political correctness


political correctness
political correctness
The term political correctness (often abbreviated to PC) arose in the 1980s, first in America and soon afterwards elsewhere. It deals with many areas of social interaction; in language it is concerned with avoiding or replacing words and uses that cause offence or are seen as discriminating against certain sections of society, e.g. by being racist or sexist or in other ways, and extends to the avoidance of terms that may be regarded even coincidentally as offensive, such as black in black economy and blind (to) meaning ‘unwilling to recognize (a fact)’, and to other words that offend various groups, e.g. deaf people, homosexuals, racial groups, women, and old people. The political correctness movement is also devoted to promoting an alternative terminology that seeks to assert a more positive aspect to negative or undesirable qualities, such as deficiency achievement for failure, differently abled for disabled, non-waged for unemployed, and many compounds formed with -challenged (intellectually challenged, vertically challenged, etc.: see challenged). Although the basic intentions of political correctness have attracted widespread sympathy, its more extreme forms have been met with scorn or even hostility. See also sexist language.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • political correctness — Political correctness, often called simply PC, is concerned with avoiding certain attitudes, actions and, above all, forms of expression which suggest prejudice and are likely to cause offence. This may be against men or women, against older… …   Universalium

  • political correctness — ► NOUN ▪ the avoidance of terms or behaviour considered to be discriminatory or offensive to certain groups of people …   English terms dictionary

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  • Political Correctness — Po|lị|ti|cal Cor|rẹct|ness 〈[ kəl ] f.; ; unz.; Abk.: PC〉 in sprachlicher, sozialer u. gesellschaftlicher Hinsicht korrektes, gerechtes Verhalten, vorurteilsfreie Gesinnung, Vermeidung jeglicher Art von Diskriminierung [engl., eigtl.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • political correctness — noun a) The concept that one has to shape their statements (if not their opinions) according to a certain political dogma, i.e. to be politically correct. 2002 I mean, people who talk about political correctness as being a kind of thought police… …   Wiktionary

  • political correctness — N UNCOUNT Political correctness is the attitude or policy of being extremely careful not to offend or upset any group of people in society who have a disadvantage, or who have been treated differently because of their sex, race, or disability. In …   English dictionary

  • political correctness —    Although having a distinguished ancestry in the race relations and equal opportunities acts of the 1970s, the concern with political correctness can be traced to the American academic community of the mid 1980s. Its advocates argue that… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture