Political Correctness in English Language

: ✔ 02.03.2018

.. Political Correctness in English Language //

The political correctness phenomenon is one of elements English-and a Russian-speaking language picture of the world and one of base components of political culture. Last decades concept "the political culture" is in the centre of attention of many humanitarian disciplines, however its uniform treatment does not exist now. From a position of political psychology "the political culture" appears in two types: as a basis of political activity and as the subjective reason defining all specificity, dynamics, level and character of its development.

Political Correctness in Modern Society

Political Correctness in English Language

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English provides the following definition of the term "political correctness":

Political correctness is a language, behaviour, and attitudes that are carefully chosen so that they do not offend or insult anyone used especially when you think someone is too careful in what they say or how they behave Indeed, that is a language or behavior which is carefully calculated to provide a minimum of offence, particularly to the racial, cultural or any other identity groups being discussed. Only a text which fully confirms to the ideals of political correctness is considered to be politically correct. Although this notion is not tied to the English language only, it is extremely important in the English speaking countries due to numerous racial, political and cultural differences which still thrive in such countries.

According to Z.S.Trofimovas point of view, the political correctness has appeared in connection with occurrence of idea of cultural pluralism and necessity following from here according to new ideology proportionally to represent literary works and arts, the achievements of a public and political life concerning representatives all ethnic and sexual minorities [2].

Features of word usage during the period to political correctness are represented by small historical digression on purpose to investigate features of word usage in English language before political correctness occurrence. The lexicon became the main object of studying negative, and is more concrete, names of various kinds ethnic groups, possessing negative . As an analysis material texts of the American art prose XIX the XX-th century middle (G.B.Stou, M.Twain, O.Genri, D.Londona, D.Dos's product and other authors) have served. We have considered necessary to allocate two basic groups of ethnonims with negative connotation.

The names of various kinds ethnic groups, concluding in the value a negative estimation. It, first of all, ethnic nicknames: kike, wop, dago, greaser, Jap, Chink, etc., and also offensive nicknames of black Americans: nigger, coon, Jim Crow. Data ethnonims are used mainly in direct speech and possess strongly pronounced expressional effect [3].

We believe, that "political correctness of language is expressed in aspiration to find new ways of language expression instead of what tread on corns and advantage of an individual, strike at its human rights habitual language tactlessness and-or straightforwardness concerning racial and a sex, age, a state of health, the social status, appearance etc.".

Foreign authors focus attention that the political correctness phenomenon has arisen and has extended in territory of the American colleges and universities as science and cultural centers, and also thanks to ethnic and racial variety of students, and make political correctness definition as "of network of the interconnected ideological views which call in question university education bases: the traditional curriculum, sights at objectivity of received knowledge, attaching significance to cultural, sexual, class and racial distinctions"[4].

The earliest cited use of the term dates back to 1793, when it was used for the first time by the U.S. Supreme Court. At that time politically correct meant that the statement it refers to is not literally correct, owing to the political status of the U.S.

In 1962 American linguist the concept of a language code which is connected with politically correct behavior has been entered. Completely sharing R.T.Bell's opinion, we consider, that in a society exist

Certain norms of behavior, which should be carried out by the person to correspond to the certain status, and some of these norms will be "norms of language behaviour codes of corresponding language"[5]. From here follows, that the political correctness phenomenon is connected with change of norms of language behaviour in modern English language. As a rule, it is expressed in restriction or a full interdiction for the use of any words or expressions in a certain situation. As an example the terms designating various forms of discrimination can serve:

  • "ableism" oppression of persons with physical defects;
  • "ethnocentrism" discrimination of the cultures which distinct from are dominating;
  • "heterosexism" discrimination of persons with nonconventional sexual orientation;
  • "lookism" creation of standards of beauty and appeal and infringement of those rights who mismatches these standards.

So, in territory of many American universities it is forbidden to use "racist" and "sexist" words. As discrimination can be shown both in actions, and in the verbal forms, some authors believe, that a political correctness overall objective is the aspiration to avoid discrimination in verbal forms by means of politically correct terms

Back in 1912 the term was again used in senator Robert la Follettes biography, for literary purposes.

The contemporary use of the term political correctness is believed to originate from Marxist-Leninist vocabulary, where it was used to describe a party line. Of course, this term is adopted by other countries as well.

