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Political correctness doesn’t always express proper meaning

By JACK GODBEY

Community columnist

I can recall as a child that my parents taught me by lesson, as well as by example, to always be someone who thinks before speaking and to not say things that I didn’t mean. 

I have also never been one who enjoys small talk. I have absolutely no desire to mindlessly discuss the weather or what is going on in Washington. If I have something to contribute to a conversation then I will say it. Otherwise, I have always believed that people should listen first then speak second. You remember the old saying about God giving us two ears and one mouth for a reason.

Being honest and upfront is one of the things that has served me well in my life and in my relationships. It seems that people have no problem these days being dishonest and saying whatever serves their own interests at the moment. Now don’t get me wrong, honesty is important but if your partner asks you if they look fat in those pants then the answer is always a resounding no. I’m honest not stupid. 

I believe that we should be as direct and meaningful with our words as possible and say only what we mean and be honest with people. 

However, in this so-called modern world, it seems that being politically correct is more important than calling things what they actually are. For example, I made the trip to Lexington recently and was shopping in one of the stores and I asked the clerk where the toilet paper was located. After a look of contentment raced across her face, she stated that the bathroom tissue was two isles over. When did we start calling this bathroom tissue? Toilet paper is exactly what it is. It describes it perfectly. 

On the way home, as I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic and cursing myself for coming to Lexington during rush hour, I found myself thinking about this phenomenon of being politically correct and I remembered as a child being excited when I would get to take a trip with my father out to the county dump. Today, we don’t call it a dump. Instead, we send our garbage to the landfill. The best that I recall, dumping described exactly what we did there. It didn’t take much to excite me back then so those trips to the dump were lots of fun.

I didn’t realize it as a child but I suppose that I could have been considered poor. But I was as happy as any child could possibly be. Of course, today, children are no longer called poor they are underprivileged and they don’t live in house trailers anymore they live in modular housing. The time has passed to refer to someone as fat. Now they are big boned or they are plus sized. I never realized that my pants being labeled husky meant that it was time to go on a diet. 

The kids of today are not short, they are vertically challenged. If someone doesn’t have a job, they aren’t called a bum, they are unemployed. Companies don’t fire people they are let go. 

I went to purchase a vehicle recently and I found that we no longer refer to them as used cars. They are now pre-owned vehicles. You can call it whatever you want but that doesn’t change the fact that someone else’s French fries are still under the seat.

Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and is a published author. He can be reached at wizardman66@live.com.