POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Express writer Fatima Bapumia posed the following question in a recent issue of the newspaper. Have we ever thought of what will happen if Tanzania turns politically correct (PC)? She went on: ‘Political correctness is the alteration of language to redress real or alleged unjust discrimination or to avoid offences. One purpose of a ‘politically correct’ language is to prevent the exclusion or the offending of people based upon differences or handicaps. For instance, instead of calling someone blind you would say “a person with visual impairment”. In Tanzania there is already some element of PC when it comes to gender issues. In most organizations words like manpower and chairman are being replaced with work force and chairperson respectively. If you are writing an official letter you have to be careful to address it to Sir/Madam. Words like cameramen are also being replaced with photographers….but these words are already in neutral form in Kiswahili, our national language. PC words are not just limited to women but they comprise ethnic groups, professions, habits, sicknesses and handicaps.’
She then gave a long list of possible PC words in Kiswahili ‘just in case Tanzania goes PC.’
Examples:
Fat (mass gravitationally challenged) Mnene (mtu mwenye vikwazo vya nguvu za uvutano kwa uwiano wa uzito)
Deaf (person with audio impairment) Kiziwi (mtu mwenye hitilafu ya kusikia)
House wife (domestic engineer) Mama wa nyumbani (mhandisi wanyumba)
Sex (cooperative physical fitness) Ngono (mazoezi ya ushirikiano)
Poor (economically marginalized) Masikini (mtu aliyetengwa kiuchumi)
Bald (follicularly challenged) Mtu mwenye upara (mtu aliye na vikwazo vya kinyweleo)
Prostitute (body entrepreneur) Kahaba (mjasirimali wa kimwili)
Lazy (motivationally dispossessed) Mvivu (mtu aliyenyimwa motisha)
Murderer (termination specialist) Muuaji (mtaalamu wa kikomo)
Dead (metabolically challenged) Maiti (mtu mwenye vikwazo vya ujenzi na uvunjaji wa kemikali mwilini).

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