much loved, black, called “Gollywog”? Dare I mention this – now – in polite company? Will I be tarred and feathered (ending up looking like Gollywog, only feathered)?

The Angel, always good for an anecdote, age four, Heathrow Airport departure lounge, points at another passenger and, audible to all, with wonderment in his voice: “Mama, that Lady is black”. Yes, indeed. She is. Undisputably so. I whisper to him (not sure of my facts): “That’s not the thing to say.” “But, Mama, she IS black.” Yes, yes, yes, and yes. What am I trying to teach my child here? To pull wool over dreadlocks? Blacklisted myself that moment.

A neighbour of ours has a baby. It’s adorable. As chocolate babies are. The Angel is appalled. My formidable mentor is “chocolate” too. OK, son, let’s make this conversation a return match (16 years on). Me:  “I am sorry, Angel, it is chocolate. Just as his mother is white. Undisputably so.” The Angel let it pass. He is not conformist either, just worries about his mother being lynched when not chaperoned.

With another wink to one of Totsy’s remarks: Yesterday I give the Angel some lunch to take into work – in a plastic box. He shows some reluctance accepting this token of motherly love and care: “Oh, Mama, that’s so GAY”. Since I am generally short fused I raise my voice: “For … ‘s sake, what’s gay about a lunch box?” He observed that he is so glad that no one can overhear some of our inane conversations. I wouldn’t bank on it. Walls are thin. Paranoia is rife. And 1984 was written well before Big Brother arrived.

Go and read Totsy




  1. While I can understand the desire of people to be civil, forcing language changes in the interest of political correctness merely drives the underground development of code words to be used in their place. The problem or issues underlying the original language do not disappear simply because we deem a word unacceptable in the lexicon. Other words will replace them. A rose by any other name…

    Comment by Phil — January 13, 2012 @ 14:57 | Reply

    • A rose by another name … how sweetly you smell, Phil. And how astute your observation.

      One of my pet hates is the current use of the word “gay”. It’s OTT (over the top). Loads and loads of different connotations. Both negative and positive. Once gay meant happy. On the whole, show me a gay man, and he will feel sorry for himself. Because he is gay and others are most unhappy about his gayness. I am not [unhappy]: I love gay men. Insert some sort of smiley as yet to be designed. Not that I am an expert on the subject because, unlike Madonna, Audrey Hepburn, or Marlene Dietrich whose cheekbone structure I share, I am NOT a gay icon. Which hurts. A little. And lesbians, who I don’t even recognize and, when I do, frighten the life out of me (other than Andrea Dworkin who during her lifetime I’d have taken on – dungarees or not; and sweet Jodie Foster I adore). Lesbians won’t even give me the time of day. I understand. I am clearly so hetero I am basically off the Richter Scale.

      Where were we? Gay.

      Happily yours.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 14, 2012 @ 20:23 | Reply

  2. Read that one, too, U. We seem to be on the same blog reading list. In an effort to be respectful to people, we may have let the pendulum swing too far from where it was once when the major power brokers didn’t give a rat’s patoot about offending anyone. As I remarked on Totsy’s blog, often the ire raised over PC-ness is a ploy by those people still in power who are miffed that they may have to think about how they speak and think about others they still deem “beneath” them in some way. I mean, what’s the good of having power if you can’t use it to preserve your status quo? 😉

    Comment by Lorna's Voice — January 13, 2012 @ 17:58 | Reply

    • Yes, Lorna, happily we are on (some of) the same blog reading list. Though mine limited being the discriminate swine I am. Makes for getting to know those you click with in the detail we all deserve.

      I like your image of the pendulum. Unfortunately, and I hope this makes sense, I can’t help feeling that the more PC we are the more sensitive everyone becomes. Basically, you can’t say anything anymore. Truth or not. Still, on the plus side it makes one more inventive, linguistically, how to dress up that which is staring you in the face. Unpalatable or not. Alternatively I just keep shtum.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 14, 2012 @ 20:35 | Reply

  3. As long as the pc-ness doesn’t start to get un-pc, I’m ok with it. And by that I mean we need to stop beating each other up and saying worse things than they said just to prove a point. It could become a vicious wheel of another kind of going off pc – Proverbial Cliff! Keep pondering!

    Comment by writingfeemail — January 14, 2012 @ 14:31 | Reply

    • “Proverbial Cliff” – brilliant. As long as we don’t turn into lemmings, Renee.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 14, 2012 @ 20:38 | Reply

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