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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What is a more inclusive version of "pedestrian"?

A pedestrian [noun] is a "person going on foot" (Merriam Webster). Is there a more inclusive term that also includes people in wheelchairs and other mobility devices, but excluding people in ...
DLu's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
324 views

When did Western newspapers stop using the term “Japs” in their publications?

There are countless examples of highly accredited publications like the New York Times that used the derogatory term “Japs” in their articles instead of “Japan/Japanese” during and after WWII. When ...
WhiskerBiscuit's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

What disrespectful connotations does "redline" have?

I was reading the article "Respectful code" on the JavaScript engine V8's website and found it surprising that the term "redline" is an example of terminology to be avoided. Why is ...
Newbyte's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
1k views

How can I talk about the "gypsy aesthetic" without using the word "gypsy"?

The term "gypsy" was embraced with a lot of positivity by many counter-cultural groups in the US; namely hippies. Many grew up with the term meaning nothing negative, but -- as it turns out ...
Library Seph's user avatar
8 votes
9 answers
4k views

What is a politer way to criticize someone's throwing than 'throws like a girl'? [closed]

Is a terrible thing to say. It’s not even accurate, but the picture it evokes is as specific as the verbiage is succinct. What’s a less douchey way to describe an unpracticed overhand throw? Offhand? ...
user121330's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
180 views

What's a word for ensuring certain categories play certain roles?

There is discussion sometimes about whether Jews, black people, gay people etc should be the only people allowed to play Jews, black people, gay people etc in film, TV or plays. What is a good word to ...
Simd's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
722 views

Concise synonym for "black-box" (adjective)

In my field, a "black box" is a device or piece of software whose inner workings are not exposed or documented: something that you can treat as a sealed, opaque object whose behaviour is ...
user3553031's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
685 views

Why is "master branch" problematic while "master's degree" is not? [closed]

The once-common software development term "master branch" is now considered problematic due to the association of the word "master" with slavery. However, I am not aware of any ...
Someone's user avatar
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-1 votes
7 answers
3k views

Alternative phrase for "crack the whip"

"Crack the whip" as an idiom to encourage hard work in supervisees is a problematic phrase with racist and oppressive overtones. As others have noted, its origin is from driving horses, but ...
Thraupidae's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

"Screw" slang terms — are any socially acceptable?

There are a number of slang terms that use the term "screw". Pulling from an answer on this site: screw-based [slang terms] abound: you can screw something up (mess it up), you can be ...
Zach Saucier's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
152 views

"Transfeminine" vs. "trans feminine" (gender identity term)

I am writing an article and need to select between "transfeminine" and "trans feminine", in reference to a gender identity descriptor. Both terminology choices are seen in ...
L.S.'s user avatar
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0 votes
4 answers
103 views

What term can describe a sensitive comic strip?

I work as a secondary History teacher. I often assign students to create a 1-page comic strip based on the history they learned. Some of the content I teach is quite serious, and also personal to ...
Village's user avatar
  • 2,071
4 votes
3 answers
6k views

Alternative ways of saying "white-labeled"?

In software engineering, there has been a movement towards ensuring that language is more inclusive and culturally sensitive. For example, I've been in companies that now use the word "main" ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 314
62 votes
6 answers
9k views

Why is “disabled“ preferred over “handicapped”?

The question may be too opinion based and highly contentious. However, as a non native speaker with a serious disability, I have great trouble grasping why “disabled“ is supposed to be much better ...
Ludi's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
287 views

What is a very general word to describe a country exercising control over a territory?

Countries that are not independent states are often called dependencies or territories as in “French Polynesia is a devolved parliamentary dependency”. In the context in which I am using the word, it ...
Tea Tree's user avatar
  • 191
1 vote
1 answer
110 views

How can I despeciesize the word "dehumanize"?

The word "dehumanize" is used to refer to the act of treating human beings without regards to their worth and human rights. In a setting with multiple sentient species, what word could ...
Galactic's user avatar
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33 votes
13 answers
4k views

Alternative term for 'cargo cult'

In my line of work as an IT Security Engineer it is common to come across articles written by prominent technology companies describing their practices and processes. It is then also common for ...
Matt Copperwaite's user avatar
0 votes
7 answers
8k views

I need an alternative term for “master,” as in someone who has “mastered” a particular craft [duplicate]

I am writing for a fantasy setting, and there needs to be a similar concept of a “master” magician. There is a guild, “apprentice” and “journeyman” still work well, and then there needs to be a step ...
KRyan's user avatar
  • 4,705
8 votes
9 answers
14k views

How would you say that a woman/spirit has big breasts in a politely/politically correct way? (Folk Story) [closed]

I'm writing my own version of a Salvadoran legend in English. However, I'm facing a challenge to express in a politically correct way that a woman/spirit has big breasts. This is a picture of the ...
Federico Navarrete's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
347 views

Is "screw up the system" formal enough? / screw up vs. f... up

I am (trying to) write documentation for an online project. I want to write a comment that is similar to: "# ToDo: This part of the code should be hidden in a module so users can not ...
ntg's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
2 answers
988 views

Why is it unacceptable to use the word "conquer"?

I created a time line with one entry that read "Cortez conquered the Aztecs" for the date 1519. My instructor was very angry I wrote this, and said it is not politically correct to say "...
Village's user avatar
  • 2,071
0 votes
1 answer
175 views

What is the polite term for native islanders of the Caribbean?

What is the appropriate term to refer to the people native to the Caribbean islands? I need a general term, appropriate for use in schoolwork, similar to the term "Native American", that can ...
Village's user avatar
  • 2,071
3 votes
1 answer
82 views

Are the Africans brought over from the Transatlantic Slave Trade considered "immigrants"? [closed]

Are the Africans brought over from the Transatlantic Slave Trade considered "immigrants"? Although I realize that they are forced to come to the US against their own wills, the definition of ...
KingLogic's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
2k views

What is a gender-neutral word(s) for the word "maternity"? [closed]

The word maternity as in the sentence "the maternity wear is over there. If you'd like to follow me..." is typically the go-to language when describing, talking with, or about pregnant persons' wear, ...
English Learner's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
613 views

What is the politically correct way for one to refer to God? In other words, how can one eliminate gendered pronouns entirely from one's God-talk?

It seems that for one to refer to God as he bothers some people --- and I can see from where they are coming as I, too, oppose referring to God in the feminine and masculine because God is neither ...
English Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
194 views

Is there a politically correct way to speak about reproductive health, justice, etc., which doesn't unnecessarily gender the issue?

Most cisgender women, some intersex people of different variations, most transgender men, some AFAB non-binary people, and most people who are assigned females on the whole are usually the ones who ...
English Learner's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
833 views

What is the politically correct replacement of the adjectives "female" and "male" with regard to trans* people's bodies?

I've just discovered this little forum, so I shall be giving it much use as there are lots of thing over which I need to go. I know that there are some trans* people who are really uncomfortable ...
English Learner's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
578 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. ...
MWB's user avatar
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1 vote
6 answers
30k 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 ...
lambshaanxy's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
1k 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-...
CaptainCodeman's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
243 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 ...
Optimight's user avatar
  • 117
0 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE's user avatar
10 votes
14 answers
10k 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 ...
Fattie's user avatar
  • 10.6k
0 votes
1 answer
506 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 ...
Enguroo's user avatar
  • 3,515
3 votes
4 answers
9k 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 ...
Robin McClatchy's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
128 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 ...
ChaimKut's user avatar
  • 201
2 votes
3 answers
9k 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'...
VBartilucci's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
196 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 ...
GentlePurpleRain's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
5k 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 ...
einpoklum's user avatar
  • 3,464
2 votes
1 answer
108 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.
Alexei Sosin's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
162 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 ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
15k views

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 ...
augurar's user avatar
  • 1,321
7 votes
4 answers
612 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 ...
aparente001's user avatar
  • 21.5k
-2 votes
1 answer
332 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 ...
clickbait's user avatar
  • 230
1 vote
3 answers
816 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 ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 2,263
2 votes
1 answer
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 ...
ESamual's user avatar
  • 123
6 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
vojta's user avatar
  • 161
0 votes
1 answer
124 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 ...
Brian Donovan's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
errantlinguist's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there a way to determine how offensive a word is?

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 ...
makerofthings7's user avatar