Up to the minute Amber Alert Information

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Word Police are at Work

It’s a Female Dog, or Worse. Or Endearing. And Illegal?

"The New York City Council, which drew national headlines when it passed a symbolic citywide ban earlier this year on the use of the so-called n-word, has turned its linguistic (and legislative) lance toward a different slur: bitch....While the bill also bans the slang word “ho,” the b-word appears to have acquired more shades of meaning among various groups, ranging from a term of camaraderie to, in a gerund form, an expression of emphatic approval. Ms. Mealy acknowledged that the measure was unenforceable, but she argued that it would carry symbolic power against the pejorative uses of the word. Even so, a number of New Yorkers said they were taken aback by the idea of prohibiting a term that they not only use, but do so with relish and affection."

Read the rest of this report on the oh so civic-minded work of New York City Council members!

Don't they have anything better to do than police people's speech? Aren't council members cruising the streets looking for public works projects anymore? When does a devoted, civic-minded, hard-working, council member find the time to dream up such nonsense? They should be careful about this day dream because they just might end up with a nightmare of a collapsed bridge in their ward. Maybe Ms. Mealy doesn't know which is more important or is her actual responsibility.

The nanny state must shelter all its urchins (adults and otherwise) from verbal insults that might crush their tender psyches. But it takes on a task that is impossible to enforce. Or will they hire a Speech Administrator from the Word Police Department who has all the power of a Zoning Administrator?

In the end, this legislation will turn individual against individual as they seek the courts to resolve hurt feelings caused by heated and demeaning speech. Gone will be the days of settling the matter privately and moving on. When one can be compensated in court, why not sue? Why take the verbal abuse without retaliation and being better for it?

Our mothers, who had an eighth grade education, had far better advice for their children than Ms. Mealy has. "Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" has been given to many a kid who complained about being called "four eyes." It put backbone in us. We determined all the darts simply would not pierce through our new-found armor. We learned self-discipline by refusing to capitulate to the desire to retaliate. We were taught not to stoop to the level of our tormentor. And we didn't have a court to which we could appeal. We did it ourselves! Dad taught us to settle it ourselves, occasionally with a well-placed punch, but to follow Mom's way in the end. If we have Word Police, we must have official Hurt-feeling-defenders, but then how can one learn by doing the hard work on our own and actually growing up?

Soon we will be hauled into court for calling someone a vixen. Ho-hum, these infantile Word Police make me tired. Oops, I shouldn't have said that!

No comments: