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.

2
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5answers
136 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-...
-2
votes
2answers
174 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
0
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1answer
210 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 ...
3
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4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
393 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'...
5
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
658 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
94 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.
1
vote
2answers
133 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 ...
0
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2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
355 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
646 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 ...
2
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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 ...
2
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2answers
3k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
325 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
460 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
315 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
329 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
411 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
196 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
6answers
489 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 ...
8
votes
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 "...
1
vote
1answer
278 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://...
3
votes
1answer
216 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
301 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 ...
22
votes
11answers
17k 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
157 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
514 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
263 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 ...
0
votes
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?
8
votes
7answers
28k 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 ...
46
votes
13answers
23k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
282 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
2
votes
6answers
9k views

Is there a politically correct term for illiterate people?

The question says it all. What is the standard, compassionate/politically-correct term for those who lack a literacy education? I'm looking for something a little higher in register and more accurate ...
8
votes
9answers
3k views

Alternatives to the expression “poor man's <noun>”

I'm looking for a more politically correct substitute for the expression "poor man's", meaning an inferior improvised or makeshift substitute. Usage examples: "Guncotton is the poor man's TNT" "Poor ...
-3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a non-transphobic alternative to “he or she”? [duplicate]

For instance, "A politician must be able to think quickly on the spot. He or she must also have no qualms about lying." I know some people who use "they", but as that both sounds and is ungrammatical,...
11
votes
11answers
8k views

What do you call a woman who's feeling “emotional”?

It's that time of the month, your female partner has begun to fault pick you, for no explicable reason she becomes weepy, and anything you say or do will be criticized or misinterpreted. Is there a ...