Political Correctness in Writing

Tim

Creative Writer
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Location
China
as the english language changes we have to take things into account. whilst our own style will follow us through our careers, the political correctness situation might dictate how you are reviewed or possibly benefit your writing.

i'm leaving some of the most obvious notes here, guidelines to stop you falling foul of urban myths and get you used to the ideas of PC language (you'll still need to do a lot of research though!)

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current debates on political correctness use in the english language cover 3 main areas :

the idea of the language system as under attack by new controlling forces
the idea of the rapid changes in term
the idea of resistance and disruption

as stated by Cameron (1995) :

language reforms challenge the majority power groups assumptions that they define the world

"At stake is a power structure in which certain people often without being conscious of it, just assume the right to tell other people who they are"

most submitted PC language falls into 3 types :

new language items that are mythical, devised for purposes of satire by right wing commentators
new language items that have been suggested by liberal critics, for use in real contexts
new language items that have been created by radical critics, in order to reveal prevalent ideologies, but not necessarily for everyday use
 

Renderking Fisk

Fedora Chronicles
Joined
May 21, 2005
Location
New Hampshire
I’m coming at this as someone with my own weekly column and 3,000 hits per day on average.

I am whole heatedly 100% against any form of Censorship.

Political Correctness is censorship. And in my book, as a libertarian constitutionalist, it’s evil. It’s a violation of the First Amendment of The Constitution of The United States of America. Cut and dry… it’s evil.

Political Correctness is for simple-minded academics with totalitarian tendencies to dictate that thoughts and ideas of others, it’s a way for professors to force their students and the rest of the world to conform to THEIR worldview.

the political correctness situation might dictate how you are reviewed or possibly benefit your writing.

To paraphrase Martin Luther King… I hope I’m judged by the content of my character and the quality (or lack there off) of my writing rather then the color of my skin or my party affiliation.

Political Correction is an attempt at preventing a small minority of cowardly and overly sensitive people from being offended. What people don’t realize is that good writing is supposed to be offensive sometimes, it’s SUPPOSED to invoke a reaction – negative or positive.

You’re supposed to piss off the right people at the right time and for the right reasons… “The Right Reasons” is subjective and is the preview of the author.

If you’re afraid of offending people with your writing, and you want everyone to “like you” by being “Politically Correct,” Then you have no business calling yourself an “Author,” a “Creative Writer” or a “Columnist.”

new language items that are mythical, devised for purposes of satire by right wing commentators…

As someone who’s been accused of being a “Right Wing Commentator,” I resemble that comment.

I don’t want to be in a world where everyone has to agree with each other 100% of the time. That’s boring and unrealistic… I want an exchange of ideas and passionate debates. Political Correctness is a means to stifle such debate and to coheres people to think and write a particular way.

I’m civil, but I’m also politically INCORRECT. I say what I mean, mean what I say and I’m willing to accept the consequence of my actions and words. If I offend someone and it’s unintentional, I hope that person is at least an adult and can express what they feel with out being insulting and condensending just as I hope I am when someone says something that rubs me the wrong way.

Keep your chin up and your fedora on… and keep writing.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Political Correctness is censorship. And in my book, as a libertarian constitutionalist, it’s evil. It’s a violation of the First Amendment of The Constitution of The United States of America. Cut and dry… it’s evil.

RF: Just to let you know, MRD and a few others in this community are not part of the USA. Therefore The constitution's amendments actually have no bearing at all. The only thing you need to remember is that the USA extends our constitutional privelidges to all people in the world whether they support them or not. (One of the reasons for writing "Hating Americans" post a while back) I try to refrain from Deeming other cultures 'Evil' because I realise from their point of view WE(USA) are evil. MRD is NOT an author or writer and as far as I know has never published. He is learning. I take his comments as an observation of what he has absorbed. You, as a polished and published writer have insight to set him straight or alienate him(And Me). I have been to your site and scanned thru your articles as you can witness at SciFiExplorers. I think you have great talent. I want to see more in the SciFi areas.
As long as we all just tell it as we understand it and don't bash cultures we will be able to learn. RF, I know you MUST adhere to some controls and MRD I know that you want to write your mind. Me, I have so many things going on in real life right now I need to take notes so I can warp it into a scifi story.

I just wanted to clarify that not everyone in the CoolSciFi community enjoy the same freedoms as we Americans. They don't have the same rights and they have harsher consequences. As debate material I have a loaded statement or two but it is not appropriate on this board. Perhaps I will start a yahoo group lol.
 

Renderking Fisk

Fedora Chronicles
Joined
May 21, 2005
Location
New Hampshire
I understand what you’re saying, but the thesis of what I said still stands. Because some people are denied the right to free speech is exactly WHY we have to be more outspoken agaisnt it. It’s a crime against individuality, it’s a crime against thoughts and ideas, it’s a crime agaisnt humanity.

