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Political correctness

There has been a big push over the last few decades to eliminate politically ‘incorrect’ language from writing and speech. The vast majority of incorrect language is based around gender issues. Take this sentence:

Call a repairman please; tell him our fridge is broken.

Now, if you read this sentence literally, the person is asking someone to call a repairer who is specifically male, both by using the noun ‘repairman’ and by referring to them using the pronoun ‘him’. Someone having a half-hearted go at being politically correct might change the sentence somewhat:

Call a repairer please; tell him our fridge is broken.

Now the ‘repairman’ noun has been changed to a gender neutral noun ‘repairer’. However, it doesn’t really help, since the repairer is still referred to as a ‘him’. What needs to happen is for the pronoun ‘him’ to be changed to something gender neutral:

Call a repairer please; tell them our fridge is broken.

Aha! We now have a politically correct sentence.

You can solve 90 percent of your problems by making sure you use gender neutral nouns and pronouns.