Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Idioms and Expressions: "Politically Correctness"

“Politically correctness” is a term used for language that we use that is least likely to cause “offense,” or cause other people to be angry with you. We talk about being politically correct or “PC” most often when we are talking about racial or cultural groups in the U.S., but it can be used with any group. Most people see being PC as a way to give groups respect so that groups can get along with each other. Others believe that Americans try to be too PC and that they are too careful about giving offense. There has been some “backlash,” or strong negative reaction in the opposite direction. There is even a political talk show on American television called, “Politically Incorrect.”

Below are the politically correct or generally accepted terms for some of the major racial and cultural groups in the U.S. What is acceptable has changed over time. Terms acceptable 20 or 50 years ago are now no longer considered appropriate, and some of those are listed in the right-hand column below. We do not include “racial slurs,” or bad names used to insult a specific racial or cultural group. We also do not have the space to include smaller ethnic groups, such as Mexican American, Korean American, or Nigerian American.

Generally Acceptable:

  • Native American

  • American Indian

  • African American

  • Black

  • Latino (men) / Latina (women)

  • Hispanic

  • Asian American

  • White (American)

  • Caucasian (American)

  • European American



Less Acceptable or Not Acceptable:

  • Indian

  • Afro-American

  • Negro

  • Colored

  • Spanish (unless from Spain)

  • Oriental

2 Comments:

Blogger Vicki said...

First of all, the title of your Blog is incorrect. You can never say "Advices" since it is a non-countable noun. It sould be "Advice Blog".

February 25, 2007 12:08 PM  
Blogger http://robert-esl.blogspot.com/ said...

I´m surprised about spanish as incorrect label even for people from spain. And what about
- spanish descent -
??. I read the LA Times on an daily basis and I think that term isn´t that bad. Do you have sources about spanish as non PC ??, I´m really interested into that.

BR, Robert

http://robert-esl.blogspot.com/

December 26, 2007 9:01 PM  

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