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Should we have Guidelines surrounding the Type of Language we use to represent Different Groups?

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Introduction

Should we have Guidelines surrounding the Type of Language we use to represent Different Groups? Guidelines exist to ensure the Language used to represent minority groups will not offend such groups or make them clearly inferior to majority groups. These guidelines, often in the form of political correctness, were created as a means of controlling thought and unifying society. The earliest usage of political usage occurred in the US in 1970, and in the 1980s it became a way of making people aware of the language they used to represent minorities, because of the effects language had on them. It was hoped such awareness would change attitudes towards minority groups. As with any guidelines, language guidelines have their good and bad points. A good reason for language guidelines is that they have, and still do, change society and make people aware of how language affects others. Language guidelines do mean that minority groups (those of a certain ethnicity, gender, age group, etc.) ...read more.

Middle

Once again, this cannot be ensured as an infallible system as different subcultures and institutions function differently, and children may not become aware of language guidelines. Although political correctness and guidelines are effective and have helped to make language much more neutral in representing different groups, it has recently gone too far. When political correctness was established, it was in order to control the use of language but now it is almost attacking the English language, and making it seem more emotional than it is. A recent example of this is to do with the colour 'black'. When making tea, it has been common to ask if a person drinks their tea without milk by asking "black or white?" This is in no way racist, but it was still replaced with "milk or no milk?" This suggests an over emotional approach to looking at language. The fact that this guideline turned a general question into a racist question could be an indication of the political correctness becoming over sensitive and maybe even in favour of minority groups. ...read more.

Conclusion

Most possibly because political correctness affects the media's freedom of speech, it is often mocked by the [tabloid] newspapers. If an article is written to mock political correctness and come up with a new [fake] guideline, it is most possible a certain fraction of the public will believe the article, due to the fact the British society is media absorbed. This means mockery is taken seriously and what is true of language guidelines can be lost. In conclusion, language guidelines can be a good idea and do help to create harmony, but in many ways it has gone too far. The English language has evolved highly with the help of the numerous guidelines, and society has also changed but it may be time for the language guidelines to no longer interfere with the English language, as it is obvious damage is being done and the balance has been passed on by. It could be an idea for language guidelines to make the minorities more aware of how the majorities are now being affected, to go back to the balance created before this language guideline craze. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sandeep Sond 1 October 2005 ...read more.

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