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Playing With / Political Correctness Gone Mad

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Basic Trope: An individual or group is very zealous about not offending people.

  • Straight:
    • In Tropestan, certain words and actions are forbidden either by custom or by law. (They may be replaced with new terms that are supposedly less offensive.)
    • Alice innocently brings up guns. Bob yells at her telling her, bringing up the latest school shooting and accusing her of being tone deaf and insensitive.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified: Select words and actions can be very offensive, especially when committed by certain groups.
  • Inverted:
    • Tropestanis cause each other affront with near-impunity thanks to Refuge in Audacity.
    • Deliberate Values Dissonance
    • The "politically correct" version of something in Tropestan is solely based on whoever got the power, taking the definition to its most literal meaning. Tropestanis dread the day a misanthrope is in charge, because it means that the "politically correct" term for everything is whatever is the most anti-society at the time.
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    • The "proper" word for something is deliberately whatever word that the listener hates the most, because Tropestan loves making its people feel as low as possible. It's the user-friendly words that need to be replaced, and anyone who uses them will be "properly" corrected to use uncomfortable terminology.
      Alan: I was thinking about maybe going out with some friends—
      Bob: Shh! The term is useless deadweight now.
      Alan: ...Right. Going out with some "useless deadweight" for drinks tonight.
    • Political correctness never went mad; it is the madness in Tropestan. Anything can and must be said anywhere, regardless of personal comfort, and even the slightest disagreement with that conduct makes you the unreasonable thin-skin.
  • Subverted:
    • Certain words, topics, and actions have a time and place.
    • Certain actions that are taboo in Tropestan are in a piece of media and portrayed as completely normal and acceptable.
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    • People live a certain way, that is stated to maintain a functional society, but the society is bigoted against women, foreigners, practitioners of minority religions, etc., not the modern definition of politically correct.
    • A privileged class (like oligarchs, patricians, aristocrats, etc) are held to different standards than everyone else. They are allowed to be as offensive as they like while other people are punished for it. These people may or may not be the Moral Guardians (in dystopian fiction, the latter is much more likely) but at the very least they have nothing to fear from them.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: People who break the rules of political correctness must pay into The Swear Jar, have their mouths washed out with soap (lye soap if they caused particular outrage), or write the rule they broke on the board 1000 times.
  • Zig-Zagged: Some words, actions, and topics are acceptable in polite society, others are acceptable in certain contexts, and others are not acceptable at all.
  • Averted: There are no rules or laws governing self-expression of any kind.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: "Shhh! You can't say that word anymore! You Wanna Get Sued?? Or beaten up?!"
  • Invoked: Some person or group finds a certain word or action offensive.
  • Exploited:
    • A petition is circulated by Moral Guardians and other concerned citizens to get certain words censored or stricken from Tropestan's vocabulary.
    • A feminist conference spells "women" as "womyn" to appease its more radical attendants.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "Why get offended? It's just a word! Get over yourself!"
  • Conversed: "I'm not sure whether to laugh at the sheer audacity of it all or whether to be offended by how much they're making light of liberal groups."
  • Implied: Alice says something highly out of the ordinary for Tropestan in public. Bob and her other friends glower at her. Alice is next seen being interrogated by the police.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Authorities are so obsessed with not offending anyone that society ends up becoming a People's Republic of Tyranny (or something similar) run entirely by zealots.
    • People's ideas end up getting rejected because one person finds it "offensive", reducing the chances of society ever developing.
    • Political correctness has become hypocritical or biased in that while they respect the feelings of the offended, they don't respect the idea or feelings of the unoffended.
    • Tropestan's morals and rules eventually decay into Blue and Orange Morality.
    • Political correctness has been played in so many circumstances that any instance of it comes to be noted as Crying Wolf by the rest of the public. Because it's used so flippantly as both a concern and an accusation, reasonable instances of the practice are impossible to sort out and will be dismissed with the rest of the rabble.
    • Political correctness hasn't gone mad, but a "straw political correctness" which has gone mad was constructed by the residents of Tropestan to bash real political correctness, causing it to lose popularity and causing suffering to discriminated or disadvantaged groups.
  • Reconstructed: ???
  • Played for Laughs: Fee Fi Faux Pas
  • Played for Drama: All Crimes Are Equal, Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life, Stepford Suburbia

Back to Political Correctness Gone Mad. Um, I mean, "inoffensive speech patterns have become neuro-atypical."

Example of: