Author Topic: The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)  (Read 49584 times)

Caissa

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2006, 07:14:59 AM »
lagatta wrote: Proactive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proactive has become a cliché, alas, but if you look at its original, very precise meaning, it is a most useful word.

Frankl is one of my heroes. That precise coining is fine; it's the most recent common usage which is grating.

I also dislike "politically correct" given it's origins as a right wing slur on the left. I'm not sure it's a term the left should or wants to appropriate.

Gigi

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2006, 08:24:25 AM »
"should of"

"would of"


"could of"

skdadl

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2006, 08:25:33 AM »
Caissa, I'm not sure that that is so. The expression "politically correct" certainly became current first in my world among lefties in the seventies. I would say that we used it somewhat ambivalently, or different people put  slightly differing spins on it, depending on their pov. It was common enough, though, to say flatly that something was "not PC" and mean it. At other times, one might be making fun of overly dogmatic ideologues, but lefties never had any trouble aiming such criticism at one another.

Right-wingers only picked up on PCness as a negative label and a cheap way to slander the left in the late eighties, I would say, and the nineties, a time when they were co-opting a great many other terms from the left -- like "choice," eg.

I remember a friend of mine who had joined the faculty of a major literature department in the early eighties telling me then that the younger, politically aware faculty, in some revolt against the really old farts, were referring to themselves -- proudly -- as PoMo and PoCo -- postmodern and politically correct. There was a touch of self-ironization in those descriptions, but not much. Those people honestly aimed to be politically correct.

skdadl

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2006, 08:27:53 AM »
Oh, and ... Yes, thank you, 'lance.    :wink:

Caissa

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2006, 08:34:10 AM »
It seems there is a debate over this issue. From Wikipedia:

The existence of PC has been alleged and denounced by conservative, (Lind, Buchanan, Sobran), liberal (Hentoff 1992, Schlesinger 1998), and other (Brandt 1992) commentators. The term itself and its usage is hotly contested. Some left-wing commentators have argued on the contrary that "political correctness" is a straw man invented by the New Right to discredit what they consider progressive social change, especially around issues of race and gender. Other left-wing commentators embrace and actively utilise the phrase, so there is confusion whether or not it was invented.

The full link is at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness

skdadl

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2006, 08:41:15 AM »
Yabbut: I was there. We did use the expression first. It was ours.

Caissa

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2006, 08:46:51 AM »
Okay. More from the same wikipedia article...

The term was transformed and used jokingly within the Left by the early 1980s, possibly earlier. [citation needed] In this context, the phrase was applied to either an over-commitment to various left-wing political causes, especially within Marxism or the feminist movement; or to a tendency by some of those dedicated to these causes to be more concerned with rhetoric and vocabulary than with substance.

The term again became popular in the early 1990s as part of a conservative challenge to curriculum and teaching methods on college campuses in the United States (D'Souza 1991; Berman 1992; Schultz 1993; Messer Davidow 1993, 1994; Scatamburlo 1998). In a commencement address at the University of Michigan in 1991, President George H. W. Bush spoke out against administrators and academics who would "declare certain topics off-limits, certain expressions off-limits, even certain gestures off-limits" (Glassner 1999). Conservatives picked up and once again transformed the notion of political correctness to claim that a left-wing movement based in liberal academic circles was attempting to create a new doctrinaire political orthodoxy through social engineering which included changing words and phrases that some groups found offensive. [citation needed] Use of the term then declined in the late 1990s, and it is now mostly seen in comedy or as a political slur with questionable meaning. More recently, the term has been reclaimed by a tiny subset of multiculturalist writers and speakers who reject (or are oblivious to) its controversial connotations and origins. In a bit of tit-for-tat inversion, it is also occasionally employed by leftists to deride what they regard as clichéd or disingenuous conservative themes such as "family values," "compassionate conservatism," or "God and country".

skdadl

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2006, 08:54:08 AM »
Well, they need older writers, I would say.

As I wrote above, the term was already being used in a number of slightly different ways in the seventies, but it was not automatically a derisive term.

Caissa

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2006, 09:01:20 AM »
The above doesn't disagree with you the phrase "by the early eighties" does not preclude the expression having been used in the seventies.  I think the complete wikipedia article catches some of the ambivalence around the term you discussed skdadl. I don't think we're disagreeing. I'm a little younger and my "experience" with the term doesn't kick in until the mid to late 80s.until

fern hill

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2006, 09:08:58 AM »
My two cents: I first heard 'politically incorrect', which cracked me up, as was intended by the speaker. So, we used 'politically correct' sarcastically, on the over-zealous among us. This would have been late 70s, I think. (My &%&%**# memory!)

skdadl

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2006, 09:22:08 AM »
Aha. Now, there -- fern hill's memory may be the correction I need.