The modern concept of "political correctness" arouse in the 1970s and 1980s, in the feminists right movements.

The concept of political correctness was based on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis which states that a languages grammatical categories shape speakers ideas and actions. The objective of this hypothesis was to bring peoples biases into awareness, thus allowing them to make more careful choices about their language and making them aware of the things people may find offensive. According to this hypothesis a languages grammatical forms control speakers possible thoughts.

Apart from this, many linguists accept a more moderate version of the hypothesis which states that the ways in which we see the world may be influenced by the kind of language that we use. That would mean that, for example, sexists language promotes sexist thoughts.

Taken the assumptions of both versions of the hypothesis, many words and expressions are considered to be "taboo" such as the ones describing sex, bodies and their functions, as well as those that are used to insult other people. Therefore, PC is applied to groups of people and professions in order to overcome all possible social differences in terms of sex, age and race, In order to avoid possible offences, introduces gender-neutral jobs like: "line worker" instead of "lineman" and "chairperson" which replaces "chairman". Also, different disabilities are expressed differently in political correctness. So, it is not political correctness to say "disabled" but rather "differently abled". In addition, racial problems are dealt with by political correctness as well, the offensive word "Indian" is replaced by "Native American" which is a more acceptable term meaning the same thing.

The term "political correctness" is sometimes used in pejorative or even ironic sense to satirize the idea of carefully chosen language which can promote or establish certain social interactions and relationships, from which society would benefit. Ironic attitude towards political correctness usually comments on certain forms of identity, like gay rights, feminism, multiculturalism and the disability right movements. To be more precise, since the 1990s, the concept has often been a target of certain comedian. Now I want to show some examples of political correctness in English.

The language categories of political correctness are:

  • Integrated sign absence in value of language unit of discrimination on racial, national, a sex, age and property statuses, to state of health;
  • Differential sign ability of language unit to exclude display of the kinds of discrimination set forth above.

Proceeding from it, it is possible to allocate a number of the oppositions characterised by presence/absence of the given sign: African-American/Negro, Asian/Oriental, Native American / Indian, senior / old, physically challenged/handicapped, low-income/poor, etc. Members of the given oppositions, at identical value, have got various connotative values on which basis they can be considered as politically correct/politically incorrect. The political correctness category is realised at three levels of language: word- -formative, lexical and syntactic [6].

Allegations of political correctness, in the sense of an enforced orthodoxy, have been directed against the political right.

The resulting backlash against the band was described by columnist Don Williams as an example of exacting a price for expressing views the right considered politically incorrect. Williams wrote "the ugliest form of political correctness occurs whenever there's a war on. Then you'd better watch what you say. " Williams noted that Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly called it treason.

In 2004, then Australian Labor leader Mark Latham described conservative calls for "civility" as "The New Political Correctness".

Other examples include attempts to rename French fries as freedom Fries and to boycott French wine in retaliation for Frances decision to not support the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the terms "Islamofascist murderer" and "homicide bomber" to describe the insurgency and suicide bombers in Iraq

There is one more interesting thing connected with political correctness. Here to resort for example Europe more pertinently. It is possible to tell, that political correctness, being, probably, all the same partially reaction to nazism of the middle of the last century, now again itself provokes nazism. Certainly, hardly it is possible to confirm unequivocally it, but on this thought me one of articles in which it has been written has pushed, that the ideology of political correctness forces the European politicians not to pay attention to huge number of immigrants from Asia, and problem ignoring still never solved problems. Therefore it is quite logical, that there are people who are irritated with such inactivity and which accept because of it radical ideas and take the initiative on itself. Strengthening recently the right radicals in Austria, Denmark, France turns out, that, the Netherlands is connected not so much with the problem of immigrants, how many with ideology of political correctness which is absolute this problem ignores.

Certainly, in the USA the situation is little bit another. But if to esteem, besides, examples of how concern the people who have broken canons of the personal computer involuntarily comes to mind thought, that it should irritate people. To the student in a hostel noise of drunk voices behind a window did not allow.

As it has already been stated, the notion of political correctness is extremely important in the English speaking countries. For this reason, all those who are planninig to live, or at least visit some of these countries should undoubtedly be familiar with this term and its importance. You will probably not be asked to write politically correct Christmas cards, but you should know that it is considered to be extremely rude to address African Americans as Negroes or homosexuals as gays and lesbians.

Criticism of Political Correctness

Political correctness such universal medicine for an inequality. Besides almost in all its displays. It is possible to give it from racism. It is possible from infringement of the rights of citizens to ethnic and religious signs. They can be protected from disrespect for sexual minorities. They can treat xenophobia, discrimination, both on age, and to sexual signs.

Political correctness - an impressing gain of the western democracy.

But sometimes political correctness looks silly. For example in Britain new reality show is started. Now there is a casting of interested persons in it to take part. Its essence in that volunteers have tried to live on the basis of Guantanamo where Americans tormented the international terrorists. Participants of show will torment too, but in a sparing mode. It will be at once and " A Weak Link" and "Last Hero" [7].

Some critics said, that if political correctness also is morals, very full of holes. Therefore as well as rationality, it can help something to promptly globalized human civilisation, but to replace with itself natural moral feeling hardly probable [8].

Position about neutral character of public language promoted entering of clearness into interpretation of some linguistic problems and has forced linguists to an establishment of more accurate gradation among the phenomena having the direct relation to a question on relations between language and a society. At the same time this position has to a certain extent covered and has a little pushed aside rather important problem which has not been removed at all by the thesis about neutral character of public language. It is a question of social and special (professional) differentiation of language. Though in a considerable part (but not always) dialects resulting to these differentiation and a slang represent branch from a public national language ", they are natural generation of social and professional differentiation of a society and quite often possess very accurate signs. They do not break integrity of public language, but co-exist near to it and are in the brisk and diverse relations with it.

The structure of a society stimulates creation of similar differentiation of language. After all language is the social phenomenon, and it cannot be indifferent to social partitionings in the basis which arise in the society served by given language. "There, where in society structure the isolated classes and groups are allocated, writes thereupon R. Shor, serving to the various industrial purposes, language of this society breaks up to corresponding social dialects. There, where only is a division of labor, each branch of manufacture is forced to create the special stock of" technical terms "- names of tools and the processes of work connected with its role in manufacture and not clear for members of other industrial group".

Critics argue that political correctness implies censorship and endangers free speech by limiting what is in the public discourse, especially in universities and political forums. University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and lawyer Harvey A. Silverglate, connect political correctness to the ideas of Marxist Herbert Marcuse, in particular his claim that liberal ideas of free speech were in fact repressive. They see this "Marcusean logic" as being at the basis of the hundreds of college speech codes formulated on American university campuses. Others contend that politically correct terms are awkward, euphemistic substitutes for the original stark language. They also draw comparisons to George Orwell's invented language Newspeak.

Camille Paglia, a self-described "libertarian Democrat," argues that political correctness gives more power to the Left's enemies and alienates the masses against feminism.

In effect, critics of political correctness claim that it marginalizes certain words, phrases, actions or attitudes through the instrumentation of public disesteem.

Right-wing critics of political correctness, argue that it is a form of coercion rooted in the assumption that in a political context, power refers to the dominion of some men over others, or the human control of human life. Ultimately, it means force or compulsion. Correctness in this context is subjective, and corresponds to the sponsored view of the government, minority, or special interest group. By silencing contradiction, political correctness entrenches the view as orthodox. Eventually, it is accepted as true, as freedom of thought requires the ability to choose between more than one viewpoint.

Lind and Buchanan have characterized PC as a technique originated by the Frankfurt School in 1930's Germany aimed at undermining Western values by influencing popular culture through Cultural Marxism. Some conservatives refer to Political Correctness as "The Scourge of Our Times."

Skepticism about the existence of political correctness

Some commentators argue that the term "political correctness" was engineered by American conservatives around 1980 as a way to reframe political arguments in the United States. According to Hutton:

"Political correctness is one of the brilliant tools that the American Right developed in the mid-1980s as part of its demolition of American liberalism....What the sharpest thinkers on the American Right saw quickly was that by declaring war on the cultural manifestations of liberalism by levelling the charge of political correctness against its exponents they could discredit the whole political project.[9]"

Some commentators argue that the term "political correctness" was engineered by American conservatives around 1980 as a way to reframe political arguments in the United States. According to Hutton:

"Political correctness is one of the brilliant tools that the American Right developed in the mid-1980s as part of its demolition of American liberalism....What the sharpest thinkers on the American Right saw quickly was that by declaring war on the cultural manifestations of liberalism by levelling the charge of political correctness against its exponents they could discredit the whole political project."

Such commentators say that there never was a "Political Correctness movement" in the United States, and that many who use the term are attempting to distract attention from substantive debates over discrimination and unequal treatment based on race, class, and gender (Messer-Davidow 1993, 1994; Schultz 1993; Lauter 1995; Scatamburlo 1998; Glassner 1999). Similarly, Polly Toynbee has argued that "the phrase is an empty rightwing smear designed only to elevate its user".

An alternative objection to the discourse surrounding "political correctness" is the claim that doctrinaire insistence on the use of approved words is just as prevalent on the political right. In 2004, Australian Labor leader Mark Latham described conservative calls for civility as "The New Political Correctness. Similar comments were made in relation to the decision to rename French fries as Freedom Fries.

Political correctness in the USA leads to hushing up of the problems facing to the American society. According to experts, as a result the order should be directed force. In the USA the next scandal because of political correctness and struggle against racism inflames. This time the new board game " Gettopology " became object of attack of the American legal experts and the Negro public. According to "dissatisfied", founders of game expose Negroes "in unattractive light, as souteneurs, swindlers and gangsters".

In the USA "classical" cartoon films of 30-h-50th years now are exposed to censorship, school textbooks correspond, words and concepts which "can seem offensive whence are thrown out and cause negative feelings and emotions". According to interrogated RBC daily experts, because of "erected in the absolute" political correctnesses in the USA are ignored economic, demographic problems, problems of criminality and interracial relations. Experts consider that the developed situation is fraught with race riots. Washington has already started to prepare for such succession of events. Last week in the USA fighters for the rights of the black population of the USA have urged to forbid sale of a new board game "Gettopology", the company created by the employee on manufacture of youth clothes Urban Outfitters by David Chang. " Gettopology" represents the version of a popular board game" Monopoly "in which scenery have changed only.

The association of black clergy of Philadelphia has already held protest meeting before company Urban Outfitters headquarters where Mr. Chang works. " This disgrace which goes beyond all limits. "It is racism" said the head of Association, Saint Robert Shajn considers [10].

As instructions and interdictions grow intervention, the bureaucracy and on the contrary grows also. And the state bureaucracy (as any bureaucracy), and political correctness, both possess the motive power and in some areas these forces quite naturally each other support. And to youth the ideology of political correctness is pleasant also to that it is easily acquired and is already prepared: the Utopia brought on a saucer ready to consumption, throwing out easy, attractive slogans. Who does not want democracy, justice, tolerance and the world? Who not against racism and fascism? To think it is not necessary: all is already invented. Historical knowledge an excess.

The Basic Changes in English Language under the Influence of Ideas of Political Correctness

The basic tendencies of struggle against a sexism already were outlined in modern English language. Are exposed to changes of a word and the steady combinations containing a component man. In a word meaning man sems "person" and "man" are allocated, that often causes an image of equivalence of two concepts. Supporters of language reform suggest to replace a word man when it is used in value "person", that is not marked on the basis of a floor: Man must work in order to eat. Homosapiens must work in order to eat. However the greatest difficulties are created by a morpheme man, used in a considerable quantity of difficult words: barman, policeman, fireman and many other things. Such words are exposed to change more often: barman> barperson, fireman> firefighter, mailman> mail carrier, policeman> police officer, etc.

The second characteristic tendency on change of norms of language concerns the pronoun uses he (his, him) in some syntactic designs, for example, in offers of type If a person wishes to succeed, he must work hard or offers of type Everybody should do his work. For replacement of similar designs following variants are offered:

  • omission of a pronoun of a masculine gender,
    The average student is worried about his grades → The average student is worried about grades;
  • change of number of a noun (the only thing on Plural)
    Each student can select his own topic → Students can select their own topics;
  • pronoun replacement he, his on one, ones
    Everyone should do his best → One should do ones best;
  • use he or she, his or her (in oral speech or on the letter) or s/he (On the letter)
    Each student will do better if he has a voice in the decision → Each student will do better if he or she (s / he) has a voice in the decision;
  • use their, if a subject an uncertain pronoun
    When everyone contributes his own ideas, the discussion will be a success → When everyone contributes their own ideas, the discussion will be a success.

