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Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Avoid Any Conversation Involving Political Correctness

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it my imagination, or is it the popular thing these days for some people to start off their hate-filled rants by bashing political correctness AND THEN spew forth all manner of racism and misogyny and sexism and ageism!

How is one to deal with this venom? I agree with the idea that people should be careful not to use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people. Does having good manners require me to sit quietly and say nothing?

GENTLE READER: No: You should run.

Miss Manners is adding denouncing political correctness to her list of conversational prefaces from which no good ever follows. Others include, "Do you want me to be perfectly honest with you?" and, "Would you like some constructive criticism?"

When people announce that they plan to abandon the rules of civilized discourse, they should be taken seriously. The response should be, "Well, if you are in favor of being offensive, I'd rather not hear more."

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Abuse