I think that's right -- that lefties in the seventies would more often have been saying that something was "politically incorrect." That would be where the whole thing started.

Herr Magoo

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2006, 09:29:37 AM »
The first time I ever heard the term would have been in 1986, when a young woman in residence got sort of screechy about the beer someone was planning to buy for some kind of kegger ("Coors is not politically correct")

As I recall, we ended up with the Coors anyway, and I can't help wondering sometimes if the grave state of the world right now might not have been caused by that.  ;)
ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,

lagatta

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2006, 09:52:30 AM »
Wasn't politically correct a term originally derived from Maoism and the Cultural Revolution in Chna, a time of great strictures on thought and on what works of art could be displayed and performed?

There were also a lot of terms such as "running doig" (sorry, dogs) that seem to come from poor translations from the Chinese.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Caissa

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2006, 10:10:49 AM »
I ran across the following through our good friend, Google.

Message 2: "PC" summary (1996 version)
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 09:35:39 +0800
From: "James T. Myers"
Subject: "PC" summary (1996 version)

As I suspected, the origin of "PC" has been discussed before (including,
apparently, on this list, in 1994). I will only add a few tidbits which
were sent to me by my many correspondents. First, here is a reference:

Perry, Ruth (1992) "A short history of the term politically correct" in
Aufderherde, Patricia (ed.) _Beyond PC: Towards a Politics of Understanding_.

I am not able to check this myself right now, but apparently it promotes
the Maoist origin theory, which seems to be well-supported by the personal
anecdotes I was sent. However, Dennis Baron provides evidence suggesting
that the term is still older. It's possible that the 1947 Nabokov
citation and the 1936 citation were borrowing Marxist-Leninist terminology
(with the 1793 citation a fluke), but they certainly can't be Maoist.
Perhaps these extra-early citations were influenced by the same sources
that influenced Mao, but that's going back a bit too far, I think. The
phrase didn't take on a life of its own, apparently, until it was picked
up by radicals in the '60s. Frederick Newmeyer's observation of a shift
in usage by leftists (from politics to individual behavior) is also
supported by anecdotes I was told. The usage of "PC" that I encountered
in college in the mid-80s was then a still later, sarcastic, usage. It
was this usage that was then modified and spread to the mainstream by
non-leftists. Hence (and feel free to disagree with this -- I won't
defend any of it):

(0) Compositional semantics usage: "PC" = "politically" + "correct"
 (at least since 1793)
(1) Marxist-Leninist usage: "PC" means to conform to official policy
 (ca. 1930s?)
(2) Maoist usage: the same
 (ca. 1950s?)
(3) North American Maoist usage: the same
 (ca. 196x?)
(4) later NA leftist usage: "PC" means to behave in an appropriate
 fashion, even if there is no official policy at stake
 (examples of this usage found as late as mid-80s)
(5) leftist/centrist sarcastic usage: "PC" means to be too
 dictatorial about appropriate behavior in others
 (earliest anecdotes go back to 70s, perhaps dominant usage by 1985
 -- still may be used this way on occasion, even in mainstream press)
(6) current usages: see your local media

The only other interesting thing I can say on this is to pass on the
observation of Miriam Meyerhoff, who, at university in New Zealand ca.
1981, heard the phrases "politically unsound" and "politically sound" used
according to usage (4), along with the abbreviations "PU" and "PS". Just
to add a bit of lexical variation to your helping of semantic drift.

Anyway, thanks to the following correspondents: Karen Baumer, Elissa
Flagg, Warren Frerichs, Dorine S. Houston, J. P. Kirchner, Joerge Koch, Tom
McClive, Miriam Meyerhoff, Janice Rothstein, Kevin Russel, Marilyn Silva,
Daniel Swingley, Karl Teeter.

Catchfire

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The Peeve Thread (grammar, spelling, usage, whatever)
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2006, 10:13:21 AM »
The OED, God bless it, added in June 2006 a new entry that brings me grief:

Quote
bouncebackability, n.

Chiefly Sport.

          The capacity to recover quickly or fully from a setback, bad situation, etc.

[quote:1r2tmmnw][1961 Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio) 18 Apr. 2B/1 The Tribe demonstrated its bounce-back ability in a three-game series with Washington, taking the set 2-1.] 1972 Manitowoc (Wisconsin) Herald-Times 25 May M3/2 The ‘bounce-back-ability’ is a valuable asset to the manager. 1991 Economist 5 Oct. 20/2 New York will again demonstrate its bouncebackability. 2005 Daily Record (Glasgow) (Nexis) 13 Apr. 3 We then showed some true bouncebackability when we equalised with a fine header from Christie.
[/quote:1r2tmmnw]

Ladies and gentleman, please mourn the passing of the words "resilience" and "indefatigability," which have apparently outlived their usefullness and have passed, shamefully and without dignity, into the night.

 

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