Words with suffix -ess, designating an accessory to a feminine gender are exposed to a correcting also. In order to avoid unnecessary distinctions to a sexual sign-ess it is offered or to lower: actress> actor, authoress> author, heiress> heir, poetess> poet or to replace a word entirely: stewardess> flight attendant, headmistress> head teacher.

At last, last group of the words which have undergone to changes in connection with struggle against sexism, reference forms make. Here the most important for achievement of formal equality of women was introduction of reference Ms [miz] which is put before a surname of the woman, not reflecting its marital status.

As shows research of a theoretical material, also on overcoming of racial and national prejudices tendencies recently were outlined in English language. Most sharply there is a question on a comprehensible designation of the Negro population of the USA. Though long struggle for the rights of black Americans has yielded concrete results, words which reflect the new status of this racial group equal in rights, have appeared rather recently. By consideration of nominations of the black population of the USA in aspect, we found possible to allocate some periods.

1. The period up to 2nd half of XX century when the common name designating natives from the African continent, the word negro (from Spanish negro black) was. In 1930 40 leaders of Negro movement have achieved a writing from a capital letter Negro, as a recognition of advantages of black Americans and their equality with other ethnic groups. In 1930 newspaper The New York Times has printed for the first time Negro from a capital letter.

2. The second period is marked by the movement beginning for the civil rights in 60th years of the XX century when Negro it has been superseded from the use by a word black because of associations with slavery, foreign extraction and similarity in a pronunciation with offensive nigger. The word black was opposed white, as though underlining the importance and equality of black Americans.

3. During the period with 80 and on present time black more it is not considered 90th of the last century the correct name of black Americans. To more correct now admits the word African-American because he underlines communication of black Americans with native continent. Along with African-American other, not so widespread variants, for example, member of the African Diaspora "a member of the African diaspora", person of black race "the person of black race" are used also.

Some other names of representatives of various ethnics have undergone to changes also. Word Indian "Indian" is not considered correct, are more preferable Native American "the radical American" or indigenous person "the native inhabitant". Word Eskimo "Eskimo" began to replace with name Native Alaskan if it is a question of the aboriginal of Alaska or Inuit when the Canadian Eskimo means. Word Oriental "the person of the Asian origin" is considered as pejorative and varies on Asian which concerns people from East and Southern Asia, such inhabitants of the USA call accordingly Asian-Americans. Expression Jewish person has appeared as correct alternative to word Jew as the last bears a negative shade, being used in value "the deceiver, the dishonest person" (that has remained in language in verbal forms to jew, to jew down "to force down the price to swindle"). The use of the set phrases containing the names of various nationalities is incorrect: French leave, Dutch treat, Mexican breakfast, etc [11].

Thus, the language changes directed against racial and ethnic biases, assume revision, first of all, some names of the separate people and ethnic groups which for any reasons are perceived as offensive and pejorative.

Political Correctness in Modern English Press

Devices of expression of political correctness in language are very necessary. Among them it is possible to allocate first of all lexical means, and also grammatical (syntactic, spelling) and stylistic. The given phenomenon demands detailed studying as well because carries out one of the important functions in the course of an adequate translation and interpretation of the foreign text.

Ways of formation of politically correct words and expressions

The name of a way



"Racist" parts of the words

Hispanics Chicano / Chicana Spanish American

Negro coloured black African-American/Afro-American

 The part of the word is changed. It was specifying in colour of a skin

Exception of the use of the reductions specifying in the social status of the women

Mrs / Miss Ms (its not discriminate the woman)

Replacement of "sexist" morphemes

Chair man chair person;

spokes man spokes person;

fire man fire fighter;

steward ess flight attendant;

headmistr ess head teacher;

waitr ess waitr on

Replacement of the words designating socially restrained people

Invalid handicapped disabled differently abled physically challenged

Old age pensioners senior

Poor disadvantage

Replacement of the words designating people with certain physical defects

Sort people vertically challenged people

Fat people horizontally challenged people

Illiterate print challenged

Replacement of the words designating not developed in respect of national economy

Third world countries emerging nations

Political correctness gradually becomes a nightmare of modern Britain and USA. Arisen in second half of last century as response of liberals to such ugly public phenomena as racism, a sexism both ethnic and religious hatred, it has gradually turned to the arch of dogmatic rules which do not allow people to express the sights and judgements frankly.

Became, for example, indecent to mention colour of a skin of the criminal or in the announcement of employment to specify, that the competitor should be the man, capable to lift weight.

Political correctness has turned almost in some kind of the religion which priests anathematize everyone who, in their opinion, breaks this unwritten charter.

Reading modern press we can see such examples of political correctness as:

"A population boom among African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics in the 1990s has made Prince George's County Maryland1s most diverse county. "

(The Gazette, February 15, 2001)

"If Obama seems alien, it may not be simply because he's the African-American presidential front runner, but because he's an African-American politician who doesn't flaunt his scars. Instead, he seems improbably blessed with good fortune and holds himself up as an example of the American Dream as reality. As he says again and again in speeches, only in this country would his story be possible. "

"This fall the college has opened a new Access Center in Hyattsville, the geographic heart of the county's Latino population. "

(The Gazette, February 15, 2001)

"Now the nations largest minority, Latinos are the prize in the defining battle of politics in the new millennium. "

(Newsweek, July 3, 2000)

In the given examples use of politically correct terms African-American and Asian-American along with incorrect Hispanics is observed. However, further correct term Latino in this connection a certain duality is shown is used. Probably words Hispanic and Hispanics as the terms officially entered US Census Department still are more preferable to newspaper and journal publications, that proves to be true following examples:

"And the result seemed to confirm the doomsayer's predictions: enrollment of African-American, Hispanic and Native American students plunged at Berkeley, while the Asian-American population continued to rise."

(Newsweek, July 3, 2000)

"Among Americans who have some kind of face-to-face contact with the police each year, blacks and Hispanics are only 70 percent as whites to have these contacts. "

(The Economist, November 29, 1997)

In last example it is a question of children with bad behavior, but instead of usual disruptive children the interviewee uses correct expression kids that have special needs.

The tendency to the correcting in a modern English-speaking press is found out and in the words designating people of old age.

"While most area churches assist people who might need support from the others, such as the homeless, senior citizens, single parents or drug / alcohol abusers, there has not been any unifying body to coordinate these efforts efficiently. "

(The Gazette, February 15, 2001)

"The plan also includes a catastrophic coverage provision that would pay any prescription drug costs above $6000 in a year for any senior, regardless of income."

(The Washington Post, July 5, 2000)

Japanese toy makers now see senior citizens as their most dinamic market. (Newsweek, August 6, 2001)

"For Ms Jose there is no moral dilemma in breaking the law to bring people from Mexico most of them elderly or needing medical care to their tribal hospital in Sells."

(The Dallas Morning News, June 29, 2000)

In first three examples the term senior is used, that underlines respect for people of old age from the state and a society. The word elderly aged, still in recent times were an euphemism, has lost the euphemistic ability and, agrees The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook concerns the category incorrect.

"The story of an African-American who rose to great heights despite the color of his skin and the humility of his beginnings resonated with white, blue-collar voters facing tough times in Wisconsin and Iowa. But in Ohio and Pennsylvania, his message fell short. Even taking into account the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. uproar, which certainly fueled racial doubt among some whites, it seems unlikely that race alone explains the difference in states that are so similar in so many ways. "

(Newsweek, April 2008)

In this article we face incorrect expressions. Them concern division on black and white despite a positive context and stylistic correctness of the use of a word "white".

"Senior Editor and Columnist Daniel Gross writes that the steps financial institutions are taking bear a heavy cost: dilution. "Most Americans experience dilution at bars, when unscrupulous bartenders cut top-shelf alcohol with excessive amounts of tonic or juice in mixed drinks, " Gross writes. "In recent months weve been feeling it in our wallets, as inflation (up 4 percent in the year that ended in March) has eroded wages. Now its Wall Streets turn."

Economic problems of the USA have found the reflexion in given article. The reader feels indignation of the author concerning inflation. However the author not to time was not beyond political correctness.

"With respect to gays, some prejudice endures and homosexual practice, at least as shared with those conducting the survey, seems to be pretty much the same as it's been for years: 4 percent of women say they have sexual relations with other women, compared with 2.6 percent in 1992; among men the numbers are unchanged at 4.1 percent. "The development of tolerance as a matter of principle, which is especially pronounced among the young, has not been enough to produce radical changes in private attitudes toward homosexuality," says the research agency's report."

