I first remember encountering the term "politically correct" in a Wall Street Journal article entitled "So Very PC at UCSC (University of California, Santa Cruz)". I believe this was in the late 80's. As the provenance would indicate, the term was already being used in a sarcastic way by the right wing.
My theory is that this is pretty much the only way it's ever been used, except maybe for about five minutes. Can any of you determine if there was ever a time when "politically correct" was used approvingly by people on the left?
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I first remember encountering the term "politically correct" in a Wall Street Journal article entitled "So Very PC at UCSC ... of you determine if there was ever a time when "politically correct" was used approvingly by people on the left?

I heard the term in the late 60's, when it was used to mean that an statement conformed to established doctrine (in my experience it was Socialist doctrine of some stripe). For example, the politically correct view of Nixon's nomination (rather than Rockefeller's) was that "New Money" defeated "Old Money", or so I was told. Whether the usage was in any way sarcastic depended on the credibility the various forms of Socialist doctrine held with the speaker, I imagine.

rzed
. Can any of you determine if there was ever a time when "politically correct" was used approvingly by people onthe left?

The phrase was coined by Marxist theorists of
1918-1939 to clarify the distinction between the party line and traditional morality. E.g. giving charity to the poor seemed to be a good thing but was
Politically Incorrect (since it would delay the
proletarian revolution that all right thinking people wanted.) Ex-Communists like Jessica Mitford
have written amusingly about special Party
language, and Arthur Koestler and George Orwell
without humour.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
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I first remember encountering the term "politically correct" in a ... "politically correct" was used approvingly by people on the left?

I heard the term in the late 60's, when it was used to mean that an statement conformed to established ... in any way sarcastic depended on the credibility the various forms of Socialist doctrine held with the speaker, I imagine.

When I first heard it 60s or 70s it was certainly being used ironically by left-liberal types. What I don't know is whether it was a mock-up from the start, or whether some group such as Maoists or their variants really had used it seriously. There are a couple of early uses of the phrase (from the 19C, I think), including one from the US Supreme Court; but these do not carry the present meaning.

Mike.
I first remember encountering the term "politically correct" in a Wall Street Journal article entitled "So Very PC at UCSC ... of you determine if there was ever a time when "politically correct" was used approvingly by people on the left?

I first heard it from alleged comedian Ben Elton in a stand-up routine - I can't place it better than sometime in the 80's. He appeared to be perfectly serious, although I'm probably not a good judge, since I can rarely see how he's being funny when (judging by audience reaction) he evidently is. And yes, I think he could be described as being to the left - my only hesitation over that might be to wonder whether there's a point so far to the left that one enters a space/time anomoly and emerges on the right. I think he might have made Lenin feel uncomfortable.

Mark Barratt
Budapest
I first remember encountering the term "politically correct" in a ... "politically correct" was used approvingly by people on the left?

I first heard it from alleged comedian Ben Elton in a stand-up routine - I can't place it better than ... wonder whether there's a point so far to the left that one enters a space/time anomoly and emerges on the

What is it with that word that so many misspell it?
right. I think he might have made Lenin feel uncomfortable.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
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Aha, yes, I should have thought of that.
to clarify the distinction between the party line and traditional morality. E.g. giving charity to the poor seemed to ... the proletarian revolution that all right thinking people wanted.) Ex-Communists like Jessica Mitford have written amusingly about special Party language,

Hmm, yes, in fact I have her book A Fine Old Conflict (the title is a mondegreen) sitting right here. Her pamphlet, Lifeitself-manship , is reproduced as an appendix. It was of course inspired by her sister's article on U and non-U. The pamphlet was written in 1956, after Khruschev's speech had loosened things up a bit in the CPUSA, and she claims the comrades thought it was hilarious and beseiged her for copies. She didn't formally leave the Party until 1958.
The most relevant example in the pamphlet would be "suggesting a bum plan" which is translated as "projecting an incorrect perspective."

Yabbut I still think nobody has said "politically correct" with a straight face in the last twenty years. (No doubt someone will find a counterexample.)
I first remember encountering the term "politically correct" in a ... "politically correct" was used approvingly by people on the left?

I first heard it from alleged comedian Ben Elton in a stand-up routine - I can't place it better than ... that one enters a space/time anomoly and emerges on the right. I think he might have made Lenin feel uncomfortable.

He's so right on he's now collaborating with dangerous revolutionary Andrew Lloyd Weber.
I first heard it from alleged comedian Ben Elton in ... that one enters a space/time anomoly and emerges on the

What is it with that word that so many misspell it?

The way we pronounce it? If we always said our vowels the same way, there wouldn't be the problem. But then half the fun would go away too.
right. I think he might have made Lenin feel uncomfortable.

dg (domain=ccwebster)
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