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Quotations about Political Correctness,
Cancel Culture, and Being Offended

Welcome to my page of quotations about political correctness, being politically incorrect, cancel culture, and being offended.   SEE ALSO:  CENSORSHIP POLITICS LANGUAGE SOCIETY NEW NORMAL SPEAKING BELIEFS HUMANS AMERICA MEDIA CURSING  –Terri

I must regretfully leave unprinted some of his wittiest and prettiest things in deference to our detestable modern squeamishness as to calling things by their right names. ~William G. Hutchison, 1906

Transcend political correctness and strive for human righteousness. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book, 1995,

Political correctness is the new religion — determined to make up enough commandments to ensure that everyone is a sinner. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, 2017

She's a drunk... I'm sorry — alcoholic. A person with alcoholism. An Alcoholic-American. ~Fleishman Is in Trouble, "Summon Your Witnesses," 2022,, written by Taffy Brodesser-Akner,, based on the 2019 novel  [S1, E1, Phillip]

What used to be offensive is now acceptable, and what used to be acceptable is now offensive... That's the danger of an overemphasis on political correctness. Let's not become so worried about not offending anybody that we lose the ability to distinguish between respect and paranoia. ~Larry King, How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: The Secrets of Good Communication, 1994

BEING OFFENDED IS A VICTIMIZING CHOICE  You need never be offended again, either by put-downs directed at you or by things in the world that you may have become accustomed to "finding offensive." If you don't approve of someone else's behavior or language, ignore it, particularly when it has nothing to do with you. By being offended and upset, by saying things like, "How dare he say that!" or, "He has no right to make me upset like this!" or, "I am offended when I see weirdos," you are victimizing yourself with the conduct of others, which is tantamount to having your emotional strings pulled by the very people you dislike. Shrug it off, ignore it, look the other way, ask yourself whether it's really that bad at all; or if you want to work at changing it, by all means do so. But don't choose the victim position of being offended and upset about it. ~Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Pulling Your Own Strings, 1978

Political correctness is a deceptive confectioner:  with syrupy slatherings of feel-goodery... ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, 2019

It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that." As if that gives them certain rights. It's simply a whine, just no more than a whine. "I find that offensive": it has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ~Stephen Fry

political correctness
The apotheosis of mediocrity; the unholy union of conformity and hypocrisy; the substitution of one form of bigotry with another; a national epidemic of euphemism transmitted by media, public institutions, and pressure groups that outlaws any language or behavior that might possibly be construed as offensive to anyone, anywhere, at any time. "Being politically correct means always having to say you're sorry." —Charles Osgood  ~Jon Winokur, Encyclopedia Neurotica: An A to Z Guide to Tics, Twitches, and Safety-Valve Nuttiness in the Age of Anxiety, 2005

You're not allowed to call them dinosaurs any more... It's speciesist. You have to call them pre-petroleum persons. ~Terry Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb, 1996

I said counsel... not cancel... ~Trevor Noah, tweet, March 2022,

Political correctness is politeness gone mad. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, 2017

This is a time of divisiveness, an era when the slightest blunder triggers strong censure, often far exceeding the gravity of the misstep. The view that "to err is human" has been replaced with "to err is a frontal assault on my sensibilities." Too many people stay on the lookout for "got you" moments that present an opportunity to vent anger and register scorn. Extreme political correctness has bulldozed any efforts at a basic human understanding of intent. There seems to be little room for an honest mistake. ~Chip R. Bell, "Reviving The Lost Art of Forgiveness,", June 2022,

So the idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is what I absolutely do not subscribe to. ~John Cleese, "We Can’t Have Comedy and Be Politically Correct at the Same Time,", 2016

Political correctness and a sense of humour are like matter and anti-matter — in any collision, one must destroy the other. The zeitgeist of the current age is to seek grievance, and having found causes as numerous as grains of sand on the shore, to respond with angry, vindictive righteousness. It is a grim and humourless process. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, 2018

It's only "Cancel Culture" if it comes from the Cancella region of France. Otherwise it's just Sparkling Consequences. ~Timothy Haystack, 2021, as quoted from

