Language barrier

“Since the EU referendum result last June our nation has been divided: not only by the vote but also by language. If 62 per cent of Britons (many of whom undoubtedly voted for Brexit) now say Britain ‘sometimes feels like a foreign country’, it’s not anti-foreigner prejudice so much as a feeling that people in authority are speaking at them in a foreign language. Not Polish or Punjabi but PC-speak, that opaque code that connotes whether you are ‘on message’ and one of ‘our kind of people’ or one of those racist lizard-brained Leaver oiks.

Look at the new language of diversity that is now being prescribed in much of the public sector. The British Medical Association recently sent all its employees a 12-page booklet, ‘A Guide to Effective Communication: Inclusive Language in the Workplace’. This tells staff how to change their language to suit ‘an increasingly diverse society’, for example replacing ‘manpower’ with ‘staff, workforce, personnel, workers’. Ludicrously, pregnant women should no longer be called ‘expectant mothers’ but ‘pregnant people’. The Times reported in April that UK universities are forcing students to conform to new codes restricting the use of gendered language. The University of Hull warns students that ‘failure to use gender-sensitive language will impact your mark’; common terms such as ‘mankind’, ‘forefathers’ and ‘manpower’ should be replaced by ‘humankind’, ‘ancestors’ and ‘human resources’.”

Read the full article on The Spectator website.