I hate the term "politically correct". I don't mean that I hate political correctness, per se, I just hate it when people use the term as some kind of messed up shorthand to justify their abhorrent bigoted views. For instance, if I ever hear the phrase "it's political correctness gone mad" again, heads will roll. All this aside, however it did occur to me yesterday that political correctness may, in fact, have gone mad in my particular cubicle of the world.
It started with a pretty banal story I was writing about gold jewellery sales. I'd been interviewing a ton of people, my shorthand was completely shot and somewhere in there I started abbreviating the word 'jewellery' to 'jew'. Which all seemed fine...until I found myself writing the following phrases all over my notepad: "bad jew", cheap jew" and, best of all, simply "jew" with a giant downwards-heading arrow.
All of which still seems ok until you notice that the rest of my 'shorthand' looks like a bunch of merry squiggles. Viewed without the surrounding context of, you know, other words, my notebook resembles nothing so much as the work of Joseph Goebbels or that scene from The Shining. All Work and No Play May Make Kate An Antisemite.
A ridiculous thing to worry about, of course. For a start who the hell is going to be rifling through my notebooks?? And even if they did I'd like to think someone might give me the benefit of the doubt and at least try to decipher my shitty teeline...And yet I hesitated only a few moments before picking up my pen to slip in the crucial "ELLERY" wherever I could. What can I say? It's political correctness gone... well, you know.