"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


I Spoke with a Politically-Correct Dictionary

I Spoke with a Politically-Correct Dictionary

He loved to tell me I was wrong and he could prove it from his pages within.

So, I took him up on this declaration.

I asked the dictionary, “What is the opposite of the word life?”

He replied “choice”.

Looking puzzled, I asked if he meant death.

He told me I was wrong and showed me the entry. “Those that are pro-life want mothers and society to suffer. Those that are pro-choice want Nirvana and bliss. Thus, the opposite of life is choice.”

Now he had my curiosity.

“You used the word pro. Is the opposite of the word pro, the word con?”

“Silly man, everybody knows the words pro and con are synonyms. They mean the same thing.” He opened his pages to proudly show me. ”Pro means moving forward to right the wrongs of the past and ensure that everyone has the same amount of stuff. To accomplish this requires heavy taxes and many new laws limiting individual rights. It takes a village for everyone to be exactly equal. Thus to have progress toward utopia, it takes Congress to make sure it happens. It is all so very simple, pro and con are the same thing.”

Now I began to worry.

I asked the dictionary, “What is an illegal alien?”

He abruptly and sternly told me, “no such term exists”.

“But, if you enter the country by breaking the laws of the country, you have performed an illegal action. If no one knows you are in the country, you are an alien. Combine the both and you are an illegal alien.”

The Politically Correct Dictionary offered a smile that only a dictionary would recognize as a smile. “Young man, your choice of language needs to EVOLVE so as not to offend people who have suffered and need to be taught about democratic principles from true Democrats so they know who to reward during the next election. What you are referring to is the term, undocumented worker. These are the people who need to be in this country despite the racist, bigoted, homophobic, anti-flavor-of-the-month policies currently embraced by people with a capital R at the end of their name. Favorably espoused by all media outlets that care enough to tell the truth using the exact same words at the exact same time, undocumented workers are here to perform jobs Americans will not perform. No one requires their identification or loyalty to the country, only to the political party with Democrat principles.”

I had to ask. “Don’t you mean democratic principles?”

The dictionary replied smugly. “They too are the same thing.”

I countered. “What if these undocumented workers decided to place a capital R at the end of their last name and began registering to vote in the upcoming midterm elections?”

I began to smell smoke when the Politically Correct Dictionary started to convulse.

Or, maybe the Politically Correct Dictionary started to provulse.

I suddenly had an urge to move far away.  


With degrees in physics and chemistry, Andy Betz has tutored and taught in excess of 30 years. His novel, short stories, and poems are works still defining his style. He lives in 1974, has been married for 26 years, and collects occupations (the current tally is 95).

Cover photo by Pisit Heng on Unsplash

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