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Why Can’t I Speak My Mind?

Finally, my Southern breeding is forcing its way past the admonitions of friends and family to maintain some semblance of political correctness. What is it with the South, you ask? We are polite folk, yet tend to speak our minds using straight talk. The recent presidential campaign generated an unusually high level of PC behavior along with an additional focus on attitudes, language and incidents considered politically correct (or incorrect.) The election is over and I’m verbally exhausted – tired of being PC to the point of having to verbally tiptoe around supposedly-sensitive issues that might offend persons in gender, racial, cultural, disabled, aged or other identity groups. What about my feelings?

Political correctness has been described as a form of censorship that endangers the American right of free speech. Although the term “PC” tends to be considered pejorative or disparaging, choosing to use words and phrases such as “blind person” (visually-impaired person) or “terrorist” (insurgent) for which there are substitutable awkward euphemisms can draw the ire of heretofore-disinterested strangers standing in the check-out line behind you.

Consider also the amazing amount of euphemistic language (an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant) that has sprung up to cleanse and soften the impact of stating facts in our language. And euphemisms themselves evolve over time,

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