The Corner

Terminological Turpitude

Further to my post the other day on the exquisitely precise — though, of

course, ever-changing! — terminology for referring to human groups that is

demanded by the overseers of Political Correctness, I note the following.

Last Friday George Pataki, the Governor of my state, vetoed a bill passed by

the state legislature that would have forbidden state functionaries to use

terms like “disabled person” or “the mentally ill.” The bill, which my

state lawmakers apparently debated in all solemnity, would have insisted on

the more correct terms “people with disabilities” and “people with mental

illness.”

Having lived in this corrupt and dysfunctional state for several years now,

I am not very surprised to learn that my elected state representatives can

find nothing better to do with their time (= my money) than juggle

prepositions. The truly amazing thing is that there really is a

constituency for this mind pap. This morning’s New York Post (America’s

Newspaper of Record) has a letter from a reader denouncing Pataki’s veto

in the most vituperative terms, more or less arguing that Pataki is a

twisted bigot who wants to snatch away crutches and wheelchairs and make a

bonfire of them. Boy, the world is full of stupid people.

Or “people with stupidity.”

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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