“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.” –Lewis Carroll
I’m not really sure if the above quote really applies to what I want to talk about today, because I think in the case of “Political Correctness” most people are at least in general agreement about what it means. They just differ on what it means.
Oh, that does sound like an Edward Learian/Lewis Carrollian dollop of nonsense, doesn’t it? I mean, “mean” means the same thing, as “mean,” know what I mean? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. It really depends on perspective, which in language we usually refer to as context. “I mean what I say” and “He was mean to me” use the same word, but they mean (pardon) entirely different things. From context it is easy to glean which interpretation to go with, at least in this case. In others? Not so much. Let’s talk about that. Continue reading