PC in our time

THE phrase "political correctness gone mad" has been used 88 times in the national press this year. So it is with a sense of unoriginality that the Diary mentions the case of Stephanie Bell, of North Carolina, USA. Ms Bell was given an official warning by her school last week and forced to send a public letter of apology to parents for teaching the word "niggardly" in her English class.

School authorities upheld a complaint from a parent that teaching the word was racially insensitive not because it was racist (derived from Middle English, it means to be stingy) but because it sounded racist.

Such craziness couldn't happen this side of the pond, could it? The Commission for Racial Equality told the Diary that it couldn't rule out court action "if anyone complained". If this is not political correctness gone mad, what is?

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