Vaporized language

>> "Political correctness" was not invented in anglophone world - that's where it got a politically correct name. It's all about naming things, groups of people, ideas and anything that has a word to describe it, in such a manner that nobody would be offended. That won't do much good to those who were initially offended - because the wrongs done to them still remain unscathed - but it's the thought that counts. So here's a list of words which were once normal, but have now vanished and were replaced with PC expressions.

last refreshed 06/26/2014 08:58:56 PM

(enough of this, get me back)

Forbidden words Politically correct Note
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astronautics rocket science but there's a worse expression for "ain't that hard to understand": "it's not rocket surgery"
black African American as in "african american magic woman" by Fleetwod Mac, or "african american hole" in astronomy
cartoon anime when it's in Japanese stone-in-the-mouth technique
censored edited for content  
crossroads interchange (nothing actually new here, except that I added the 's'; two crossed roads make one interchange, so roads is a singular...)
doll action figure so they could sell them to boys too, but they're still dolls.
drugstore pharmacy In the mid 1980s, during the height of the "war on drugs", many stores removed the term "Drugstore" from their signage and replaced it with the more politically correct term "Pharmacy". - from wikipedia
employee associate According to dr. Kardelj's theory of self-managed socialism, even enterprise is not liberated enough; only freely associated labor can make it. So nobody's either employed nor required to do any work. They just need to keep company to each other, by way of association.
every day on a daily basis  
expensive at a premium  
expires on best before they are all the best until that day, then go on as second best
factory plant Sounds green, doesn't it? It's still as dirty and poisonous as before, just sounds better.
fireman firefighter somehow this isn't "fireperson"
foreign international this goes so far that now there's "shipping to international addresses" and books "international languages" in the public library, or "CondÚ Nast counts international readers and ComScore and Neilsen/NetRatings do not". I wish they would find ONE international reader.
foreigner foreign national  
health wellness somehow disease never got promoted into badness.
house home Nobody will try to sell you a house. They sell homes, no less.
I will ~ now what I'm going to do now is I'll ~ a more frequent form of the above
I would like to have the ~ What I would like to do is have the ~ not quite in the PC domain, but when was the last time you heard the short form?
ignorant challenged  
Indian Native American for unknown reason, this is not American American
invalid person with disability as in "your argument is a person with a disability"
jungle rain forest there's a Raintree Street in my 'hood. There must be whole forests of it out there.
neurology brain science  
now at this time used in public announcements. "we don't have it at this time" probably means "none now, and we have no idea when will we have it".
underprivileged poor  
prison (adj.) institutional "There are high, institutional windows on one side and office doors on the other."
retreat (military) take evasive action  
rule (as in 'ruler') governance The masses will not feel oppressed if they don't see the ruler(s) as such, but rather as a governess. The difference is, actually, negligible.
second-hand pre-owned It's as if someone did you a favor by owning it for you for a while.

Nobody ever died of pre-owned smoke.
seller sales representative this seems to be holding, after going through several aborted versions like salesman, salesperson
soldiers troops note that "troop" is now pluralia tantum - haven't heard it in singular for years.
sportsman athlete Are the track & field guys now "athletic athletes"?
spying antiterrorist surveillance  
stewardesse flight attendant  
subtitles closed captions They are supposedly completely different - subtitles are text over a movie, while closed captions are text over a movie (plus descriptions of other sounds). But then, subtitles happen only in international... movies.
too expensive cost-prohibitive  
underprivileged poor  
undertaker's office funeral home and who lives in that home? ;)
usurious sub-prime  
weak sub-optimal qv where I first found it
white caucasian it's actually official... although nominally speaking the Hispanics should be Caucasian by origin (with a bit of Maori), but somehow they are not... maybe the percentage of native blood?

Bring me a bottle of "african american and caucasian" whiskey.
worker employee this guy isn't supposed to do any work anyway, his first and foremost duty is to suffer the employment
worker associate doesn't really have to do any work at all, only needs to stay associated (with whom?)

As an addendum to this list, here's the list, compiled by Alan Popow, about the PC expressions composed using "challenged".

Not dishonest, but Ethically challenged
Not poor, but Monetarily challenged
Not fat, but Metabolically challenged
Not old, but Chronically challenged
Not ugly, but Aesthetically challenged
Not slime, but Morally challenged
Not a tin ear, but Melodically challenged
Not lazy, but Industrially challenged
Not a klutz, but Dexterially challenged
Not an airhead, but intellectually challenged
Not a slob, but cleanliness challenged
Not a tyrant, but democratically challenged
(Alan Popow)