Political Correctness Bill Bryson Bill Bryson(1951--) • a best-selling American author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on science. Born an American, he was a resident of Britain for most of his adult life before returning to the US in 1995. In 2003 Bryson moved back to Britain, living in the old rectory of Wramplingham, Norfolk, and was appointed Chancellor of Durham University. • The first thing to realize about Bill Bryson is that he fits everywhere and nowhere, which is perhaps the very thing that has given him the ability to share places with all of us so vividly. • a journalist and travel writer • An American with a British soul • Bryson is mild of voice and manner. He articulates his thoughts -- in person and on paper -- in a nononsense manner that, nonetheless, always leaves room for fun. – What do you think of the following expressions? – 女人真是头发长见识短。 民工到哪里都是大包小包的！ 可恶的黑鬼！ 快看，是个侏儒！ • Bias • prejudice • discrimination Words cut more than swords • The pen is mightier than the sword. • Words can be used as a shield or a weapon. • Language is connected with an ideology. There is a significant interplay of language, power and politics.. What is Political Correctness? • a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts, and, as purported by the term, doing so to an excessive extent. • The avoidance of forms of expression or actions that exclude, make little of, or insult certain racial, gender, or other identity groups. • It covers a wide area in the use of language and concepts and is most evidently at work in a multicultural society. Motivation • To prevent people being offended; to compel everyone to avoid using words or behavior that may upset homosexuals, women, nonwhites, the crippled, the stupid, the fat or the ugly. To be less offensive: Examples Gender Race---diversity Chairman---chairperson Black people, nigger—Afro- Handicapped, crippled--American people differently disabled Deaf---hearing impaired Mankind---human beings The underprivileged in various circumstances Poor---disadvantaged Old people—senior citizens Illegal aliens--undocumented workers Spinster----single woman A fat woman---a fullfigured woman Mentally ill---crazy cancer = long incurable illness sexual laborers for the Juvenile delinquents--- • when an issue is tailored, so as not to offend someone at the expense of accuracy and integrity of the opinion, people who are politically correct may no longer be honest and upfront. • Political correctness, when used excessively, is first and foremost an attack on free speech, and clear thinking. • It has been abused by various extremists. Freedom of speech, of the press, and even of thought are undermined. • In current usage, the term is primarily pejorative. • The converse term "politically incorrect" came into use as an implicit term of self-praise, indicating that the user was not afraid to ignore constraints associated with political correctness. • Sarcastic---using words that are the opposite of what you mean in order to be unpleasant to sb.讽刺的、挖苦的;表示苟刻伤人的讽 刺和嘲笑 • Sarcasm: a taunting, sneering, cutting, or caustic remark; gibe or jeer • It is praise which is really an insult; sarcasm generally involves malice, the desire to put someone down, e.g., "This is my brilliant son, who failed out of college.“ • When giving feedback avoid sarcasm or highly negative remarks. • Satire is the exposure of the vices or follies of an individual, a group, an institution, an idea, a society, etc., usually with a view to correcting it. Satirists frequently use irony.