Questions tagged [political-correctness]

For questions about words and phrases chosen in an attempt to avoid violating certain cultural or social taboos and offending certain audiences.

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31 views

Is this impolite?

Thank you for reading this post. Because of the Brexit UK organizations need to appoint a GDPR (privacy law) representative in EU. I’m a privacy officer and I’m setting up an Google campaign. I have ...
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2answers
78 views

Is “they” plural or singular when it's someone's preferred pronoun? [duplicate]

Andy's preferred pronoun is "they". They goes to school in Denver, where they studies philosophy. or Andy's preferred pronoun is "they". They go to school in Denver, where they study philosophy. ...
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6answers
300 views

Alternative for “tone-deaf”

Tone-deaf, in the figurative sense, refers to saying something without considering how it will land with your audience: Wishing your vegetarian colleagues in Mumbai "Happy Turkey Day!" came off as a ...
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5answers
226 views

Non-offensive version of the word “mongol”? [closed]

I want to describe a person or group of thugs who cause damage without concern for science or culture. I had written down "mongol behavior", in reference to the Mongol invasion. Is there an all-...
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202 views

How to describe Gender formally?

For a User Interface of an Information System, options for selecting the Gender is to be given: Not known Male Female Male - TransGender Female - TransGender Is Enuch can be included; as an ...
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2answers
726 views

Is there a gender-neutral alternative to workmanlike suitable for use in legal context?

The word "workmanlike" and phrase "workmanlike manner" appear frequently in contract terms, but are obviously gendered. For example: The services will be performed in a professional and workmanlike ...
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14answers
7k views

Alternative to “queer the deal”?

The phrase queer at­ti­tude used to be com­mon­place, sim­ply mean­ing a strange at­ti­tude or un­help­ful be­hav­ior. Un­for­tu­nately in the present era, I once used that phrase and sadly of­fended ...
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1answer
262 views

The use of “horizontally gifted”

horizontally gifted: A politically correct way of calling someone fat Can horizontally gifted still be offensive? Or is it an absolutely safe way to describe someone overweight if we have to ...
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4answers
2k views

Is the term Indian Giver politically correct?

My son is Cherokee & uses this term & I was concerned if that is a proper term. I thought it originated because the US government historically gave land & such to tribes, then took it back ...
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1answer
81 views

Heteronormative for nuclear family structure?

Heteronormative is used to refer to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as normal or preferred. It is usually in reference to sexual orientation. Is there a separate word for describing a ...
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3answers
1k views

Is “to shanghai” now politically incorrect?

"to Shanghai" refers to the historical practice of literally kidnapping someone to force them into working as crew on a ship, a practice that was allegedly common in the city of Shanghai. Nowadays, it'...
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1answer
167 views

Distinguishing “long-term” African-Americans from more-recent African immigrants

As discussed in History of "Asian American" / "African American" nomenclature, the term African-American is a euphemism established to refer to Black Americans, but seems to be ...
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4answers
1k views

A non-racist alternative to “Barbarian” [closed]

I come from a place where lots of people are of Amazhig ("Berber") descent. Hence, when I use English, I try to avoid using the words barbarian or barbaric, even though its modern-day use is not ...
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1answer
97 views

Why is the singular “Olympic Athlete From Russia” used for an ice-hockey team?

It’s definitely more than one athlete in the Russian team. On TV: On the web And they did it all the time till the finals: Clearly, it wasn't an arbitrary error or slip-up.
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5answers
3k views

Gender neutral alternative to Sir/Madam

This question has been asked on this website before—but one example was closed as off topic, and the other specifically regarded use in a letter. My context requires the use of speech, as if ...
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2answers
142 views

What does the noun “Hawaiian” really mean in English? [closed]

Headlines this morning (Saturday 1/13/2018) proclaimed that "Hawaiians woke up to emergency alerts" on mobile phones that a missile strike might be incoming. But no local news source here in Hawaii ...
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Non-racial alternative for “Chinese fire drill”

A "Chinese fire drill" is an activity that involves a lot of bustle and chaos but achieves nothing. This term could be considered insulting due to its association of Chinese people with unproductive ...
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4answers
372 views

Does “nonstandard English” come across as judgmental in the following context?

