To quote that great baseball philosopher Yogi Berra, "I didn't really say everything I said." This seems to be the case in a story that was published this week about the results of an event at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic trials. These trials are taking place in Eugene,
Oregon all this week.
Tyson Gay is an American sprinter who won gold medals at the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4 x 100 meter at the 2007 World Championships last year in Osaka, Japan. Last week he was at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene Oregon, trying to make the U.S. Olympic Team.
On June 28 in the 100 meters quarterfinals, Gay finished in 9.77 seconds, setting an American record and going 3rd fastest all time. On the following day, in the same event, he finished first in what was called a wind-aided 9.68, the fastest 100 meter ever run under any conditions. Unfortunately for him, the wind was clocked at +4.1 meters/second and the world record does not count.
Even more unfortunate for Gay is the meeting up of automation and political correctness. Automation is the term for what happens when people are too lazy to do their job and want something else to do it for them. Hey, I work with computers and like the conveniences that automation brings me just like the next person, but that does not take all of the responsibility out of my hands.
The second thing is this whole political correctness thing. Political correctness is defined as the process of seeking to minimize offence with regard to gender, race, culture, age, ability, or other identity groups by changing language, policy, and/or behavior.
It appears that an article was picked up by OneNewsNow, a website that is run by the American Family Association; a Christian-based news and commentary source, and was published on their site. In and of itself, this, this is fine, it is what a lot of web based sites do to manage the flux of news items available and it allows them to keep their readers informed with a lot more information than would otherwise be available if writing everything themselves.
In this case, the problem stemmed from the fact that rather than just publishing the article, they ran it through a software program to clean up the language so that it fits more into their standards of publishing. The use of this kind of software is to me a problem. Sure, one obvious problem is that thinking that the software is a panacea and that it is a replacement for common sense as it is not, but in this case, it brought the real problem to light. Before I state my point, let me tell you what happened.