含有暴露某种东西，尤 其是邪恶或愚蠢的讽刺之意 • Satire is used to show foolishness or vice in humans, organizations, or even governments, by using sarcasm, ridicule, or irony. • Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal” • Irony: the discrepancy between what is said and what is meant, what is said and what is done, what is expected or intended and what happens, what is meant or said and what others understand, or two or more incongruous objects, actions, persons juxtaposed. • 意味着一种微妙的间接表达出来的讽刺 • An example of irony is someone who talks a lot having nothing to say when asked a question. • Run counter to -----be the opposite of, to conflict with 相抵触，与—背道而驰 • The findings ran counter to all expectations. • Your suggestions run counter to what we arranged yesterday. • Respectability---the fact of being considered socially受尊敬、体面、名望、得体 • People with respectability有地位的体面人 • They got married for the sake of respectability. • Respectable---deserving respect 值得尊敬的、 符合体面人身份的 • Earning a respectable income is everyone’s dream. • Respectful----showing respect表示尊敬的、 恭敬的 • Keep a respectful silence • Keep a respectful distance • Respective---belonging to each of those in question各自的 • We took our respective ways home. • Go to your respective places. • Fill in blanks respectful: with respective, respectable, • It is hardly ______ to attend a funeral in heavy make-up. • When the professor entered the auditorium, everyone stood up and kept a ______ distance. • Earning a ______ income is everyone’s dream. • Candidates will be elected for the committee according to their ______ strengths. Paragraph One • What’s the state motto of Maryland? What’s wrong with its original translation? Why is everyone satisfied with the altered version? • How does the author introduce the topic in this paragraph? • Fatuous---very silly without seeming to know it愚 蠢的 • A fatuous comment/grin • The Chief was left speechless by his aide’s fatuous remark. • Emboss---to decorate metal, paper, leather etc. with a raised pattern凸印 • Stationery embossed with the hotel’s name • The hotel’s name was embossed on the stationery. • Stationery----n. materials for writing • Stationary----a. standing still, not moving • A stationary target is easier to aim at. • Hit on/upon----find by lucky chance or have a good idea about • I hope that someone will hit upon a solution to our problem. • Ingenious----showing cleverness or skill精巧的、心灵 手巧的 • an ingenious device/cook • Ingenuous----inexperienced, simple, trusting and honest单纯的，天真的 • An ingenuous smile • You are too ingenuous. 你太老实了。 Fill in blanks: • He is so ______; he can make the most remarkable sculptures from the most ordinary material. • I don’t think she lied at all. I believe she is an ______ person. Rather than宁愿，不做而代之以 • 后接动词原形时，表示主观抉择。 He told a lie rather than get his friend into trouble. Shall we go for a walk rather than watch television? • rather than 后接不定式时，不定式可以带to，也可以不带to，但 当rather than位于句首时，则只能接不带to 的不定式。 I decided to write rather than(to) telephone. They prefer to die fighting rather than(to) live in enslavement. Rather than allow the vegetables to go bad, he sold them at half price. • 还可接动名词： I always prefer starting early, rather than leaving everything to the last minute. He was engaged in writing a letter rather than reading the newspaper. Paragraph Two • Are all issues of sensitivity in language easily solved as were the Maryland motto? • Who coined the term “political correctness”? When did it carry a pejorative tone? What are mass media’s opinion towards it since then? Would that • Would introduces a subjunctive that-clause to express an unfulfilled wish or a desired condition但愿，要是—就好了 • Would that we had seen her before she died. • Would that I came to last week’s class to attend the quiz. • Negative word+ words in comparative degree/negative words +so …as: This structure indicates a superlative degree. • Nothing is so easy as this. • Nothing is easier than this. = This is the easiest thing. • Paraphrase: • If only all sensitive problems concerning the use of language could be solved as easily as the legislators in Maryland solved the problems of the motto by providing it with a new translation. Unfortunately, other problems will not be so easily resolved. • Polarity----the situation when two tendencies, opinions oppose each other截然对立、两极 化 There is a growing polarity between the left and right wings of the party. A polarity exists between the opinions of the government and those of the trade unions. • All-embracing---including or covering everything无所不包的、概括一切的 Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything is an all-embracing work. • Take on ---assume, put on a quality带有 Once cooked, the shellfish