Freedom of Speech
Updated: Nov 6, 2021
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" (attributed to Voltaire 1694-1778)
Voltaire was a prolific writer and constantly at risk from the strict censorship laws of the French /Catholic monarchy. He advocated religious freedom, freedom of thought and especially freedom of speech. He was in constant trouble with the authorities for his liberal views and was twice sentenced to prison terms and once to temporary exile in England.
England at the time was more liberal than most other countries but it seems to me that nowdays speech is becoming less free! things now must be "politically correct". Who decides what is politically correct? is it the government, the majority, or those who shout or complain the loudest?
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"
A common but untrue statement, many words can be hurtful and indeed harmful. Threatening speech and libel is obviously wrong and we have laws to deal with such offences but there are some totally absurd politically incorrect statements. For example to say " coloured people" is incorrect but to say "people of colour " is not.!! We don´t say "a dress of green" we say"a green dress". it is grammatically correct to put the adjective before the noun, why change it? Similarly it is absurd to say "a chest feeding parent" instead of "a breast feeding mother". Recently there has been discussion as to the validity of the statement "only females have a cervix". Another absurdity.
We should all be free to express our opinions without fear, we should not have to consider if what we say is "politically correct" we shoulds adhere to the time honoured rules of the English language and not change pronouns in order to please a small sexual minority. We should also be able to hold opinions on our own and other people´s religions without fear of reprisals. we don´t want to return to the witch burning period of the middle ages!