Do Words Matter?

Topics: Feminism, Terrorism, Political correctness Pages: 3 (1035 words) Published: March 28, 2007
Do Words Matter?
Words are very powerful, and sometimes the words we use offend people. Freedom of speech is highly valued but what happens when your freedom becomes hurtful or disrespectful to someone else? There are so many different kinds of people and different things that offend each person. In this day where we are more inclined to say whatever we want, we see more and more offense being taken to the words that get said. It's hard to understand why certain words can be insulting to someone when it may not seem that way to you. We have to ask ourselves, why do we care what other people say and should we censer everything that goes into the public just so people don't get offended?

In the article, "You Can't Say That," the author Diane Ravitch talks about how certain words are deleted from books or not shown in films because they could offend certain groups. In the article, Ravitch argues that although it may seem like we live in a world where anything goes, the truth is, that's not true. Diane does research and gathers a list of more than five hundred words that regularly get deleted from textbooks and tests. Some of the words include cowboy, brotherhood, yacht, and primitive. Personally I believe that the censoring of words these days is somewhat extreme. I understand that certain groups could be offended by such words but why should everyone else not get the original words the author is trying to write because of that. By removing any words that might offend anyone are we subconsciously trying to make everyone the same? Ravitch writes, "The great irony of sensitivity reviewing: it has evolved into a bureaucratic system that removes all evidence of diversity." Sensitivity

reviewing was originally supposed to encourage diversity. In the end it is actually making everyone identical and causing misguided equality. For example, if we are trying to tell of a horrible time in history but we can only use words that are "politically correct," it's...
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