I am looking for an alternative to the word nonstandard (if necessary). I used the word in my answer to a question at Academia SE. Let me first lay out the context. The question I was offering an ...
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1answer
218 views

Word for people of all nationalities that have African ancestry other than “black”

What's a politically correct word that includes all people of sub-Saharan African descent no matter what their nationality is? "Black" is not politically correct enough. But "African American" doesn't ...
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3answers
721 views

What is the opposite of reappropriation?

Reappropriation is the cultural process by which a group reclaims terms or artifacts that were previously used in a way disparaging of that group. The phrase social justice warrior appears to have ...
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1answer
1k views

Must genocide involve killing?

Recently I've been seeing a lot of articles regarding the genocide of the North American indigenous people by the European settlers. I've also heard claims that this genocide continues to this day due ...
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2answers
4k views

“Madam President” vs “Mrs. President”

Last year I noticed some T-shirts for fans of the female presidential candidate in the US: However, there is a female US President in one of my favourite TV shows, who is always addressed "Madam ...
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1answer
114 views

Is usage of “deserve” without reference to subject’s individual conduct or character a separate sense? [closed]

Dictionaries continue to define the verb deserve in terms of qualities or actions by which a person individually merits or earns good or ill: Do something or have or show qualities worthy of (a ...
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2answers
421 views

Expression for being “fluent but not necessarily perfect” in a language

How can one neutrally and concisely express that someone is able to converse in a particular language clearly, confidently and more or less in a grammatically-correct fashion? — I need to post ...
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1answer
522 views

Is there a way to determine how offensive a word is? [closed]

Outside of slang, I'm looking for a list of words that have been co-opted by society to mean something derogatory. In some senses, they are also "trigger words" and phrases. The word cult, for ...
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1answer
4k views

“Minority” vs “Marginalized” group

Today, we were having a group discussion in my workplace. There was a part where we all were given a chance to explain how the recent election affected us. During my turn, I referred myself (Asian ...
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1answer
400 views

Is it appropriate to substitute actor for actress retroactively? [closed]

The Wikipedia entry for actor refers to a style guide that advocates a preference of actor over actress: "When the Observer and the Guardian published their new joint style guide in 2010, it stated ...
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1answer
373 views

Is use of the word “dwarfism” considered offensive?

Ellie Simmonds, 4ft tall, is a British national treasure. In 2008, she captured the nation's heart when at the Beijing Paralympics she won two gold medals in the pool, at the age of 13. She has since ...
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1answer
439 views

Is “executive assistant” still much rarer than “secretary”?

According to Google NGrams, the term "executive assistant" is much less common than "secretary". Even if I try prefixing both with "his", to avoid meanings such as Secretary-General of the UN, the ...
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1answer
6k views

Is 'folk' a politically correct substitute for 'people'?

Edit: Comments so far have focused on the speech of politicians. While this discussion is interesting, and desired when relevant, I am more concerned with use in activist communities. I believe the ...
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2answers
203 views

Why have I not heard “radical muslim terrorism” on TV?

In the United States, on TV I have heard much about "radical islamic terrorism" during the republican debates and also in mainstream media. Nearly all these cases involve a male aggressor, or a ...
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2answers
2k views

How is the term “African-American” politically correct?

First, a note: This question is meant to have no explicit or implicit political/sociological connotation whatsoever, and is indeed born of actual and deep curiosity as to what is in the author's ...
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6answers
511 views

Politically correct way of saying “perceived by others as better”

I work for a startup and am trying to write a sentence in a professional email along the lines of: We can compete with other/better-known companies like Google and Amazon by appealing to the ...
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10answers
5k views

What is a less offensive term for “Christian mythology” that still implies it's non-empirical?

I'm trying to find an alternative term for "Christian mythology" that characterizes it as non-empirical, but isn't quite so caustic towards those sympathetic to Christian beliefs. I've considered "...
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1answer
304 views

Is “maiden speech” regarded as politically incorrect?

Some people use "inaugural speech" instead of maiden speech. For example, from the Twitter account of the Australian Sex Party: From one year ago, the Inaugural Speech of @FionaPattenMLC http://...
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1answer
242 views

Is “piss poor” apt in this case?

My friend and I (yes, it's the same friend) were chatting the other day about how some people are too poor to afford even drinking water, so much so that they don't urinate every day. The root of the ...
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1answer
310 views

Clarify an idiom in a political text

Please carefully read the text below: On 24 November, 1993, a meeting of Leftist intellectuals occurred in London under the auspices of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), which is ...
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18k views

Is it okay to use the word “Negro” in a historical context? [closed]

In a few days, I have to do a class presentation project about the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. I want to say that the movement's original name was the "New Negro Movement," but I'm not sure if that's ...
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2answers
4k views

What's an alternative term to “politically correct”/“political correctness” that liberals can use? [closed]

This may be a fairly controversial question, but ... I have known several people on the left (liberals, even radicals) who use the term "politically correct." I also know a lot of people on the ...
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2answers
3k views

Does the word “midget” have any negative connotations? What would be a non-offensive term today?

Midget is a word that is usually not said because it is offensive to the "Little People". In no way am I trying to offend anyone. But my question is, is it official that the word midget has negative ...
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3answers
161 views

Has the phrase “holiday season” been around for a long while?

In American English, has the phrase "holiday season", to refer to the Christmas season, been around for a long while? I assumed it was a recent politically correct invention to avoid mentioning the ...
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1answer
540 views

Transgendered vs. Transgender

In the 1990s the preferred umbrella term used by and about people who weren't in alignment with their birth gender was "transgendered." Despite the fact this was grammatically correct and didn't have ...
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3answers
275 views

Including gender diversity in a survey [closed]

I'm about to run a very large survey of Canadians, and I'm wondering how I should identify gender. Currently, I'm asking: Are you ...? () Male () Female What word would you use to capture people ...
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3answers
2k views

Mentally challenged as differently abled [closed]

Can we politely refer to somebody who is mentally challenged but leading an almost normal life upon professional support as differently abled?
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7answers
35k views

Politically correct synonym for “Indian giver”?

The phrase "Indian giver" means someone who gives a person a gift and then wants it back later. It's occasionally a useful concept, but the dictionary says it's offensive and I also think so. Is there ...
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13answers
24k views

Does the term “white lie” have racist connotations?

In his book Overcoming our Racism, psychology professor Derald Wing Sue talks about "unconscious racial oppression" that leads well-meaning White people to say and do things that are harmful to people ...
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3answers
286 views

In cricket and football is it alright to refer to women as men?

I noticed when I was watching the match between England and Mexico in the Women's Football World Cup the other night, that the commentator would refer to a situation where the attacking side 'had a ...
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4answers
5k views

Politically correct substitutes for (fe)male and (wo)man

In the English language, the pairs man/woman and male/female both look as if one gender or sex was considered a special case for it is denoted by putting an arbitrary prefix (wo-, fe-) before the ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the history of “partner” being used to refer to boyfriend–girlfriend relationships?

In North America (especially Canada and the United States), the word partner is more and more commonly used to describe someone who would otherwise traditionally have been called a boyfriend or a ...
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1answer
1k views

Necromancy and nigromancy

Necromancy and nigromancy descibe the act of black magic/ spiritualism. It comes from Greek originally and laterly Latin, according to Wikipedia. The question is, is this the ancient source of the ...