Sunday, July 10, 2005

Stuck in an Elevator with Nancy Pelosi

The Joy of Knitting is often a joy indeed. I used to think she was an American ex-patriate, so excellently crafted is her English. But no, she's the real Sophia all right. Who knows what her real name is? No matter; Sophia suits her well. Here's her spot-on definition of pee cee prison:

Political correctness is a form of moral and emotional blackmail whereby if you call a spade a spade you must a) apologize to the spade, b) if you live in the US, take a sensitivity training course, or c) if you live in Old Yurp, you are taken to court for defamation of the aforementioned spade. It’s a perfect way to keep people forever trapped in an endless round of self-guilt, self-blame and self-loathing. As a subtle means of repression, it works wonderfully. Everyone becomes his own watchdog, becoming afraid not only to speak, but even to think.
Think about it: we have willingly internalized the fear of thinking. I must ask Shrinkwrapped what that might be called in psychiatric terms. Being a woman who comes right to the point Dr. Sanity would simply call it horse manure and keep going. Shrinkwrapped, being the analytic sort, would be reflective and perhaps give us the Greek/Latinate neologism. Let's see...

Phobia is 'fear' -- though I've often thought it sounded like someone's name. As in "Horace, I'd like to introduce my Aunt Phobia." Or, "No, I can't go with you. I promised Dysphoria I'd visit."

What should we put in front of phobia to give us the fear of thinking so wonderfully impressed upon us by the Mandarins, that elite group who will do-all-the-thinking-required-thank-you-just-the-same? Since this is a psychiatric condition, let's stick with the Greek; those guys eschew Anglo-Saxon (using English would be a waste of all that medical education). And the Greek for thought is, tah-dah... ιδέα, from whence comes our "idea."

So here you go: a word for p.c. mind control: ideophobia. It's what happens when the Mandarins have taken such control of your thinking processes that you're incapable of entertaining an idea of which they do not approve. The advantage of suffering from this condition is that you'll never be in any danger of having to attend a sensitivity-training course.

Another plus is the fact that if you're ever stuck in an elevator with Nancy Pelosi neither one of you will care because there'll be so much to talk about.


At 1:22 PM, Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

Or, you could call it "cogitophobia" --fear of cogitation; or PCphrenia (literally PC head!)

Great post!

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

I love the PC head!

But the cogito is Latin and I was trying to be consistent with ~phobia.

What's the Latin for phobia?

At 1:30 PM, Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

I think ideophobia is perfect. After all, PC makes idiots of us all. It may just be homonynophonic (is that a word? I doubt it) and not share the same root but anyone who voluntarily gives up the ability to think critically is an idiot.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

DSM IV criteria for PCphrenia:
A. Characteristic Symptoms (2 or more of the following must be present):
(1) Inability to call a spade a spade without fear of reprisals
(2) Exquisite sensitivity to hurting someone's (anyone's) feelings
(3)gross sense of intellectual and moral superiority
(4)emotional lability/hostility when confronted with truth

B. For a significant time since the onset of the disturbance, the individual is unable to think rationally, leading to the development of one or both of the following:
(1) psychological denial or distortion of reality
(2) psychological projection of his/her own feelings onto others

At 6:06 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

In the end, these are all forms of a larger, more superceding malady, which I've noted is particularly common among Business Administration majors and other pointy-haired types:

Cranio-Rectal Insertion Syndrome.

I'll leave it to the Doc to create the DSM-IV criteria for diagnosis.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Hey, never mind the criteria -- I want to see the illlustration!

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

I'm not a classicist, but I have some dictionaries, which are just enough to be suggestive, and maybe even get me in trouble... (hee hee)

Possibly Theoreophobia from theoreo = I contemplate, theorize (A very deep, interesting word!)

Maybe better is Ginoskophobia, from ginosko = I know, find out, learn, understand, perceive, acknowledge, recognize. )This is the Gk. corresponding to the Lt. cogito from which we get cognition, etc.)

There are several Latin nouns to express fear: metus, timor, verecundia, terror, pavor, trepidation, horror, formido, timiditas, ignavia [From Cassell's L/E Dictionary]

We are kicking around a new term at work to describe a possibly allied problem: "corporate adolescence" - when a company just cannot believe there is anyone out there besides itself, and what it does is always right.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Good work, Thursday!

BTW, where can I get that chart in the background of your photo? I have a chem major son who would love to have it...

Ideophobia seems to fit best, though I do like the feel of "ginosko" on the tongue. Is that a hard 'g' or a soft one?

Maybe it could be reserved for corporate sins rather than individual ones...

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

I ordered it from Sigma, several years ago. I did a search today and found it here. Yes, it is very interesting - think of the man-years of research it took to learn all those things! What is even more astounding is that these are just the METABOLIC paths - things about somatic structure, etc are not here. It's amazing to think it's all stored in 3 billion bases!

RE the "g" - I am not sure if it is always like "g" in gamma (which is the letter used) or if it becomes "j" before the i.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Odd - it worked OK for me. Then start with and then do a search for "metabolic pathways"... It's not my web page, so I cannot help you more than that.


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