In this day and age of politically correctness, I often find myself scanning the words flowing in a discussion for (what I would consider to be) little improprieties that come up. I often find myself asking fellow co-workers and personal friends not to use a particular word around me or express the opinions that I feel are offensive to my ears or what I consider to be politically incorrect.
The word “retard” was a word I often used as a child to refer to someone weird or just-not-right-in-the-head. It is now a word that I would prefer not to hear. Demeaning comment about women, race, religious preference and homophobic references are definitely not tolerated in my work place and discussions about religion and politics can be like walking on eggshells. Once corrected someone for using the word “renege” – believing it had some type of negative history or connotation to it, only to have my coworker do a quick internet search and prove me wrong. In my attempts to be politically correct – I was limiting myself and my coworkers – and that is pretty much as damaging to the workplace as political incorrectness.
So – I have come up with a new personal strategy – Profanities, exclamations, invectives, vulgar language and phrases will be replaced with names of CANDY BARS or just CANDY in general.
A few friends of mine are definitely some real Goobers and there are Good & Plenty of Jujyfruits, Big Hunks and Marshmallow Puffs in a wide variety of assorted fruit flavors here in San Francisco. I definitely can be a Butterfinger and Texas is full of many Jolly Ranchers. Certain business situations can most be very Twix or Fifth Avenue and a Payday is always a good hair day. New people at the gym could be referred to as Gummy Bears, Jelly Belly-s or Rolo-s (in a loving and kind way.) Both men and women could be referred to as a Babe Ruth without any misinterpretation; your own team could be called Musketeers and other departments could be referred to as Nerds, Skittles or a bunch of Mike & Ike-s. Someone whom it seemed had a REALLY good time in the 60’s or 70’s could be referred to as a Star Burst, Abba Zabba or a Lemon Head (Zagnut is one I particularly use often.) Bean Boozled is another I’m playing around with at the moment.
I hope what this article brings to light is everyone’s own ability to select your words when in a conversation. I have found the best thing to do is live a principle that tries not to demean or devalue someone’s contribution to the workplace, community and/or country. It is important to try to eliminate words in our vocabulary that are derogatory and uncomplimentary to coworkers, friends and prospect new acquaintances – if anything – simply to be respectful of others around you. Being frank with your opinion and sharp with your words is one thing, but using certain stereotypic words and/or phrases is just simply retard.
Update to Politically Correct Candy Policy:
The following references to candy and/or candy bars are not permitted:
Red Vines, Almond Joys, Raisinets, Mounds, Sweetarts, Mr. Goodbar, Kit Kat, Hot Tamales, Junior Mints, Bit O Honey, Caramel Nips, Nik N Nips (or anything with the word “Nips” in it), Charleston Chews, Clark Bar, Dots, any reference to Hershey or Dove Dark Chocolate, Hershey Kisses, and most definitely Mentos (because I just hate those commercials.)