Monday, October 17, 2011

Political Correctness wreaks havoc on my ability to read crap

In the past few years, the push to make the English language "gender neutral" (whatever the fuck that means) has created a lot of stupid nonsense words. Words like congressperson and spokesperson...I don't understand what was wrong with congressman or spokesman. "Congressman Michelle Bachmann is running for President." Is that phrase meaningless because she's female? The word "man" encapsulates males and females. And it's succinct, unlike the stilted and stupid-sounding "-person" terms. If you want to say congresswoman, fine, but be consistent. I've seen congressperson applied to men but congresswoman applied to women. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but that's either plain idiotic and inconsistent or there's some agenda being pushed. The only agenda I have is to uphold the rules of English, which says the masculine voice applies in all cases unless the object is known to be feminine. This is because English, unlike some other languages, has no neuter voice. Well, actually it does, but the words are exactly the same as the masculine voice. That's how I learned it in grade school and it made sense to me then, especially when I took French and Latin in subsequent years. Baguettes are female and fromage is male so your cheese sandwich is fornicating. Injecting some stupid PC sensibility into French would make all those sex jokes irrelevant, which would be a real travesty.

Okay, the point of this: he or she. Holy fuck. I was reading Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying the other night and literally every single sentence has the "he or she" construct at least four or five times. It's unwieldy and sucks to read. Fine, you don't want to appear sexist and use this stupid phrase to be inclusive of women. Even though you're not sexist if you simply say "he". At all. I guess this is like calling someone racist because they called you niggardly. Sir, kindly get a fucking dictionary. When did perception overtake the proper use of language? Arrg. One RPG I read used he when referring to PCs and she when talking about the GM. Can't remember which, but it worked pretty well because the sentences were unambiguous. But then again, the book was referencing a specific person whose sex was known. Using "she" when the sex of the object is unknown is bad grammar, too. What about when the aliens invade? Will we have to start using "he, she or it"? Perhaps they have five sexes. "He, she, it, v'sdgtty or asdjkhasdjkh". DON'T WANT TO OFFEND THOSE EGG RECEIVERS!

If you disagree with me, well, fuck you, because I'm right and that's all there is to it. Readability is paramount when writing anything, and the whole idea that masculine grammatical constructs somehow exclude women is idiotic. Buy an English grammar book.

6 comments:

  1. Imagine a world where cats and dogs were both referred to as dogs, because that's just the way it had always been. That, sir, would be a stupid fucking system. (might not seem like it if you were a dog)

    It sounds like the problem with that supplement is that they didn't have the balls to use the gender neutral term that English has evolved because prescriptivists say it's ungrammatical. Singular they. That's right "the player rolls their save," works perfectly form men, women, and robots. Use it.

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  2. When I was a kid, 'flesh' was a color in the Crayolas box... and it was sort of close to my own skin color so I didn't realize that naming the crayon 'flesh' when about 60% of the world's population had skin of a much different color was kind of stupid.
    Besides, 'flesh' sounds like meat instead of skin.

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  3. They is third-person plural, try again. I'm not going to let political correctness get in the way of correct grammar.

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  4. Sorry, Brad. I'm one of those wirters who insists on using "he or she"--although sometimes I can write around it by referring to :the individual."

    Still, I also refuse to use "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun. That's what "it" is for.

    However, I fear that usage is becoming so popular that it will never go away, much like the incorrect use of the apostrophe in plural words.

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  5. No need to apologize for anything. This was mostly an over-dramatization due to excessive frustration with reading a really good set of rules. It's probably 50% trolling, 50% legitimately pissed off.

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  6. Telecanter - The defining trait of Political Correctness is that it's believers DEMAND that their hair-brained ideology be exalted above tradition, language, biology, nature - EVERYTHING.

    In the English Language "he" is the proper pronoun when talking about a generic someone. It's absurd to think that this convention of language oppresses women.

    Limpey - What should they have named it?

    That "flesh colored" crayon matched the skin color of the majority of kids using it.

    Political correctness is kind of stupid.

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