At the start of one of his most famous monologues, comedian George Carlin declared:

“This is the language you will not be hearing tonight. You will not hear me say: bottom line, game plan, role model, scenario, or hopefully. I will not kick back, mellow out, or be on a roll. I will not go for it, and I will not check it out. … I promise not to refer to anyone as a class act, a beautiful person, or a happy camper. And you will not hear me refer to anyone’s lifestyle. (If you want to know what a moronic word ‘lifestyle’ is, all you have to do is realize that in a technical sense, Attila the Hun had an active outdoor lifestyle.)

“I will not say concept when I mean idea. I will not say impacted when I mean affected. There will be no hands-on, state-of-the-art networking. We will not maximize, prioritize, or finalize … and we definitely will not interface.

“There will also … be no new-age lingo spoken here tonight, no support-group jargon from the human potential movement. For instance, I will not share anything with you. I will not relate to you and you will not identify with me. I will give you no input, and I will expect no feedback. This will not be a learning experience, nor will it be a growth period. There’ll be no sharing, no caring, no birthing, no bonding, no parenting, no nurturing. We will not establish a relationship, we will not have any meaningful dialogue, and we definitely will not spend any quality time. We will not be supportive of one another, so that we can get in touch with our feelings in order to feel good about ourselves. And if you’re one of those people who needs a little space, go the (*#+’[email protected] outside!”

Except for his chronic lapses into obscenity, Mr. Carlin is a powerful commentator on how language affects us. If you read between his lines, you’ll find that many of his targeted words debase precious activities into sterile constructs (like bonding), and they flatten sublime events (like giving birth) into clinical jargon, like birthing. And for that, we owe him.

Well, I never!

But it’s hard to grasp how far we’ve come until we read a moss-covered patch of words from yesteryear. So by jingies, I think I’ll trot out a dab of the palaver you haven’t heard in a coon’s age:

If you’re an old-timer and a good skate, you recollect how we used to get our backs up against all the confounded ninnyhammers and mutts who got us so dad-gummed riled with the monkeyshines they pulled. Nary a week would go by without some out-of-town four-flusher whistle-stopping through town, dressed up like the cat’s meow, and trying to pull some tomfoolery on us locals. Well, we wouldn’t mollycoddle those jaspers – or even pay ’em any idee, mostly. We’d tell every consarned one of ’em to go peddle their papers. But one time, there was this tinhorn galoot with a gal in tow decked out like Lady Astor’s horse. And was she a caution! You never saw the like. Nigh onto everybody reckoned her a scarlet woman, or worse. …

I’ll stop there. It’s starting to curl my toes.

But you get the idea. Language changes, and we change with it – willy nilly. In fact, that’s the whole idea and plan behind the Political Correctness (PC) campaign, today’s version of Orwell’s newspeak:

  1. Gradually change the English language to match and meld with the philosophy of cultural Marxism, multiculturalism, new-age mysticism and postmodernism – which together comprise one sorry tangle of fasciculated confusion.

  2. Enlarge the skimpy vocabulary of this toxic dialect by co-opting and adding in the fuzzy lexicon of trendiness decried by Carlin above.

  3. Using the media, academia and government subcultures, train everyone to believe that unless they adopt the PC way of talking and thinking, they are uncaring, unhip and extremely rude.

  4. Condition them to feel offended whenever they hear politically incorrect terminology used – and even feel offended on behalf of others whom they imagine would be offended if they were present.

  5. But keep the term “thought police” out of use. Never allow the public to perceive the dehumanizing and aggressively anti-Christian nature of PC. And choke off all debate by casting the issues as non-negotiable matters of basic decency, not issues. PC is not just a set of ideas, but a religion aborning, and it’s based on godless-but-righteous terminology instead of righteous behavior.

  6. Use touchy controversies like homosexuality, gun control and abortion “rights” to paint non-conforming people in ever-darker colors as the years go by. Loudly and persistently assign their motives to pure hatred, greed, stupidity, Nazism, etc.

  7. Finally, spring the trap by criminalizing non-PC speech or behavior, thus driving it underground or incarcerating its proponents. Let terror reign.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’re aware that step seven is already well under way, with severe consequences for some of the conservative activists, evangelical Christians and lightning-rod nonconformists among us. We must stop that trend immediately.

So long for this week, bub. See you in the funny papers.

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