[Milton-L] Political and Correct

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Mon May 26 17:13:42 EDT 2008


Carrol undoubtedly knows more about this than I, but I recall the expression being used in Berkeley in the early 1980s by the political Left, which used it in self-irony to refer to hyper-correctness on political issues.
   
  In the 1990s, the expression was picked up on by the political Right to mock what conservatives considered typically Leftist positions.
   
  If I'm not mistaken, the term was earlier used by the Left in a non-ironic sense, but that was before I became part of the conversation.
   
  Jeffery Hodges

John Leonard <jleonard at uwo.ca> wrote: 
  Rose Williams writes:


>I was the person yelled at by Carrol about "Politically Correct" -- even 
>though I was attempting to quote a book title,
> not giving a discourse on the term. I was also the one who asked him to 
> explain the history of the term as he understood it,
> which he did, off-list.
> It was interesting.
> Now, Carrol, try to answer this. . . etc.


Yes, yes, do do that, but please first give the interesting answer ON-list, 
since most of us didn't hear it, and would very much like to (at least I 
would). In particular, I would like to know whether the history of 
"politically correct" is analogous to that of "Puritan", which began 
(according to contemporary sources cited in the OED) as a term used, without 
irony, to describe one's own position, and was then successfully purloined 
by the other side, who used it with irony to bring the (originally 
self-styled) Puritans down a peg or two. 

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University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

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jefferyhodges at yahoo.com

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Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
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