martes, 6 de diciembre de 2016

MercatorNet: Adventures on a gender-sensitive keyboard

MercatorNet: Adventures on a gender-sensitive keyboard
Adventures on a gender-sensitive keyboard

Adventures on a gender-sensitive keyboard

Political correctness at work on the computer screen
Theodore Dalrymple | Dec 6 2016 | comment 

My computer tries to improve my style by automatically underlining in blue what it believes to be clichés or redundant phrases. If I type in order to, for example, the blue wavy line appears unbidden under the three words. In so far as is another phrase that, schoolmarm-like, my computer underlines as if to correct me.
Now as it happens that I love in so far as, in so far as, in the days when my writing was paid by the word, I used to use it as often as possible. It delighted me to think that, merely by having typed 12 characters (if you include the spaces), I had earned… well, whatever the going rate per word was.
Of course, I was deluding myself slightly. I couldn’t just send in the phrase in so far as and demand to be paid for them: they had to be included, more or less meaningfully, in the middle of an article. All the same, I never wrote in so far as as insofar, which would have been perfectly permissible but not so lucrative. (The phrase more or less, incidentally, comes under my computer’s interdiction, or perhaps I should say anathema.)
Sometimes I try to write paragraphs more or less in order to have as much blue underlining in it as I possibly can, in as much as it is an amusing game to play. For ever is a useful standby in this game. Be that as it may (another standby) I have not yet managed an entire paragraph with blue underlining. Just as real meaning sometimes creeps inadvertently into politicians’ speeches, so some words escape the blue pencil even in the best of my efforts.
There is also the red pencil, for words that are misspelled or allegedly do not exist (often they do). It is interesting, then, that genderqueer, which I think is of very recent coinage, has now entered the vocabulary of my computer as a bona fide word. For those dinosaurs among you who do not know what it means, I will here provide its meaning, as per Wikipedia:
“… denoting or relating to a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.”
You can also be trigender or pangender without having your preference underlined in red, though not quadridenderpentagender, or hexagender, not even agender, which of course is an insult to the agender community.
No doubt it will be corrected in the next updates that so irritatingly interrupt work on my computer.
Theodore Dalrymple is a retired prison doctor and psychiatrist. A highly popular journalist, he writes for The Times, The British Medical Journal,The Observer, Daily Telegraph, Spectator, The Salisbury Review and is contributing editor to the City Journal. This article was first published in the Salisbury Review and has been republished with permission. 

Free speech is being assailed from all directions in France. Islamic terrorists gunned down 12 staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year for criticizing Muhammed. Millions of people, including government ministers, filled the streets of France supporting the right to think for oneself and to speak freely.
There has been much less to-do over the government’s move to shut down pro-life websites. The Socialist women’s minister, Laurence Rossignol, says “freedom of expression can’t be confused with manipulating people.” She claims that their helplines are run by “anti-choice activists with no training who want to make women feel guilty and discourage them from seeking an abortion.”
Perhaps pregnant women just need some information – which the government is unwilling to give them. Check out Chiara Bertogli0’s comment

Michael Cook 

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