Anorak News | Splitting Hairs

Splitting Hairs

by | 13th, September 2004

‘AN excerpt now from Anorak’s new book: Political Correctness Gone Mad – Stories Guaranteed To Annoy The Mail.

‘Ruddy Asian lice, come over ‘ere and take our follicles…’

Today’s extract, found appropriately in the Mail, concerns the Welsh Development Agency’s decision to send staff on a training course during which they were instructed how not to offend people from ethnic minorities.

And among the advice to refrain from calling Cornishmen tin–heads and not to ask to see people from the Forest of Dean’s webbed feet, came the advice to avoid using the term ‘nit-picking’.

This phrase has now been blacklisted – or whitelisted, as they say in developing Wales – since it has links with the slave trade, referring to when the salves had their hair examined for lice.

Not so, says the paper’s language expert, Michael Quinton, who argues that both ‘nitty-gritty’ and ‘nit-piker’ are wrongly associated with the trade in human flesh.

Nick Seaton, of the Campaign For Real Education – whose number is on speed dial at the Mail’s head offices – agrees.

“This is clearly political correctness gone mad,” says he, “and it insults people’s intelligence.”

And it also means that we’ll have to find a new name for the branch of Nit-Pickers R Us we were planning to open in Llwyn-Dafydd.

So send your ideas for new name to the usual address, and try to steer away from anything contentious, like Boots (offensive to Nazis), Monsoon (offensive to Bangladeshis) and Gap (offensive to people with widely spaced teeth)…’

Posted: 13th, September 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink