How Will We Communicate When All the Words are Gone?
In order for you to give my thesis any credence, I feel you must first understand my love of diversity in our current culture. So, when I say I’m agnostic when it comes to religion, I only state that so that you can appreciate the context of my next statement; which is, that I was once taught by a Catholic nun that there is a theory in Quantum Physics stating that everything created by man will eventually become the opposite of its intended purpose. After reading Mr. Estrada’s argument in chapter 6 of the St. Martin’s Guide textbook, I feel compelled to submit a differing viewpoint with a slightly more pertinent message. I would like to expose the dangers of PCism, and how it could get even more out-of-hand than it already is. PCism is a reaction to a problem, not a solution to that problem.
After reading the essay and completing the word listing exercise I looked at my list and thought about which ones offend me the most? On my list where words like: hillbilly, cracker, white trash, redneck, rube, and hick; all words I heard growing up because I was born in the once rural town of Riverside, Ca. I’m a man of average height, but compared to many of the jock friends I grew up with in high school, I was called small. I’m also part Italian so whop, ginny, and spaghetti bender have been applied. I became a Beatles fan as a teenager and love rock music so I’ve heard hippie, rock ‘n’ roller, rebel, delinquent, and pistol used as attempts to belittle me. I like to drive fast so several traffic cops have called me a lead foot or a menace to society. I love computers so geek, nerd, brainiac have also been applied. My parents were small business owners so I’ve also heard rich boy, bosses son, and since I’m getting up there in my years then old school and senior citizen can now be added to the list. Much to my surprise, just recently, I heard racist and zagh used as attacks on my character. Some of these words, I’m sure, you’re familiar with. Some you may laugh at and wonder why they are even on the list. Well, if we are to buy into Mr. Estrada’s way of handling things, I need to be sure my list is complete, and that I haven’t forgotten any names I’ve been called that were meant to offend me or inflict injury to my character. My list must be thorough and complete so that everyone can be made aware of what offends me, and I want to ask of you, the reader, to please avoid using them in my presence.
Truth of the matter is, being called any of these names does not make me feel offended or invalidated. To me, when I hear words like these spoken, it just tells me that the person speaking them is ignorant, and has no idea of who I am, what I am, or what I stand for. The way I was raised by my parents and the several public schools I attended while growing up, I was taught that we should all live by the golden rule. Recently, I was amazed to learn that according to a poll they were reporting about on the TV news, of the people polled only 28% knew what the Golden Rule is. One simple phrase, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is what I have based my life’s relationships on. For me, in part, I’ve always taken it to mean that I should give every person an even break, and that I should always greet my fellow human with dignity, respect, warmth, and joy from my heart, unless that person demonstrates a reason that I should do otherwise.
The last name on my list, zagh, stands for Zarrwellien Alien Guy Homosapien, and is a theoretically fictitious derogatory word I created to help illustrate how, in a universe of infinite possibilities, the process of trying to regulate speech and vocabulary not only completely contrary to the first amendment of the United States Constitution, but more importantly, is against common sense. Another theorem of Quantum Physics is that in order for a truth to be true it must be universally true – no anomalies. When our society spans more than just our planet, out into our galaxy and beyond, when inter-planetary breeding becomes common place, and there are so many different cultures and civilizations that the mathematically available combination of letters are nearing annihilation for having been deemed offensive to one group or another, where will that leave us then? How will we communicate when they outlaw all the words?
Those that argue the other side will say that they are only removing the truly offensive words from the global lexicon, offensive to whom? Instead of trying to remove the words they should be trying to remove the ignorance. Instead of controlling lives we should be empowering lives. We, as a collective consciousness, should spend more time on developing educational skills and less of it attempting to regulate human nature. They’ll also argue how ludicrous my theory is that we might someday run out of words, although they’ll never give you any idea of where the line can be drawn as to the number of words that might possibly become taboo.
Wouldn’t it be simpler if we could just agree to all follow one simple rule and apply that rule, as a litmus test, to each and every action we take? The only race I have ever considered myself a part of is the human race. Regardless of where we’ve come from in life, instead of assuming that any one group could or should have power over our lives, instead of grouping various entities, which can only have a disparaging affect, wouldn’t it be so much easier to just do unto others what we would have them do unto us?