The Carte Blanche of Word Play

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It’s true that political correctness is the new religion.  But have you noticed that we’ve invented a few clever linguistic acrobatics to say what we mean and still twist around the risk of directly offending someone?  For example, here in Costa Rica you can begin any insult with the phrase “con todo respeto” (basically meaning “with all due respect”).  With this carte blanche you can speak your mind freely and no one can accuse you of intending to insult someone… even if you really did intend to insult them.

In the South of the United States they use the phrase, “bless his heart” to soften the blow.  One might hear sentences like, “He’s just an idiot, bless his heart.” Yet no one can accuse the speaker of mal intent, unless you really have something against Paula Dean.  Bless her heart.

In other circles, one can add the phrase “just saying” and then just say anything you want.  Other politically correct, carte blanche phrases include “in my humble opinion” or “Support the Troops” or “God Bless America” or whatever political catchphrase is the mode of the day.  Unless you are of the moral elite who “refuse to cut your conscience to fit the latest fashion,” these phrases are super handy to whip out anytime you need a shield.  Because, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion” is the modern day equivalent of “Thou shalt not murder” we have exchanged the principle of Let Freedom Reign for the motto Don’t Tread on Me.

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