I dunno. Mark Twain liked that awful German language, I guess. And of course the German language has often been “sanitized” in the past, just like Mark Twain’s English is getting sanitized right now.
This makes me angry. And sad. Because, well, it’s so sad. And the people doing it are so clueless. Or, worse still, they are perfectly aware of what they are doing.
Just in case you might care, here are some thoughts on Politically Correct English from David Foster Wallace that I, for one, find very interesting indeed:
“Traditionally, Prescriptivists tend to be political conservatives and Descriptivists tend to be liberals. But today’s most powerful influence on the norms of public English is actually a stern and exacting form of liberal Presciptivism. I refer to Politically Correct English (PCE).”
“The same ideological principles that informed the original Descriptivist revolution–namely, the rejections of traditional authority (born of Vietnam) and of traditional inequality (born of the civil rights movement)–have now actually produced a far more inflexible Prescriptivism, one largely unencumbered by tradition or complexity and backed by the threat of real-world sanctions (termination, litigation) for those who fail to conform.”
“PCE’s various pre- and proscriptions are taken very seriously indeed by colleges and corporations and government agencies, whose institutional dialects now evolve under the beady scrutiny of a whole new kind of Language Police.”
“PCE is not just silly but ideologically confused and harmful to its own cause.”
“PCE’s core fallacy is that a society’s mode of expression is productive of its attitudes rather than a product of these attitudes.”
“PCE purports to be the dialect of progressive reform but is in fact–in its Orwellian substitution of the euphemisms of social equality for social equality itself–of vastly more help to conservatives and the US status quo than traditional prescriptions ever were.”
If interested, take a look at Authority And American Usage (pages 110 and 111 or thereabout) in Consider The Lobster.
“Many thinkers and bloggers are understandably aghast at this Ministry of Truth-style fiddling with a classic text.”