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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"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 ...
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0 votes
0 answers
64 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 ...
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0 votes
4 answers
87 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
2k 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" ...
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59 votes
6 answers
8k 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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
192 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
101 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 ...
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29 votes
13 answers
3k 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 ...
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0 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
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8 votes
9 answers
8k 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
74 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
554 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 "...
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0 votes
1 answer
75 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
79 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 ...
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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, ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
404 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
161 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 ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
379 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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
355 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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1 vote
6 answers
21k 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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2 votes
5 answers
989 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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0 votes
2 answers
230 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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-1 votes
2 answers
4k 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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11 votes
14 answers
9k 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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  • 11k
0 votes
1 answer
400 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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3 votes
4 answers
6k 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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3 votes
1 answer
107 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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2 votes
3 answers
6k 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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6 votes
1 answer
187 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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3 votes
4 answers
4k 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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2 votes
1 answer
105 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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1 vote
2 answers
159 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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3 votes
3 answers
9k 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 ...
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7 votes
4 answers
532 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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-2 votes
1 answer
280 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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1 vote
3 answers
779 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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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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
8k 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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0 votes
1 answer
122 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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3 votes
2 answers
967 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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5 votes
1 answer
746 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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2 votes
1 answer
9k 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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1 vote
1 answer
573 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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4 votes
1 answer
611 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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3 votes
1 answer
473 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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  • 17.8k
8 votes
1 answer
18k 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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4 votes
2 answers
245 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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3 votes
2 answers
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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4 votes
6 answers
566 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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  • 371
9 votes
10 answers
6k 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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