1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 2 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2068-2956
First Published
16 Jul 2014
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English, German
access type Open Access

Rectifying Language? Snarl Words and Politically Incorrect Language

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 130 - 146
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2068-2956
First Published
16 Jul 2014
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English, German
Abstract

Confucius was asked what he would do if he were a governor. He said he would rectify the names to make words correspond to reality. In this study, we wish to approach the problem of language changes that led to the emergence of concepts such as snarl words and purr words, as stated by S. I. Hayakawa, to refer to highly connotative language or politically correct and incorrect language. Can language be correct or incorrect politically? Should we ban words just because we perceive them as threatening social harmony? Should language be rectified and by whom? Or should we agree with Confucius, who believed that names, i.e. words should be used appropriately in the sense that if names are not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. What is correct in language and what is not? Can language be outlawed at all? Have words changed so drastically or has the surrounding reality changed? Should we use language correctly or appropriately? Can the shaping of new nomenclatures and decreeing words as undesirable or imposing meaning changes induce social harmony, or such attempts will only lead to a pandemic of euphemisms and nothing more? We try to look into the ways in which words are doomed for being politically, socially (or perhaps emotionally?) incorrect. We gather a corpus of such banned words and/or meanings and analyse the ways their perception has changed over the past years.

Keywords

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