will take on a shade of red. A chameleon takes on the color of its surroundings. • pejorative (adj): (fml) (of a word, phrase, etc.) expressing disapproval or suggesting that someone or something is of little value or importance derogatory vs. commendatory • Range from---to The children’s ages in our summer camp range from 5 to 15. Paragraph three • What are the two opinions revolving around PC? • Such usage threatens speech freedom. Two Beliefs • Some new inventions sound ridiculous. • What does Bill Bryson think of Beard and Cerf’s expressions used in their book? • These words are excessively cautious, and pompous, failing to express the meaning clearly. • Examples: Differently hirsute bald Custody suite prison cell Chemically inconvenienced intoxicated Alternative dentation false teeth Stolen nonhuman animal carrier milkman • Distill down to---boil down to归纳起来 This long article can be distilled down to the writer’s general distrust of globalization. • Shanghai----v. trick or force someone into doing something诓骗、胁迫 We were shanghaied into agreeing to their demands. • Sanitize---make less unpleasant, clean sth. Thoroughly净化、消毒 • This sanitized account of his life does not mention his time in prison. • Sanitary---a.卫生的 • Poor sanitary conditions keep potential tourists from visiting China. • Neologism---a new word or expression新义 • The term “user-friendly” is a neologism that has entered everyday speech from the computer industry. • Make capital out of ----use to one’s advantage • The opposition parties are sure to make political capital out of the government’s difficulties. • Euphemism—a pleasanter, less direct word used instead of one unpleasant thought • We are daily exposed to different situations in our life. • Some experiences are too sensitive to be discussed, e.g. death, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, etc. • to have sex with = to sleep with • to go to the toilet = to powder one’s nose, to wash one’s hands • The term “early retirement” is nearly always a euphemism for forced unemployment. Euphemism and PC • PC： Euphemism with attitude Paragraph 4 • In what circumstance might these excessively cautious expressions be harmful? • When picked up by others and considered as a spiritual guide • More examples: Involuntarily domiciled homeless Vocally challenged mute The Gospel • A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus. According to the bible, the "gospel", is also defined as the "word" that comes forth out of the mouth of God. • In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. • The first four books of the New Testament containing the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. • Figuratively, it means sth. that is believed to true. E.g. What I told you about doing business is gospel. • Matthew马太福音, Mark 马可福音, Luke路加福音, John约翰福音 • if :(used before adj to introduce a contrast) although It was thoughtless if well-meaning.用意虽好，考 虑欠周。 He’s a real gentleman, if a little arrogant at times. • if anything: (used to express a tentative opinion or after a negative statement to say that the opposite is true.) If anything definite can be said, this is it. 若能有 把握地说出来，其实是这样的。 I’d say he was more like his father, if anything. 若 非要说出来像谁不可，我倒认为他略象他父亲。 He is not thin---- if anything he’s rather on the plump side.他可不瘦， 按说还有点胖。 • Domiciled----a. having one’s official place of residence在固定住所生活 to be domiciled in the United Kingdom He is currently domiciled in Berlin. • Concoct-----make sth. by mixing or combining parts调制、配制 The soup was concocted from up to a dozen different kinds of fish. He concocted a splendid meal from the leftovers. • Padding----soft material that is placed inside 衬垫；words that are used to make a speech or a piece of writing longer, but that do not contain any interesting information赘语，凑 篇幅的文字。 • These are the kind of phrases that politicians put in their speeches for a bit of padding. 第4段译文 • 这种事情本身无伤大雅，完全可以一笑置 之。可偏偏有人经常把它们奉若神明，还 当成福音加以传播。例如，《国家》杂志 1992年曾有一篇文章，大谈政治纠偏运动 中“荒诞可笑的新词”，还举了一些例子---如用“非出自本意居住”指代“无家可 归”，用“言语上受到挑战”指代“哑 的”---只可惜这些词全是在比尔德和瑟尔夫 杜撰出来塞进那本怪异《手册》的，旨在 博人一笑，故不足为凭。 