...mistaking for political efficacy what is really just a language's political symbolism — enables the bizarre conviction that America ceases to be elitist or unfair simply because Americans stop using certain vocabulary that is historically associated with elitism and unfairness... Politically Correct English... purports to be the dialect of progressive reform but is in fact — in its Orwellian substitution of the euphemisms of social equality for social equality itself — of vastly more help to conservatives and the US status quo... Were I, for instance, a political conservative who opposed using taxation as a means of redistributing national wealth, I would be delighted to watch PC progressives spend their time and energy arguing over whether a poor person should be described as "low-income" or "economically disadvantaged" or "pre-prosperous" rather than constructing effective public arguments for redistributive legislation or higher marginal tax rates. ~David Foster Wallace, "Authority and American Usage," Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, 2005, essay originally published as "Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage," in Harper's Magazine, April 2001

Political correctness is the inedible fruit of unreasonable expectations. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, 2017

      When they were first written, the stories on which the following tales are based certainly served their purpose — to entrench the patriarchy, to estrange people from their own natural impulses, to demonize "evil" and to "reward" an "objective" "good." However much we might like to, we cannot blame the Brothers Grimm for their insensitivity to womyn's issues, minority cultures, and the environment. Likewise, in the self-righteous Copenhagen of Hans Christian Andersen, the inalienable rights of mermaids were hardly given a second thought.
      Today, we have the opportunity — and the obligation — to rethink these "classic" stories so they reflect more enlightened times. To that effort I submit this humble book...
      If, through omission or commission, I have inadvertently displayed any sexist, racist, culturalist, nationalist, regionalist, ageist, lookist, ableist, sizeist, speciesist, intellectualist, socioeconomicist, ethnocentrist, phallocentrist, heteropatriarchalist, or other type of bias as yet unnamed, I apologize and encourage your suggestions for rectification. In the quest to develop meaningful literature that is totally free from bias and purged from the influences of its flawed cultural past, I doubtless have made some mistakes. ~James Finn Garner, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories:  Modern Tales for Our Life & Times, 1994,

Political correctness:  Tact grows up confused, changes his name to Cowardice — and marries Stupidity. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, 2015

I don't believe in overdone political correctness or blown-out-of-proportion social censorship. I believe in respect and responsibility, common sense and compassion. We have to be allowed to use our hearts and our heads and our words. Talking is the solution, not the problem. ~Terri Guillemets, 2021

A politically correct pretence is like a tightrope over a volcano. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, 2014

Political correctness is as harmful as any other form of censorship. ~Terri Guillemets, 1998

I'm not always politically correct — but when I am, I'm probably being sarcastic. ~Internet meme, c.2016

victim mentality
In contemporary America, victimhood is a status symbol and anyone who has ever felt hurt or slighted qualifies as a victim. People readily label themselves addicted or abused, bare their souls on talk shows, hear their tearful confessions applauded by support groups. In short, many Americans no longer feel responsible for their actions. ~Jon Winokur, Encyclopedia Neurotica: An A to Z Guide to Tics, Twitches, and Safety-Valve Nuttiness in the Age of Anxiety, 2005

Political correctness:  Correctness sacrificed for political reasons. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, c.2015

There are also the stern constraints on commencement oratory. It must eschew anything that smacks of partisan politics, political or sexual preference, religion or unduly firm opinion. As so often in our time, truth, as asserted, must be in a careful balance between right and wrong. No student has ever been known to confess in later life to any influence from the address that graced his or her graduation or, indeed, to any recollection of what was said. Nonetheless, there must be a speech; speeches in our culture are the vacuum that fills a vacuum. ~John Kenneth Galbraith, 1984

cancel culture is
political correctness
~Terri Guillemets, 2021

The quickest way to end political correctness would be to start calling women "vaginal Americans." ~Author unknown, c.2008

Every time someone says something politically correct, another brain cell of Reality drops dead. ~Terri Guillemets, "Trigger warning," 2014

compassionate inaccuracy
Politically correct practice of doctoring scores to make losers feel better about themselves. ~Jon Winokur, Encyclopedia Neurotica: An A to Z Guide to Tics, Twitches, and Safety-Valve Nuttiness in the Age of Anxiety, 2005

We can't really say anything about anything anymore without first washing it down to meaninglessness. ~Terri Guillemets, 2021

"Crippled" becomes "disabled," and "disabled" becomes "physically challenged" — as if new words could make up for no legs. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, c.2009

stop cancel culture
it is censorship brainwash
let us lead not quash
~Terri Guillemets, 2021

Political correctness — a cocktail of poisonous lies pretending to the sweetness of lemonade, and the virtue of carrot juice. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,, 2016

G-rated, stripped down, politically correct fuzzwords and threadbare phrases rarely reflect real life. ~Terri Guillemets, "I am fat, not weight-challenged," 2015

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published 2021 Feb 20
revised 2024 Jan 25
last saved 2024 Jun 8