I really don’t care where he’s from… the statement “Censorship is Evil” is true everywhere. He could be from the middle of London, The middle of the Atlantic or in the Middle East… the prohibition of any thoughts, ideas or concepts by one group imposing it’s standards on another is simply wrong.

NOBODY should be denied the right to communicate thoughts or ideas, nor should they be restricted in how they do it.

Political Correctness is a means of pacifying one group by denying the rights of another group from saying what they want to say and how they say it.

As an American, I’m offended by censorship because it’s a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

As a man, a human being, an outspoken writer and web-master, I view censorship as the lowest forms of dictatorship and a cowardly way for tyrants to control the thoughts and ideas of a population.

I just wanted to clarify that not everyone in the CoolSciFi community enjoy the same freedoms as we Americans. They don't have the same rights and they have harsher consequences.

That’s even more of a reason why we should be even more outspoken against any form of censorship. NEVER should we sit by and just accept the fact that that’s just the way it is. Censorship in any shape or form is unexpectable. There’s no excuse or argument. There’s no defending censorship. Censorship is wrong.

I am personally angered and fustrated by anyone using any form of cohersion to silence someone elses’s thoughts or ideas.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
I agree! but some cultures can't see it that way. They think we are nuts. All I am saying is that I believe that a right to not have free speech is also a right in some peoples eyes. When we force that issue are we not
using any form of cohersion to silence someone elses’s thoughts or ideas.

Sure It is worth it to mankind for all to speak freely, just think of how many solutions to the worlds problems have been silenced by fear to speak up. Think of all the revolutions and death in places where speaking your mind results in death. If you grew up under THOSE conditions you would feel differently about other people spouting off.

One thing you may want to be aware of is that many cultures in the world don't like us forcing our ideas upon other peoples. Some don't Want to be free. Its hard to figure but it is true.

The issue should be when NON-FICTION is suppressed. Science Fiction and Fantasy that has been censored is not the work of the author but of the censoring parties. If the Author censors his/her creation to keep from being persecuted the work is still valid but only one version. Only if the author makes the other version known is there an issue.

If MrD wants to sell books, He may have to alter his versions to reflect the targeted public mems. If the reason for writing is based on the creation of science fiction from MrD no censorship is inherent. Original Writing. If He is writing as a source of income he MUST cater to the wills and views of his target audiance or he won't sell any books.

I like both of your work, I only hope that if I ever publish a creation of mine it will sell on the originality and not the political view.
 

Tim

Creative Writer
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Location
China
your american "free speech" is why the internet has a rating of PG13 when not protected by age verification. we english did not bring that rule about!

in our country books are not banned, no one is prevented from reading any form of the printed world. imagery is a different matter.

Political Correctness is not about censorship as such, but of the way we use the english language in a changing society, for the language does change.

as "gay" meant "happy and carefree" 50 years ago, it now means "homosexual"

correct usage of PC language is not a hindrance or censorship when used in the correct situation and the golden rule of the english language is :

"the correct language for the situation"

this covers word usage, dialect, accent, use of offensive words.

IT IS proper english when in the pub with your mates drinking beer and swearing your head off, providing a coach load of nuns aren't in the same pub!

IT IS proper english to ellipse words and sentences for your region, ie. "going down pub" in yorkshire (county of england) is proper language in our area for meaning "i am going down to the pub"


and no, everything doesn't centre around beer round here, but it makes for good examples :)

we have a problem with "black" in england as we used to call africans, indians and pakistanis "black" as a derogatory word. personally i would call them "black, indians and pakistanis" now, i don't go with the afro carribean nonsense. we have black people here who were born and raised in englans and if they have citizenship of england, a briish passport (well, it's an EU passport now) i consider them "english", i describe them visually as "black" even if the police find it easier to use other terms for communications/form filling

unfortunately people are trying to change terms to equilise womens actions and descriptions as too many terms are derogatory, especially in sexual matters 9i think you can make your own lists of, say, sexually active males and females and compare the lists and see women are treated badly by the terms we have)
 

Renderking Fisk

Fedora Chronicles
Joined
May 21, 2005
Location
New Hampshire
Don’t care about idiotic and moronic “cultural differences” in regards to censorship. Denying ONE citizen the right to say what they want to say, how they say it, or when they say it is wrong. It’s a crime against humanity.

Forced Silence is a tool used by tyrants as a means of getting away with other crimes. I don’t stand for it and you should be ashamed if you do.

Think of all the revolutions and death in places where speaking your mind results in death. If you grew up under THOSE conditions you would feel differently about other people spouting off.

Bull****. If I grew up under those conditions I would at least hope I would do everything I could and fight to change that.

The notion that some dictator would kill a subject because of a spoken word or thought is barbaric. There’s no excuse for it. I’m all in favor of other nations having their own traditions and cultures, but I draw the line at limiting someone’s thoughts or speech.

Is this the 21st century? I’m sorry, but I thought in a world full of enlightenment everyone around the world should be free.

Do your academic acrobats, do your kabuki dance of “We need to respect other cultures…” do what you have to do and say what ever you have to say to make yourself feel more comfortable around the academic elite’s… but any censorship is wrong and evil.

You will NEVER get me to admit that Censorship under any circumstances is ok. Free Speech is free under every condition (as long as it isn’t liable, defamatory, or factually incorrect) or it isn’t free.

Censorship is the first step towards tyranny. Read your history.
 

Tim

Creative Writer
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Location
China
but free speech has to be carried out in a certain way to comply to local laws.

i hate the fact the "shouters" as we call them, a local religious group, come into the centre of town waving papers and screaming god fearing rantings at us. i wsh they would do it in a more civilised fashion and not attract attacks on themselves. attacks not for religion but for their behaviour!

but i've lived in marxist countries, i know the lack of free speech that is involved, so i currently find our free speech totally acceptable. we don't see people dissapear never to be seen again, or simply shot or beaten to death in the street.

the restrictions on our speech are designed to protect the young and the vulnerable. anyone wanting to push the boundaries is normally going to do it in a manner which will harm or distress normal people, or just simply cause a nuisance. a line has to be drawn somewhere to try and criminalise those who go beyond the bounds of decency.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Don’t care about idiotic and moronic “cultural differences” in regards to censorship. Denying ONE citizen the right to say what they want to say, how they say it, or when they say it is wrong. It’s a crime against humanity.

Keyword: CITIZEN

Bull****. If I grew up under those conditions I would at least hope I would do everything I could and fight to change that.

Keypoint: GREW UP UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS
How would you know life was not normal and other societies were right if you never had a chance to express yourself to develop those ideals

Is this the 21st century? I’m sorry, but I thought in a world full of enlightenment everyone around the world should be free.
To Americans it is, To some cultures it is NOT.
http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/Calendar.html

Aztec Calendar
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Jewish calendar http://www.jewfaq.org/current.htm
today is 14 Iyar 5765 (58th century)
Here is a Mayan Calendar
http://www.diagnosis2012.co.uk/mlink.htm
http://webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-chinese.html


You will NEVER get me to admit that Censorship under any circumstances is ok. Free Speech is free under every condition (as long as it isn’t liable, defamatory, or factually incorrect) or it isn’t free.
every condition
(as long as it isn’t liable, defamatory, or factually incorrect)
To Whom?

I AGREE that freespeech/Freedom to expression should be a given right world wide. But if I didn't you wouldn't let me say so. (Understand) You would oppress me to shut me up because of my beliefs because they didn't match yours.

I would like to talk about writing science fiction and fantasy now if you please.
I have the freedom not to continue this discussion but I keep getting sucked in. So,

Did you know they are planning to come out with a second Alien Verses Predator Movie?
What could the possible storylines be....Should it be immediately after the last movie , 50-100 lears later , far future or ancient wars. Could be an interesting discussion eh?


LOL
 

Renderking Fisk

Fedora Chronicles
Joined
May 21, 2005
Location
New Hampshire
I AGREE that freespeech/Freedom to expression should be a given right world wide. But if I didn't you wouldn't let me say so. (Understand) You would oppress me to shut me up because of my beliefs because they didn't match yours.

Actually, I want people to have views that are slightly diffrent then mine. I don’t want everyone to agree with me, it’s enough pressure to have orginal thoughts and ideas – you want me to think for everyone else too? I don’t think so… (That’s wit and sarcasm for those oppressed by ruthless Politically Correct despots who might have out-lawed it in some cesspool devoid of liberty…)

I'm actually adult enought to admit that on some issues I'm in the dark. But on the issue of Censorship, there's no wiggle room. There's no room for censorship at all. Period. There is no justifilbe reason for anyone not to be able to express their thoughts and ideas.

Any system of government that suppresses freedom of political or religious speech is tyranical.

As far as “Alien VS. Preditor” and a sequel… that’s awesome. As long as the script is good and the FX are up to the standards of the first one... they should go for it.

But if it’s just a money grab with a felgercarb script, they shouldn’t do it. But that’s just mt opinion… you’re welcome to debate me on that, too if you wish.

Should it be immediately after the last movie , 50-100 lears later , far future or ancient wars. Could be an interesting discussion eh?

Do it in the 1930's or 1940's so we can see some rugged men wearing fedora's kick some alien tail with Tommy-guns.... just so I can promote it on TFC.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Renderking Fisk said:
... Bull****. If I grew up under those conditions I would at least hope I would do everything I could and fight to change that. ...
The irony of a post about censorship itself being censored is not lost on me. ;)
 
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