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LETTER: Politically correct words run amok

To the Editor:

Recently one of the big dailies out East decided to change their word usage bible. All papers and magazines have them. They are called different things at different papers but essentially they are phrases and words that can be used by writers to make up a story. In today's lexicon the paper no longer uses the phrase "illegal alien." They are now, "aliens living illegally in this country."

There is a man from another country who started a nonprofit for the sole reason to change our word usage to make it seem less harsh. He claims that the word "illegal" is an action word that is incorrect when connected to an alien who isn't here legally. OK, so if "illegal" is an action word so is "criminal." Shouldn't we be calling them "criminal aliens?" Both illegal and criminal are adjectives with reference to the laws of this country.

So what if a Canadian showed up and wanted to change the phrase, "let's get out of here," to "let's get the puck out of here," would we change the way we speak for their benefit too?

This really isn't new to our vocabulary. Remember when you used the phrase; "There is enough balls to go around." That was changed to "there are enough balls to go around." The rule of thumb was, if it sounded wrong, that was the word you used.

Self-censorship is a practice media uses to make something sound better than it really is. If I write a story that has something in it that you don't like and I change it to sound better, how are you going to feel when you find out the truth? What is lost is the purpose of the report or information. What is also lost is the truth, and for Americans the truth is the most important thing. We get so little of it from the experts.

What I find interesting is that whenever there is a word or phrase we can't use any more because it isn't politically correct, it's usually a person with an axe to grind who wants the change. This is a direct assault to the First Amendment Right and an attempt to create self-censorship.

Can you imagine a couple of seniors with Alzheimer's trying to order a hamburger at McDonald's but can't remember what the political correct word for hamburger is? A point of fact, in Europe there is so much horse meat entering the system that hamburger isn't called that anymore.

In years to come you won't be called a rapist, but a person who is highly active in a sexual nature. Murders will be called euthanasia technicians. And of course, you still have to get the puck out of here.

Robert Pike

New Richmond