Paragraph 5-6 • What are the reasons for the authors to create contrived neologisms? • Sensitive topics • Widely accepted usage • Jokes made by the creators • Sociologists or military people’s preferences • Unreliable secondary resources • Become ridiculous when used satirically • Justifiable----reasonable, that can be justified 有理由的，情有可原的 • Justifiable pride无可非议的自豪感 • Many critics assert that the violence of the revolutionary years was justifiable on the grounds of political necessity. Date rape • often referred to as acquaintance rape, is an assault or attempted assault usually committed by a new acquaintance involving sexual intercourse without mutual consent. Pro-choice: support for the legalization of abortion • holding the belief that a pregnant woman should have the right to choose abortion. • It is in contrast to the pro-life movement. Prolife campaigners argue for the rights of fetuses and for prohibition or restriction of abortion. pro-lifers hold the view that the human fetus is a person and therefore has a right to life. Developmentally challenged Mentally retarded Terminological inexactitude lie Temporary cessation of hostilities truce personipulate manipulate Wildlife management Killing, or permitting the hunting of animals • Verify---v. to make certain that a statement is true • Verification---n. • The defendant’s statement was verified by several witnesses. • These details are impossible to verify. • Barbed----a. sharp and unkind, especially in judging a person or their ideas挖苦的、伤人 带刺的 Paragraph 7 • What is often overlooked in the discussion of PC? • Dismissive----a. considering a person or an idea to be not worthy of attention or respect轻蔑的、鄙 视的 • Dismissive of sb./sth. • Mr. Jones was dismissive of the report, saying that it was riddled with inaccuracies. • A dismissive gesture/tone • Shrug dismissively • Harrumph---to express disagreement or disapproval, especially by making a sound in your throat like a cough清嗓子 Don’t just harrumph; speak up your opinion. • Commendable---worthy of or deserving praise The tone of his speech is commendable. • Sentiment-----thought or judgment based on emotions基于情感的观点 • Public sentiment rapidly turned Anti-American. • Demean----cause to become less respected降 低身份、失去尊重 I wouldn’t demean myself by asking for charity. The hotel required their residents to ask permission to have overnight guests. The residents found this demeaning. • nigger (n.): (taboo, slang, considered extremely offensive) a black person • chink ( n. ): ( taboo, derog., slang) a Chinese • spaz ( n. ): ( short for a spastic person) ( taboo, derog. , slang) one who suffers from a medical condition characterized by spasms(short, jerky motions over which the individual has no control) • Note: In the late 1950's there were a number of very amusing but quite cruel visual jokes involving spastics. Such jokes are considered very rude and unacceptable today. • fag ( n. ). ( short for faggot) (AmE, derog. , slang) homosexual; ( BrE.derog. , slang) an unpleasant or silly person • waitrons and womenus: both are playful coinages. Waitron is based on matron (a woman who is in charge of women and/or children in a prison or police station). "Waitress" derives from "waiter", whereas "waitron" would have no masculine connection. In a similarly playful vein, "womenus" would replace men-us, because since men have menus, women should have their own "womenus“ • paraphrase:..., but it seems to me that this is a matter that deserves rather more in the way of thoughtful debate and less in the way of dismissive harrumphing or feeble jokes about waitrons and womenus. • ..., but I think we should give this matter more thought and discussion, rather than laugh about ridiculous examples like waitrons and womenus and dismiss the matter as unimportant. Para. 7 译文： 我并不想否认，政治纠偏运动中确有许多值得嘲讽的地 方——可是，人类活动中的那个领域能免受嘲讽呢——而且下面 我就要举出一些值得商榷的用法。但在我看来，对待这场运动， 我们应该多一些思考和讨论，少一些对waitron和womenus之类 单词的不屑一顾、轻薄取乐。在就此事展开的讨论中，有一点 经常被忽视。那就是，这场语言纠偏运动有一个值得称道的初 衷：许多人由于其特定的性别、种族、身体和生存状况，容易 受到刺耳语言的伤害。针对这种情况，这场运动就是要减少语 言可能带来的伤痛和侮辱。一切有理性的人都不会主张社会应 该接受诸如nigger(黑鬼)、chink (中国佬)、spaz (笨蛋)、 fag (同性 恋)这类词语。但当这种争论深入到更加微妙的层次时，面对那 些隐约含有偏执或蔑视的词汇，人们就难以达成共识了。 