Op-Ed: The paradox of politically correct language

by Jacob Fuller

Vicky Arias, FISM News

In an effort to ‘humanize’ groups of people and individuals long-deceased, the British Museum and the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook recently announced new changes in the manner in which certain people should be recognized.

The British Museum decided to reduce or eliminate where possible its usage of the word ‘mummy’ to describe discoveries and displays of millennia-old archeological finds. They now prefer to use the term ‘mummified person.’

“The word ‘mummy’ is not incorrect, but it is dehumanizing, whereas using the term ‘mummified person’ encourages our visitors to think of the individual,” a spokeswoman for National Museums Scotland said.

A spokesman for the British Museum said that the word ‘mummy’ isn’t banned at the museum, however, they try not to use it if possible.


On the other side of the pond, the American English language ‘authorities’ at AP Stylebook announced a new batch of terminology they’ve deemed “dehumanizing” as well.

“We recommend avoiding general and often dehumanizing ‘the’ labels,” AP Stylebook posted, “such as the poor, the mentally ill, the French, the disabled, the college-educated. Instead, use wording such as people with mental illnesses [and] … only when clearly relevant.”

These changes, some would argue, add up to nothing more than word trades that won’t affect actual change in the lives of any of the groups referenced or inferred. Like kindling in a semantic fire, these changes will likely cause a transitory blaze before fading into vapor.

The issue with semantically-driven language change is that it often fails to do the very thing it’s been enlisted to do. The changes appear, often as vehicles of ‘do-gooderism,’ creating in the speaker feelings of righteousness, but failing to produce actual substance.

While the AP style and British Museum changes may seem passive, they join the ranks of fellow woke language usurpers.

In recent years, the English language, and linguistics as a whole, has undergone radical change – the kind that influences thought and seeks to undermine the reality of the created world.

Pronouns referencing singular male and female humans, he and she, have been stretched to include ‘they,’ which, for centuries, was exclusively used to reference people, animals, and things in a plural sense. A singular male or female may now be called ‘they’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’ when referencing their gender. Merriam-Webster added the non-binary meaning of ‘they’ to its dictionary in 2019, “to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”

Nonbinary is another term that’s made its way into our lexicon in recent years. Its purpose is to strip gender of meaning and denote an individual who doesn’t fully identify as male or female.

Mothers have become ‘birthing people’ and, in 2021, the Democrat majority in the House proposed banning the use of words “father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister” from certain House documents in the name of inclusivity. They proposed replacing the terms with “parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling,” etc.

Woke inclusivity campaigns, rather than highlighting the beautiful differences within God’s creation, have, instead, emptied out that which makes us unique. Men, women, mothers, and fathers have special roles in human life, put there by our Maker. They’re part of His distinct fingerprint upon His creation.

Society’s obsession with bending language to match individualistic whims has distilled and wrested beauty and veracity from language and given them over to human constructs, ones that will only pollute truth and serve to weave confusion.