What the term ‘politically correct’ really means

I have been going on and on about how the term ‘politically correct’ has been abused both pre-emptively (by people who then go on to say mean things about members of marginalized groups) and defensively (to deflect attention from the fact that they have said something offensive). I was wracking my brain trying to think of a succinct way to capture what people really mean when they haul out political correctness but succinctness is not the strong suit for a wordy person like me.

But thanks to commenter Daniel Schealler, I was informed of Byron Clark who says he has written software that replaces every occurrence of the phrase ‘politically correct’ in his browser with ‘treating people with respect’. The results he gets are, as Daniel says, brilliant.

Check out Clark’s examples and I think you will agree with Daniel’s assessment.


  1. Dunc says

    I tend to say that “political correctness is what bullies cry about when somebody stands up to them”.

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