(Newsweek, April 2008)

In spite of the fact that politically correct lexicon prevails over incorrect, the percent of use of last is high enough. Such words, as a rule, carry out value judgment function. Giving to the statement irony or a neglect shade. Also it is possible to explain it conservatism of some editions, and it is simple that authors of articles have not time to be well informed about all language changes.

In last fragment of article we face with not observance of rules of political correctness. The author of article uses words "gay", "women".

Language marker of a category of political correctness in texts of the American printing mass-media became use neutral or positive lexicon at a designation or the characteristic of representatives of a various sort of minority (national, sexual, invalids, etc.).

Data of the quantitative analysis testify to the superiority of correct words and expressions over incorrect (63 % to 37 %). Thus it is necessary to notice, that at texts of modern American newspapers and magazines in overwhelming number of cases is present politically correctness.

The lexicon received a wide circulation and fixed in the majority of explanatory dictionaries: African American, Native American, Ms, police officer, firefighter, physically challenged, low-income, senior citizen. Some of these words and expressions, such as Native American, Asian-American, firefighter, senior citizens have actually superseded in journalese speech used earlier Indian (in value " the Indian"), Oriental, fireman, the old (aged), but certain quantity are used along with their "incorrect" equivalents: African American and black, Latino and Hispanic, gay and homosexual, economically disadvantaged and poor. It is possible to explain the Significant amount of politically incorrect terms to that such word, as ethnonims black and Hispanic, still correspond to language norm of English language. This fact proves to be true by the analysis of definitions from modern explanatory dictionaries where the given words are not marked as become outdated or offensive. In texts of modern American printing mass-media type neologisms wimmin, femtal, herstory, ovular are not presented, thon which have obviously occasional character and have not entered into language use.

Political correctness, as the cultural-behavioural category, is shown in the special attention given in the American press to problems of national minorities, discrimination to a sexual sign, adaptation physically and intellectually defective citizens, the help to people of the senior generation and to socially not protected levels of population.


The theoretical review and the carried out research testify that political correctness possesses the specific maintenance: ideological and mental installation on overcoming of international, intercultural, interethnic contradictions and conflicts and, at the same time, finds the language realisation shown in a choice of special different language means. As the cultural-behavioural category political correctness represents system of the cultural and behavioural norms accepted in a society which are directed on overcoming of negative stereotypes and development of tolerance to discriminated groups of people (ethnic and to sexual minorities, invalids, elderly, etc.) and assume a recognition of equality of representatives of these groups.

In modern English language such words as stewardess and mailman, them have replaced sexless flight attendant and letter carrier have disappeared.

On the other hand, in English, as well as, obviously, in all languages, masculine gender use is meant by default when the floor is not defined, for example: the doctor and its patients or doctor and his patients.

There is a contradiction because women-doctors and flight attendants can be offended by such state of affairs.

It appears, this problem not new and to avoid a discomfiture, into English language even long before feminism approach tried to enter an impersonal pronoun thon which even existed in dictionaries till 1950.

The word has not got accustomed, and today authors consider possible design replacement everyone must do his own work on everyone must do their own work.

As the language category political correctness possesses categorical signs among which are allocated: an integrated sign absence in value of language unit of discrimination on racial, a sex, a state of health, age and property statuses; a differential sign ability of language unit to exclude display of the kinds of discrimination set forth above. The political correctness category is presented on word-formative, lexical and syntactic levels of language:

  • an integrated sign absence in value of language unit of discrimination on racial, a sex, a state of health, age and property statuses;
  • a differential sign ability of language unit to exclude display of the kinds of discrimination set forth above.

Thus, the degree of use of politically correct dictionary in newspaper and journal publications is happy is high. In the course of a parity politically correct lexicon prevails over incorrect 60 % to 40 % (36 correct to 24 incorrect terms).

Political correctness of language is directed on preserving the rights and advantages of an individual and consequently it is impossible to admit that it discredited herself extreme measures or has degenerated in the contrast.

As a result of constant interest to the human person as to the centre of the western ideology on which efforts and politicians, both economy, and cultures are directed, English language both is kinder, and it is more humane, and it is more polite to the person, than "" Russian. With our ideology of a collectivism and individualism ignoring (this word has in Russian negative connotations) difficultly to expect something another. Russian, as a rule, does not burden itself with reasons of humanity and keenness in relation to the separate person


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