Paragraph 8、9 • What is the main idea of the 1992 article? • There was an anti-PC movement, but silly examples still exist. • Which silly examples particularly attract the magazine’s attention? • Roundup----a gathering or bringing together of scattered things, animal or people; a summary of the most important points聚拢；概要 • There has been a police roundup of all the suspects. • The President ordered the roundup and imprisonment of all corrupted politicians. • Backlash----a strong but usually delayed movement against a growing belief or practice, especially against social or political movements对社会变动的强烈抵制，集体反 对 • The government is facing an angry backlash from voters over the new tax. • Underway----a. already started A thorough investigation is underway to discover who is responsible. • Censure---v. criticize sb. severely and often publicly He was censured for leaking information to the press. 第8段译文 • 1992年， 《美国新闻和世界报道》发表了 一篇题为《政治纠偏大搜捕》的文章。文 章称：“政治纠偏运动已经引发了一种反 击，可是长期以来程式化思维所导致的的 荒谬现象还是层出不穷。”引起这家杂志 关注的“荒谬现象”有如下两个例子：威 斯康星-密尔沃基大学的学生被鼓动去玩具 店调查是否有代表不同种族的玩具娃娃出 售；一位纽约律师因在法庭上攻击对手为 “妇人之见”、“胆小如鼠”而遭到谴责。 • Measure---amount; quantity He has not become rich, but he has had a certain measure of success. The colonies were claiming a larger measure of self-government. • Overweening---a. too proud and too sure of oneself自负的、傲慢的 Your modesty is only a cover for your overweening conceit. • paraphrase: But that, of course, is no more than my opinion, which is the overweening problem with any discussion of bias-free usage -- it is fearfully subjective, a minefield of opinions. • What I say represents only my personal opinion. However, when it comes to discussing language usage that is free of any bias, the discussion almost always creates the impression that I am being too proud or too sure of myself. This kind of discussion depends a great deal on the opinion of the individuals, and consequently, is filled with danger. • paraphrase: What follows are, necessarily and inescapably, mine. • The following discussion consists of my own opinions: they are of course my personal opinions and may be dangerous (for my reputation). • Mine might be another pun of this text. 第9段译文 • 在一个种族多元化的国家里，鼓励学生调查市 面上是否有代表不同种族的玩具娃娃，在我看 来这一点也不荒谬。一位律师在法庭上应该对 对手抱有起码的尊重，在我看来也合情合理。 （假设对方律师是一位男性，且被称作“傻帽” 或是“白痴”时， 《美国新闻和世界报道》 的编辑们是否会觉得还是应该客气点儿好？） 当然，这只是我个人的看法。一旦讨论到无歧 视性用法的问题，个人的观点多少都有自以为 是的嫌疑，因此此类讨论极为主观，犹如涉足 险象环生的雷场。所以，下面所发表只能是、 也必然是我的个人意见，不小心就可能触雷。 Paragraph 10-13 • What are the author’s views about PC? • It is no doubt that English has sexual bias, but we should not underestimate the extent of such bias. • The fact that some words or expressions have been widely used and accepted cannot be regarded as sufficient for their continuing use. • To each of his own各有所好 • I’m French, true. But I prefer American cooking.----To each his own. • Tilt----a position in which one end is higher than the other; an attempt to win sb. 倾斜； 尝试 The table is at a slight tilt. She aims to have a tilt at the world championship next year. • Contort----twist violently out of shape扭曲、 走样 His face contorted with anger. Her mouth was contorted in a snarl. • Flout---show no respect公然藐视、无视 Some motorists regularly flout the traffic rules. • Venerability----n. the quality of deserving respect • A venerable old man德高望重的老人 • Unexceptionable--- not giving any reason for criticism无可指责的、无懈可击的 • A man of unexceptionable character一个品格 完美的男子 • Acuity---the ability to think, see or hear clearly 敏锐 • Bandy about---spread some unfavorable ideas by talking • Immunity---being under the state of special protection 免疫力；豁免、受保护 • The police are offering immunity to witnesses who help to identify the murderer. • The spies were all granted immunity from prosecution. • Immune---a.有免疫力、不受影响 • Adults are often immune to German measles.（风疹） • You’ll eventually immune to criticism. • Seamless----without a break, with no spaces between the parts无缝的、无空隙的 • A seamless flow of talk连贯流畅的谈话 • Scrupulous----a. careful about paying attention to every detail一丝不苟的、细致的；审慎正 直的、恪守道德规范的 • The room is scrupulously clean and tidy. • Never do business unscrupulously.