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air hostess

You know that I’m using an older dictionary when you see air hostess listed here. Political correctness protocols dictate that I swallow hemlock as punishment for even including it here, but the rule I set for myself when I started this project was that if it was a word or term and it appeared in The New Penguin English Dictionary (1986) then I would comment on it. No exceptions unless it’s not a word at all, such as a prefix or suffix.

So here we are at air hostess.

And what is the definition provided by the dictionary? An air hostess is a “stewardess on an airliner.”

Oh, my. I think I’m now expected to take two doses of hemlock in case the first dose didn’t kill me. Stewardess is also horribly politically incorrect.

I think the correct term is now flight attendant, unless someone has found that term to be offensive to someone or some group in some way.

To be clear, despite my snide remark, I’m in favor of doing away with the terms air hostess and stewardess and replacing them with a gender-neutral job title. Men are equally capable of doing those jobs, so there is no reason to pigeonhole women into it while men are pigeonholed into other jobs, such as mailmen (now letter carriers).

No, I’m not opposed to replacing gender-specific job titles with gender-neutral ones. It’s just that political correctness standards change so rapidly that I’m often behind the times and find myself using a term that I did not intend as offensive in anyway, but which someone or some group has taken offense to.

It’s not easy, is it?

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