September 16, 2009

Fun with text books: Oh noes, not the language police!

Alright, I got better. Again. I know, I know, run aground Gobi Desert dying of thirst and boredom.

Lulz, I'll never do that again. It's good to vent but I immediately felt better like 5 minutes later and that made it awkward.

So in retaliation to myself here's something fun. Let's have fun with my text book for General Speech! General Speech is exactly what you think and it's going exactly as well as you'd expect. SOOOO without further ago I introduce you to chapter 3 regarding UNDERSTANDING VERBAL MESSAGES.

This chapter kind of surprised me because it went over sexist language, racist language, homophobic language and...heterosexist language, but we'd be remiss if we didn't assure the straight people that gays can be discriminatory too. I guess?

But anyway, what should have been a fairly straightforward chapter just got really weird in the section Confronting Bias In Language. Observe:

Confronting Bias in Language:

We don't want to sound like the "language police"--that is, we don't want to dictate to you how you ought to talk.

*hits the pause button*

What? It's a speech're kind of dictating to me how I ought to talk. Or at least giving pointers--but what you sound like you're implying here is that I shouldn't use these terms while giving a speech but any other time? No biggie.

...language police.

*hits play*

But we have found that oftentimes insensitive or stereotypical language usage arises out of ignorance or a lack of education. Even well-meaning, educated people can communicate bias through the language they choose to use. Words that reflect bias towards members of other cultures or groups

*hits pause* You know, like class and race and shit. *hits play*

can create barriers for listeners.

*pause* Oh. Oh lord. I don't even want to start.

Also this is not a lesson in how to be "P.C."

I wish this term would just vanish already.

The term political correctness with regard to language is an unfortunate contemporary label for something communications instructors have taught for decades--the use of language that doesn't exclude or offend listeners.

Thanks, Language Police *blink*

I was really happy that the text brought up use of the word "gyp" as a racist remark. Damn I've been trying my damnedest to get over that one but I feel like I actually have to be reminded every now and then. I always just thought it was something random my dad made up (I also thought he made up THIS too though, damn). I thought that was cool and useful. Thanks again Language Police, for not policing my language while policing my language.

Also, let's play a game: One of these things is not like the other.

"I got a great deal on a car; the sticker price was a lot higher, but I jewed the dealer way down."

"You can't have that back, you Indian giver!"

"She's a real Bible banger."

"He doesn't have a Chinaman's chance to make the team."

"That divorce settlement gypped me out of what's rightfully mine!"

Hint: It's not different because it isn't offensive. Although I will admit I say it alot myself.

Did you get it? Then you're absolutely right.

It goes on to talk about ageist language, which is great, especially since it covered discrimination against older people and younger people which...doesn't happen a lot, it's usually either one way or the other and that's weird.

And...this is the first time I've ever seen the phrase Gunny-Sacking. What the fuck.

And that's about all the fun we'll have today...tune in next time when I find something wrong about my other 20 books. I kid you not. Okay so most of them are anthologies, still.

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