Bucks County Writers Workshop


ENotes From The Groveling Gramaticist
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Alan Shils
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January 25, 2012
On Political Correctness

A disgusting writing practice attempts to placate, elevate and respect the fuzzy-minded concept of political correctness, which begets the absurd 'he/she' form that has nothing to do with the actual form of a real he or she. But 'he/she' lacks inclusiveness. A more collective form would be, 'he/she/they' that allows recognition of a plurality of participants. But is he/she/they inclusive enough? No.
      Perhaps we should write, he/He/she/She/they to allow for the possibility that 'he' may be a deity and since He may be a she we also require She. For those who lean towards polytheism, we also need a 'They' but because multiple non-god-like things may be referenced, the lowercase form of 'they' is also needed, as originally specified.
      Now the almost correct form is, he/He/she/She/they/They.
         Yet, 'they' implies that we know the identity of the entity being referenced and that may not be true. So, we need a pronoun implying the possibility of an unknown and 'them' satisfies such need. Of course 'them' may be known just as 'they' may be unknown, but let's define that 'they' we know and 'them' we don't. So the proper form is now, he/He/she/She/they/They/them/Them, adding the uppercase 'them' to make sure we haven't missed any plural deity.
      Are we finished? Not yet. There may be an abstract present which is even more abstract than an abstract of He or She (or They) so we need to include 'it' to designate the various forms of non-human things we may encounter such as a machine, a plant or animal. (Wow! Three 'abstract' goodies in one sentence! Cool!)
      The lowercase 'it' leads to 'It' to denote any 'thing' that is a particularly destructive evil stalking the planet, the entire universe, or just a neighborhood bully.
      We now have: he/He/she/She/they/They/them/Them/it/It.
      Done? Almost. Above, I used the words 'which' and 'who' and perhaps, 'what' so, to be rigorous, them-thar things should also be included. Now we have he/He/she/She/they/They/them/Them/it/It/which/who/what and I will omit the upper-case forms of the three w's because they are adequately covered by other terms. I hope.
      We may abbreviate that to hHsStTtTiIwww, which may or may not help and that may be slightly more abbreviated to hHsStTtTiIw**3, as in w-to-the-third-power. Okay, that didn't help, however it leads to a representation that is dead-on simple. Namely:
      Mathematical notation typically uses a letter near the front of the alphabet, an 'a' or 'b' etc. to denote a 'known' and a letter near the end of the alphabet, typically, 'x', 'y' or 'z' to designate an unknown. So all we have to write, to be simply perfectly politically correct is, 'a/z', and by context we do not mean the quotient, Q.
      So instead of writing, "He signed the contract," which would show the author to be an insensitive clod, and to avoid the incomplete, "He/she signed the contract," we may write hHsStTtTiIwww (with the first 'h' capitalized or the punctuation-police will be nasty) or simply write, "a/z signed the contract." There is no reason to capitalize the 'a' as that would be bad mathematical form. (Special Punctuation Police Permission, SPPP, is unnecessary because we are dealing with a precision notation rather than English, so celebrated for obfuscation.) It doesn't help to place a/z in squiggly things such as (), [], or {} because the form is so simple there is no confusion.
      Now we can breathe a big sigh of relief. (I'll wait while you sigh.)

~*~

In my next essay I will explain that the term '24/7' which designates that a business is open all day every day, can be simplified to 3.43 and as an example I offer, "a/z can have sex 3.43." Here the quotient Q was required to divide 24 by 7. (Please refer to my essay about writing numbers out to understand why that isn't required here.)
      Future essays will analyze what the temperature of war may be. Temperature is a measure of the motion of molecules (don't laugh, that's true) and war has much motion. Was the Cold War at 37° or 45° Fahrenheit? Was WW-II at 99° Celsius? Is war 'hot as hell' because someone said, "War is hell," which begs the question, at what temperature does 'hell freeze over' and if it does will warfare cease? Does war have a latent heat of fusion and vaporization? (Look those up.) Lastly, I will attempt to answer the burning question, what is the temperature of peace?
      Stay tuned.


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