Is political correctness a useful concept, or does it stifle honest discussion?
I am old enough to remember a time when P.C. meant Police Constable. P.C. Plod in Enid Blyton’s Noddy books was a familiar character and most British children learned this abbreviation early in life.
Now we have Personal Computers, although those are being replaced by laptops and tablets, not to mention the ubiquitous internet-enabled phone.
Personally, I have never found the concept of Political Correctness helpful. There have always been issues which have been difficult to talk about. From time to time the topics regarded as taboo change. Difficulties which are ignored do not go away. On the other hand too much attention may be detrimental to a cause.
Language has always been flexible and changes with usage. To associate particular words with a single meaning impoverishes language and dulls people’s wits. I am not sure how much the concept of political correctness has altered the jargon associated with, for example, such issues as physical and mental disability. It may have been a contributory factor in replacing certain words with less offensive ones.
However, a culture of being afraid to speak in case some unwritten code of political correctness is contravened is not helpful. People who respect others have no need of it. Is political correctness what George Orwell anticipated when he wrote about Thought Police in his novel, Nineteen Eighty Four?