As you know, today is Friday, and as you know, in quantum mechanics, wave function collapse is said to occur when a wave function – initially in a superposition of several eigenstates – appears to reduce to a single eigenstate (by ‘observation’). I suspect you probably know the first, but may or may not agree with (or know about) the second. Does that make you feel inadequate?
Well, it would, says Bath University in the UK, which has laid down the law: the words ‘as you know’ is barred from classes. This, as you know, has led to some debate; one side choosing to support the move strongly and the other side choosing to support it weakly. With the alacrity with which I usually jump into such debates, I have only this to offer: this is pure nonsense. It is all very well trying to support the over-sensitive (called ‘snowflakes’ in modern terminology), but, as you know, one has to draw the line somewhere.
I am fine with people saying ‘special’ when they mean ‘challenged’, or ‘challenged’ when they mean ‘handicapped’, although when I once introduced someone as my special friend, I was asked ‘what does he suffer from?’ People are no longer short or thin, they are vertically-challenged or volume-challenged. We are already on thin ice here, or as you know, volume-challenged water kept overnight in a freezer.
There is even a set of books for children with politically correct terms in the fairy tales. Noddy’s friend Big Ears has been reduced (or expanded) to Mr Differently-Sized Ears, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Noddy himself is to be known as Mr Mover-of-Head-Rhythmically-in-a-Series-of-Upward-and-Downward-Motions so as not to offend. Giving offence ought to be a fundamental right for all citizens, but we haven’t evolved to that stage yet.
Political correctness can be fun if used in large doses; in small doses it is both irritating and unnecessary. Like breath and taxes, though, it seems destined to be with us for as long as we live. Until there is a reaction across the globe, and some revolutionary tells us we have nothing to lose but our chains. It worked briefly once before. But, as you know, these things take time.
If ‘as you know’ is banned from universities (or one university, to be precise), can the expression ‘let’s meet sometime’ be far behind? Those three words look innocent enough, and we assume it shows a healthy interest in the other person. But in reality what you are really saying is: I have no intention of meeting you, but if you insist, ‘sometime’ is close enough.
As you know, this can be devastating to the sensitive. If not, let’s meet sometime.