Posted by TheFallen on May 16, 2002
Posters to this forum in the UK will be aware of this story, since it's made national news media, but clearly the politically correct lobby has gone stark staring mad.
Apparently, the term "nitty gritty" has been deemed by official and governmental bodies to be both offensive and racist, since they have decided that it originates from sailors' slang to describe the debris in the bottom of a slavers' ship. It's therefore being struck from official language. The archaic term "good egg" has also been declared racist, just in case it's derived from Cockney rhyming slang - which I bet it's not. It's also true that in certain more "right on" councils, employees are not allowed to take their coffee black or white - just with or without milk.
I remember chuckling (but with some sadness) at the story someone posted here about some US official having to resign because he'd described a budget as "niggardly", and was instantly accused of racism. I thought it could never happen here in the UK with our less litigious culture. Nevertheless, it is - it's almost as if there's some earnest bevy of people somewhere just desperately trying to become offended by any and every term, and if they can dredge up even the most unlikely of references, out come the pruning shears and another expression or two is lopped off the English language tree.
English is a constantly evolving and rich language, and I'm sure most right-thinking people are more than capable of deciding for themselves what is or isn't racist, without having some Big Brother organisation wringing its bleeding heart hands and censoring at every turn, simply for fear of being seen as politically incorrect.
Frankly, I despair.