The following bit of stupidity was sent to me this morning:
Hi All of you wonderful volunteers:
There is an Agency Fair being held at Stone Road Mall for Thursday, October 13, 2005, 10:00am – 2:00pm.
We are in need of a couple of volunteers that can person the booth at stone road mall see the following details:
1. 9:30 Set Up – to 12 Noon
2. 12 Noon to 2:00 and take down
If two people are able to offer a couple of your hours to person this booth please let me know by today end of the day..thanks…
If that isn’t an example of political correctness gone absolutely insane, I’d love for someone to please explain to me what is.
“Person a booth”? “Person?” What the hell is that? Have we truly reached the point where it’s no longer acceptable to use the word man? And if we have, why do we have to use person instead? Why not ask for a couple of people to work the booth, or maybe to staff it? Well ok, perhaps to some sick twisted pervert staffing the booth would involve having sex with it, you know, the whole staff of life thing, but that’s a stretch, and we can’t just go making up new words because now and then a few crackpots might interpret something in a way that we didn’t intend for it to be interpreted. Or maybe we can, I mean after all, we’re already personning things because somebody has a problem with us manning them.
But that’s my point. If we find new words for things because a few people don’t like the old ones in some cases, where do we stop? How do we as a society determine who’s interpretations are valid and worth looking into and who’s are just flat out stupid? In short, where do we draw that line? Or maybe a better question would be should we draw that line at all? Perhaps it would be considered discriminatory by some if we did.
But wherever and whenever that line is eventually drawn, and for the sake of the sanity of the sane it had better be drawn soon, I hope that I never have to turn on my radio and hear the announcer say that there’s a classic from David Wilpenises coming right up after the break because he’s not allowed to say Wilcox anymore, or that I never have to turn on my TV and catch a rerun of the Penis Van Lesbian Show because there’s no way that saying Dick Van Dike could possibly be appropriate under any circumstances.
Sure, you might laugh at those examples now, but take a look back through history and realize just how much language has changed, and then look to the present day and realize how many people want to change it even more, and how much those people want us to give up for the sake of being non-offensive and inclusive. When you stop and think about it, what I’m worried about might not be quite as far fetched as it seems, and that’s pretty sad.