Sunday, 3 November 2013

SO, HERE'S ANOTHER THING ... (two rants on the same night ...? The old duffer must be on the way out) Possibly so, possibly so, but the more I think about the language Nazis, the worse it gets. They are more despicable than the work-shy retards who strip our rail network and beautiful churches of precious copper and lead. In fact the language thieves are worse. Too lazy too create their own vocabulary, they steal someone else's, and with the gross bulk of political correctness leaning in their favour, they render our language ever more barren and inoperable. 

WHICH IDIOT (who probably got a 2:2 in Social Interaction Strategies at The University of South Lincolnshire) decided that it would be a good idea to label the practice of flattering and deceiving vulnerable children so that they would be compliant with terrible and obscene sexual acts at a later date? Now, call me a pedant, an ideologue, a right-wing bastard - in fact any kind of bastard - and I will be left with a warm glow in my heart, and a solitary tear of joy trickling down my weathered cheek. But tell me that one child's innocence has been defended by this lazy corruption of a perfectly decent and valid English word, and I will call you a knave, a fool and a liar.
IF SOMEONE GROOMS A DOG OR A HORSE .... or any other kind of species, they do it to make the animal look beautiful, clean, happy and healthy. I have to say that since I reached puberty, I have never understood the allure of animals and pets, but that's for another day. But, you can't say that the groomee has come to any harm. But here we go - a thirteen year old girl meets (either in person, or on-line) an older man. She is flattered, cuddled and made to think that she is a special human being, and after being given alcohol and/or drugs, she is sexually violated. For crying out loud, is this the same thing as some Middle-England, Middle-Class, Middle-Income couple brushing up their Collie for the local dog show?
I HAVE TO ADD that no dogs, horses, guinea pigs or child sex-abusers died during the writing of this blog.

 "Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

SORRY FOR SUBVERTING THE WORDS OF THE WORLD'S MOST CELEBRATED DRUNKEN WELSHMAN, but for several years a sense of frustration and irritation has been building, and now it has reached genuine rage. Against what? The dying - not of the light - but of the English Language. It is the death of a thousand cuts, the knives being wielded by those who think playing around with the meanings of words is a substitute for social change.

Lets start with education. It gave me a good living for forty years, but I was never so glad to leave anything or anywhere when retirement beckoned. One of the main irritants was the incessant playing around with language. For example, almost overnight some years ago pupil became verboten, and was replaced with student. Hardly the end of the world, you might say, but it blurred the rather important distinction between children in school and young adults at college or university. We would have regular visits by real students, finishing their teaching qualifications at university, and they would take classes of children, who were also called students. Meaning becomes blurred, and has to be defined by context - a chancy business. And don't get me started on the awful word learners which, thankfully, seems not to have survived.
Some of the worse verbal tangling and twisting used to go on in and around the Special Educational Needs Department. Oh, Goodness, is it still safe to call it that? One had to be so careful. We had everything from differently abled, through alternatively skilled to differing emotional perceptions. Did all this linguistic claptrap make one iota of difference to the educational and emotional development of these children? What do you think, seriously?

Away from schools, and into the real world for a while. Race and ethnicity is always good for a laugh. Or not. It is to the gulags for you if use the phrase coloured, but perfectly fine to talk about a person of colour. Well, that should be color, strictly speaking, as most of this nonsense originates from the USA. I love how the police sometimes say that are looking for someone of Asian appearance. Well, that narrows it down then. Police wish to interview someone who may be from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Iran, Japan, North Korea, Lebanon, The Maldives, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikstan or Yemen. To name but a few. You get my drift. Is black OK this month? I fully accept that if such, erm, people wish to use the 'N' word about themselves, that does not constitute an invitation for me to use it.

It is with the deepest sigh of all that I move on to gender and sexual politics. I would go to my eco-friendly, woodland, non-polluting grave a happy man - sorry - person, if I could just reclaim the innocent little word gay. Happy, carefree, bright, optimistic - it had so many uses, but now the word doesn't know where it is. After being kidnapped by the homosexual community (what IS that, by the way, has anyone ever been there?) it has now been snatched by naughty teenagers who use it as a term of abuse. Particularly in the public services here in Britain, we now fall over each other in our efforts to give every form of sexual adventure its proper vocabulary. Amazingly, I once had an invitation to seek out LGBT help and advice groups if I was feeling uncomfortable at work. Where was this intriguing message? Inside my payslip from Norfolk County Council. I love LGBT - it sounds like a kind of sandwich.

Even the relatively neutral term single parent has now attracted the attentions of the language nazis. Apparently lone carer is so, much more inclusive. How is that? And how about the size agenda? Not for me the demeaning fat, or the worth-challenging obese. A person of size works every time, don't you think? I'm also delighted that deeply offensive term English As A Foreign Language has been rendered much more inclusive. It is now English As A Second Language. Phew!

There's a much overused expression, you just could not make it up. I've cut and pasted the idiocy below, not from Private Eye, but from a UK government website. Don't believe me? The full link is here.

1.The word 'disabled' is a description not a group of people. Use 'disabled people' not 'the disabled' as the collective term.
2. Avoid medical labels, which say little about people as individuals and tend to reinforce stereotypes of disabled people as 'patients' or unwell.
3. Don’t refer solely to 'disabled people' in all government communications - many people who need disability benefits and services do not identify with this term. ‘People with health conditions or impairments’ is another common descriptor.
4. Avoid phrases like 'suffers from' which evoke discomfort or pity and suggest constant pain and a sense of hopelessness.5. Wheelchair users may not view themselves as 'confined to' a wheelchair. Try thinking of it as a mobility aid instead.6. Common phrases that may associate impairments with negative things should be avoided, for example 'deaf to our pleas' or 'blind drunk'.

AS A CHILD I was an avid reader of the great Billy Bunter books, by Frank Richards. Bunter was a cad, a scrounger, a liar, a cheat, and above all FAT. When my oldest boy began reading, I was delighted to find that King's Lynn library still had Bunter books on its shelves. I took one out and hurried home so the No 1 son could share my boyhood laughter. It was not to be. The modern Bunter had been 'retold' my some milksop children's author, and all references to Bunter's gross faults and character defects. had been removed. That's pathetic. Because that was the joke.