This letter is in response to the article titled “Student Set to Petition Language Proposal” of Oct. 7. I praise the intelligence and the courage of Mr. Kurzeja, Mr. Came, and Mr. Ivers who have spoken up about this inflated and ultimately trivial matter.
As a graduate student I do, as does Mr. Ivers, read an embarrassingly high amount of kindergarten level writing by NIU students. I have read papers with no focus infinite amounts of misspelled words and people who fail to use linking verbs in a correct manner.
Given these profound deficiencies in the ability of college students to write an intelligent paper, the English department’s fleeting and ever-so-fashionable concern with “gender-inclusive” language is absolutely inexcusable.
Professors in that petty field are more concerned with following the latest “political correctness” fad than they are in producing quality students who are able to express their thoughts in an intelligent and coherent manner.
The argument for why one ought to use “politically correct” speech is based on an unanalyzed presupposition that if one simply changes the way one writes about something, then one will necessarily change the way one thinks about something. This is an invalid and unsound argument which deserves no serious place in our universities.
People and universities who spend hours of time and thousands of dollars concerning themselves with this silly and immature issue are destroying the mission and the purposes of universities in our country. Universities are places where individuals ought to be educated in a responsible manner about the world around them and ought to be trained for specific careers which they have chosen to enter.
Taking time out to think about “political correctness” denies students the possibility of attaining a decent education. We are turning out millions of students each year who are more knowledgeable about what one ought to call an individual from a Third World country than they are about what the writers of the American Constitution stood for.
These professors are more concerned with transient issues than they are with creating a quality program of higher education. Shame, shame, shame.
Department of Philosophy