English Language- Political Correctness

Just some examples and a bit of description for things to look out for in a political correctness question.

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E.g. Master and Mistress

Master has positive connotations, whereas mistress has had a semantic shift (pejuration) to mean a 'bit-on-the-side'.

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E.g. Honey, Sweetie, Bird for women. Stud, Stallion, Top Dog for men.

Women's have connotations of food and animals and are quite derrogatory.

Men's have connotations of animals as well however they have positive connotations attached to them.  

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Default Assumptions

E.g. That a surgeon is male, a nurse is female.

These assumptions are drawn from connotations that then suggest if you are not the automatic assumption you are wrong.

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Trivialising Suffixes- Cameron

E.g. Actor vs Actress, Lion vs Lioness.

The suffix '-ess' is seen as an afterthought suggesting that men come before women.

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He-Man Language

E.g. Human, Chairman.

Use of the term man suggests that the person chairing the meeting should be male and women aren't good enough.

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Lexical Gaps- Cameron

A shortage of negative words for men, and a shortage of positive words for women.

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Lexical Over-Representation- Bollinger

Too many negative words for women, and too many positive words for men.

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Using words that connote either a positive or negative image.

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Linguistic Determinism

You change the word in order to change the attitudes.

E.g. 'The Spastic Society' became 'Scope' in 1993 after the word '*******' went through a pejuration.

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Linguistic Reflectionism

You educate people in order to change their attitudes.

E.g. Educating children on the correct use of 'Gay' instead of as a negative term.

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The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

Using both education and changing the words in order to improve the attitudes and connotations.

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