Politically Correct

You used a phrase that I have been trying to get rid of for years. The phrase is “rule of thumb”.

Last night, with 5 or 6 seconds left in my part of the broadcast, I mentioned a viewer’s email – Could it snow at 50&#176? I sad, “no,” the rule of thumb was there was no snow at temperatures above 45&#176.

It wasn’t long before this came.

Geoff just caught your forecast, loved it!

Also I wanted to make a mention that you used a phrase that I have been

trying to get rid of for years. The phrase is “rule of thumb”. This phrase

used the measurement of the thumb for a very heinous use. In 1732 Francis

Butler, an English judge, declared that a ” man could beat his wife with a

stick no bigger then his thumb” Thus, the rule of thumb. Please avoid the

term and pass this along to others. Thanks. all the best Lori

Uh… OK. I don’t want to offend. Except… it’s not true.

There are lots of citations online (here’s one from England). Some of them are cruel in their attempt to debunk a an outspoken feminist and lesbian, Del Martin, who published this ‘fact’ in print.

That being said, it looks to me as if “rule of thumb” was never a reference to any English law&#185.

So, what to do? If I use the expression, I risk offending people – though only the misinformed. It is truly political correctness for the sake of political correctness.

I’m stumped. This should be such an easy decision, but it’s not.

&#185 – It also seems there was never any law, thumb sized or not, that allowed a husband to beat his wife.

One thought on “Politically Correct”

  1. My rule of thumb is to politely ask the person where they got their information and then to say I couldn’t find anything supporting them, but to the contrary.

    When done nicely, everyone learns. It’s what I do when someone sends a fake e-mail forward that they truely believe.

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