Politicizing Language

The January New English Review essay from Theodore Dalrymple centers around the regrettable 20th-century tendency toward the politicization of language—from the National Socialists to the communists and all the way to today’s leftist commissars of political correctness.

A single word can destroy the reputation of a lifetime. Since few of us have little taste for martyrdom, prefer a quiet life to one of constant agitation, and are not monomaniacs determined to fight the latest ideological idiocy to the death, we become ever more inclined to withdraw into our private realms from which we can, at least for the moment, shut out the noise of the censorious mob.

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