I’m really impressed by the attention that the Brits put on “Political Correctness”, the art of not hurting any groups of people by (not) saying what they would (not) like to be told about them… Well, this is just partly what PC involves, but I can’t go too far in this post…
A few months ago, during one of my PTLLS classes, I got to know that the traditional BC/AD (Before Christ / Anno Domini) couple of acronyms is being replaced by a more neutral BCE/CE (Before Common Era / Common Era). When I heard that, I kind of shouted “Really?”: I must admit I found the whole thing quite weird, but the only reply I got was a wry smile. What struck me was, it doesn’t make much difference to say 125BC and 125BCE: you won’t explicitly mention Jesus Christ, but you’re still relating the events to his date of birth! Not to mention that the word “Common” here sounds to me like a masterpiece of nonsense 🙂
By the way, God is one of PC’s main victims. One of many examples can be found in this article appeared on the Guardian, concerning the possibility that the UK “Scout Association” may adopt “atheist oaths”… Even the traditional “Merry Christmas” is giving way to a more neutral though slightly hilarious “Season greetings”: I could see plenty of shop-windows displaying the new greeting. The reason is very easy to understand from a retailer’s point of view: they don’t want to risk and lose their non-Christian (prospective) customers.
During the same PTLLS course I was taught that, as a teacher, you should never dishearten your students. If their homework is a complete failure, try to be positive and point out the good parts, if there’s any! As to the rest, say that “there’s room for improvement” (I was really amused by this expression, you also find it quoted in the smaller picture I attached to this post, which I meant as a joke, of course).
The main picture of this post is my own rework of a sign you find in all buses here in Brighton, reading as follows: “priority seats for the elderly, disabled or those less able to stand”. My rework foreshadows what might happen over the next few years when, out of respect for the principles of PC, no one will be considered old or disabled unless they agree!