"Political correctness" is a phrase we sneer at, which is odd since all it means is being polite. The discussion always gets heated at this time of year as people struggle with the etiquette of seasonal greetings. Here are some examples of political correctness at work. Logical, aren't they? Add your examples of politically correct things to say below.
Say "Break a leg!" to actors, not skiers.
Chant "USA! USA!" at a soccer match, but not in Kabul.
Tell your kids "Drive carefully!" not golfers. With one exception.
Ask "What if I pay cash?" of a car dealer, not a traffic cop or a Democrat governor of Illinois.
If you're a South Carolina Republican in Congress, blurt out "You lie!" to your governor, not the guy addressing the joint session.
Toast "Sláinte!" to someone with a glass of Guinness, not iced tea.
Wish "Congratulations!" to newlyweds, not your neighbor who just got served.
Shout "Kill the ump!" if you're in the stands, not if you're on the field.
Command your dog to "Sit! Stay!" not your cat.
Tell teenagers to wear a condom, and don't waste your breath on the abstinence speech.
Play reveille in the barracks, not the funeral home.
Say "I love you" to your wife, not your mistress.
Don't ask "Do you want fries with that?" on your new job at Charlie Trotter's.
Ask "Paper or plastic?" in the grocery, not at Coach.
Shout "Kill 'em!" to a linebacker, not your roommate on a blind date.
Send a "Happy Birthday!" card on your wife's birthday, not your anniversary.
Don't say "Happy Kwanzaa!" to every black person you meet.
Wish "Happy Hanukkah!" to Jews, not Christians.
Wish "Merry Christmas!" to Christians, not Muslims.
And wish "Happy Holidays!" to people about whom you are not sure.
And don't be so damn sure.
Craig Goldwyn is a hedonism evangelist and writes about cooking and barbecue for AmazingRibs.com. All text and photos are Copyright © 2009 by Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn.