On Newspeak

The pejorative phrase politically correct has been with us since the 1980s. Politically correct speech is speech imposed—typically by elites seeking to eliminate hierarchies of oppression in public institutions. Whether imposed speech is tyrannical may be contested, but its pervasiveness—and its resistance to critique—is undeniable. Exasperated British libertarian Claire Fox believes that we have today reached a tipping point, evinced by the BMA's directive that the phrase expectant mothers be replaced with pregnant people. Such "ludicrous" ideas will isolate officious elites, Fox argues, and thus free ordinary citizens to speak as they wish. She's wrong. As Orwell predicted, we have all become masters of self-censorship. The process is irreversible.