There used to be a saying, "Not in polite company."
In this era of PC [political correctness] it's a requirement to be
hyper-sensitive and a right to be rude. What a lose/lose situation.
We have mangled our vocabulary to eliminate words and references that could in any way be construed as offensive, even if no offense is intended, given or taken.
The word man can no longer be substituted for humanity. We cannot even say mankind without intentionally insulting women. There are no acceptable accidents in the use of language. The most polite and careful person cannot avoid giving offense. Every slight justifies, demands a loud and rude response. We are required to find fault of those we used to be asked to respect and emulate.
In retroactive PC, words that were common and correct at the time they were spoken or written cannot be quoted without insult. If you read from a
speech written a hundred years ago dealing with slavery, you are a racist,
because you read the word Negro. It is irrelevant that the term African
American or the racial category Black didn't exist. It is irrelevant that
there was no original intent to offend. Offense is mandatory. And, the
polite or mannered individual who does not point out the offense must also
In anticipatory PC, words that are spoken or written today must be used in
anticipation of their potential for future offense. You should have known.
Someone will find those words and be offended. And, once offended, that
individual must attack. Polite silence implies acceptance.
However, in contrast and irony, the loudest and rudest behavior is assumed
to be justified and must be protected. We are required to endure all forms
of verbal, physical, and visual abuse in the name of the First Amendment.
Public shock artwork and offensive music, disruptions at sporting and even
cultural events must all be accepted. The most obnoxious behavior is
assumed to be the byproduct of an abusive situation, so it must be
tolerated, even encouraged. He/she must also confess all of the abuse.
And, like it or not, we will know more than we ever could want or need to
know about the intimate details of everyone's life. Polite behavior and
discourse are not worthy of attention.
It is not possible to be mannered AND be politically correct. The rude
have brought us all down to their level. Such a pity.