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Caroline C. Lewis / May 26, 2017

Social Justice Grammar and ‘Zir’ Own Agenda

They’re ransacking the English language because in doing so, they find power and the ability to manipulate the historical narrative.

This year, Merriam-Webster released the new “Eleventh Edition Collegiate Dictionary,” which has been lauded as a “courageous” step against racism, exclusivity and gender-bias. This edition adds 1,000 new words including “micro-aggression,” “safe-space” and other “lingual innovations.”

The glowing announcement from the See Thru Edu (a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation) praises Merriam-Webster for joining “the fight for social justice” stating, “Soon, it will be impossible to use any word or grammar that has not been approved as multiculturally-sensitive, nonsexist, inclusive, inoffensive, nondiscriminatory, nonracist, diplomatic, gender-free or non-biased.”

Yet who approves this language? And what language authority enforces it? Shouldn’t we be able to communicate without being censored by a dictionary publisher?

Social justice warriors are ransacking the English language because in doing so, they find power and the ability to manipulate the historical narrative. George Orwell, in his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” observes, “One ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected to the decay of language.”

Social justice grammar seeks to erase both objective meaning and gender specificity and then rebuild it in a subjective, gender-neutral way. Those who support this sort of language barbarism claim that for thousands of years (or for all time) language has been oppressive and gender-specific and unjust to minorities. Seeking “justice” thus means rewriting language to be effectively meaningless so that everyone can determine his or her own private interpretation. Orwell also describes how this sort of political writing has become both vague and dishonest. Citing words such as “justice” and “democracy,” he says, “The person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearers to think he means something quite different.”

In a similar way, these language barbarians use vagueness as a form of political warfare. They co-opt academia to teach students the oppressiveness of language while presenting a neutral language as the solution. Rather than oppressive pronouns like he, him, she or her, we’re supposed to be “sensitive” by using made-up words (or “linguistic innovations”) like “ze, xe, xem, xyr, or zirs.” Our language is thus being plundered of its beauty and richness to fit “zir” own agenda.

Although this strategy works reasonably well with the English language, in which most words (besides pronouns) are neutral, it will not interface well with any of the Romance languages like Italian, French or Spanish. In these languages, the majority of words are either masculine or feminine. For example, in Spanish “la mesa,” which means “the table,” is feminine and is accompanied by the feminine article “la.” There is no such word as “el meso” for a masculine table. Nor is there a word for a neutral table. Even if they succeed in wrecking the English language, the revisionists will have a much tougher time making social justice grammar an international movement.

The See Thru Edu article goes on to praise the destruction of language: “It does not merely forbid the free exchange of complex and potentially offensive ideas. Rather, it erases the language necessary to create these ideas, rendering this free exchange impossible.”

This statement reveals the true motive of social justice grammar: ending the free-exchange of thoughts, ideas and intellectual inquiry. It compromises the freedom of speech and expression while empowering thought control and intellectual policing.

Just think about how liberals have turned the word “liberal” on its head. It used to mean someone who believed in liberty. Now it means a person so rigidly ideological that they try to control what other people think.

Language, in its truest sense, ought to unite a people by providing them with a means to speak freely, clearly and precisely. These language barbarians are attempting to do just the opposite.

To the extent that the language barbarians destroy the freedom of speech, expression and the free exchange of ideas, our culture will continue to fall into the melancholy of isolation, loneliness and social fragmentation. We will drift further and further apart for fear of offending one another or worse, disobeying the language police.

We must recognize this assault on the English language for what it truly is: a political tactic meant to cloak reality with euphemism, to stifle free speech and to silence those who resist conformity.

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