Hodder & Stoughton £7.99
It's a PC World, By Edward Stourton
Sunday 07 June 2009
Edward Stourton is an urbane and humane guide through the tricky terrain of the politically correct. Is the notion of PC speech and behaviour an enlightened, civilised way of fighting unfair discrimination; or is it a bullying, unjustified form of censorship? Good manners, or plain stupid? Stourton's aims are admirably clear: to identify what, exactly, "PC" means, and to distinguish between when it's appropriate and when it has lapsed into its alter ego, "PC gone mad".
The book's tone is thoughtful, amiable, erudite: there are disquisitions on the origins of terms such as "nitty-gritty" and "beyond the pale" and a consideration of the chairman question (oddly, Stourton doesn't consider the solution of using "chairman" or "chairwoman" for the incumbent and "chair" for the office). He digs up and analyses some marmalade-dropping stories of PC gone mad, and in many cases shows that the "madness" was manufactured by journalists with an axe to grind. Stourton's conclusion that PC is born of good intentions but can sometimes go too far is not exactly surprising, but the journey there is an enjoyable one.
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for auction...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 3 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Scientists warn we've hit 'peak beard': The more people grow facial hair, the less attractive it is