Friday, 1 October 2004

A cliché gone mad

This was the title of a piece by Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian last month (except that their subs are not permitted to put an accent in cliché and they eschew the capital "T" in the name of the paper. Ya-boo to their stylebook, even though my daughter-in-law is quoted in it).

The piece was about the phrase political correctness gone mad, which apparently has appeared at least 631 times in British national newspapers since 1993:

Since the concept of PC is mainly rightwing doublespeak anyway, you can make some reliable predictions about those instances where it is held to have gone mad. First, the level of outrage will be out of all proportion with the allegedly mad policy, which will either be perfectly sensible or, at worst, a bit oversensitive to other people's feelings—hardly a war crime. Second, the story will be more complex than it appears. Third, the "slippery slope" argument may be used, with some furious everyman complaining that, now you're no longer allowed to hurl racist abuse in the street, it can only be a matter of time before they ban breathing.

All in all, it's time for a moratorium on 'political correctness gone mad'. Perhaps we should ban it.

1 comment:

PerfectlyVocal said...

Shouldn't that be "Political Correctness develops a mental health problem"? I believe the term "mad" is derogatory. *removes tongue from cheek*