Those of you who regularly read this blog (all 4 or 5 of you) have probably noticed that I do not use politically correct language. In part, this is because I was raised in Henrietta, Texas, a part of the country that was (at that time and still to a certain extent today) unaffected by such stupidity. But today I was reading one of my newest books – Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft – and found that Dr. Kreeft has put into words a much better explanation with which I am in complete agreement. (It also happens to be very funny, which is why I typed it out in its entirety. I will be enjoying the humor of this for quite some time.)
The use of the traditional inclusive generic pronoun “he” is a decision of language, not of gender justice. There are only six alternatives. (1) We could use the grammatically misleading and numerically incorrect “they.” But when we say “one baby was healthier than the others because they didn’t drink that milk,” we do not know whether the antecedent of “they” is “one” or “others,” so we don’t know whether to give or take away the milk. Such language codes could be dangerous to baby’s health. (2) Another alternative is the politically intrusive “in-your-face” generic “she,” which I would probably use if I were an angry, politically intrusive, in-your-face woman, but I am not any of those things. (3) Changing “he” to “he or she” refutes itself in such comically clumsy and ugly revisions as the following: “What does it profit a man or woman if he or she gains the whole world but loses his or her own soul? Or what shall a man or woman give in exchange for his or her soul?” The answer is: he or she will give up his or her linguistic sanity. (4) We could also be both intrusive and clumsy by saying “she or he.” (5) Or we could use the neuter “it,” which is both dehumanizing and inaccurate. (6) Or we could combine all the linguistic garbage together and use “she or he or it,” which, abbreviated, would sound like “sh…it.”
I believe in the equal intelligence and value of women, but not in the intelligence or value of “political correctness,” linguistic ugliness, grammatical inaccuracy, conceptual confusion, or dehumanizing pronouns.
Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft, p.36 n.1
If you agree with Dr. Kreeft’s sentiments then please share this with people you know whether they be politically correct or incorrect. This will serve one of the two following purposes: 1) to hopefully enlighten those who use such ridiculous language; 2) to give those of who are politically incorrect a reason to laugh. And by achieving either of these goals you will also bring an increase in hits on my blog. (So maybe I can move up to 5 or 6 regular readers.)