I saw this on Gawker today and it made me both smile and grimace at the same time.A bunch of parents become irate over the use of gender-defining nouns when describing inanimate objects
The grimace, unfortunately, came from my own experience with inane arguments riddled with PC-babble.
I was good friends with a PC Nazi (although he would probably object to the term "Nazi" used in this sense) in college. One year, I was putting up signs for what used to be the "Secret Santa" gift exchange, but someone claimed that the term "Santa" excluded non-Christians from the gift giving. So we rearranged the letters and called it "Secret Satan." Then PC Friend said that "Satan" was still a Judeo-Christian term and might offend people. Someone else said she was very religious and wouldn't participate in anything with the devil's name in it. PC Friend and I got into an argument that ended when I tore down the flyers and yelled "Fine! You want your Secret Non-Denominational Winter Holiday Gift Exchange? You can have it!" I made new flyers to reflect the lengthy name and made everyone refer to the event by its full title and not some sort of abbreviation or acronym.
A little sensitivity is good i߽ what difference does it make if you use one term instead of another, as long as it makes people feel better? i߽ but walking on pins and needles, wondering if you're going to hurt someone's feelings, is no way to live.
I've found that extreme PC-ism is like a crash diet or quitting a drug cold turkey. Usually, people can't stick with it. For one thing, the terms keep changing. My freakishly PC friend could only carry on his one-man crusade to rid the world of vulgar terms for one year, and then he gave up and went back to his old ways of making off-color remarks and tasteless jokes. This is probably why we remained friends. Although I do send him a "Non-Denominational Winter Holiday Greeting Card" every year even though we both celebrate Christmas.
Then there was the time when I wasn't allowed to join the diversity club in school because I was told I wasn't diversei߽
And because people seem to react well to posts about dogs: once I was reprimanded by a complete stranger for referring to my dog as a "mutt." She said I should use the inoffensive term "mixed breed." Right, because an animal that licks its own butt really cares about semantics.