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Political correctness

The term political correctness is widely used as a means of describing written or unwritten rules that inhibit certain types of behavior, expressions, language or discussion of sensitive topics. These topics are usually to do with race and equality issues.

Political correctness is also sometimes referred to as ‘PC’ and is the opposite of being politically incorrect.

There are people who argue for and those who argue against political correctness.
In the UK critics of so called political correctness claim that it stops necessary debate of issues that greatly concern certain sections of society. For instance they claim that political correctness stops discussion of topics like immigration, racism, homosexuality etc. They claim this is ‘Political correctness gone mad’, and stops freedom of speech. 

Those for being politically correct say it is sometimes necessary to watch what you say and to make certain behavior socially unacceptable so as to not offend certain social minority groups. Those in favor of using PC language also accuse certain sections of the media of trying to discredit their campaign by highlighting extreme PC cases.

Supporters also say that critics of PC use it as a catch all phase to describe all of those things in society that irritates them.

One simple example of using political correctness in action is over the word ‘chairman’. Some people say that changing the title ‘chairman’ to ‘chairperson’ would be fairer to women who hold that position.

Historically in the present sense the term ‘politically correctness’ first started to be widely used in America in the 1970’s by the Left and also feminist groups. It spread from there into the general language of other developed countries in the West.



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