A loaded multi-meaning phrase.
I am writing a longer blog posting about this topic. However here is one observation in advance.
When I hear and read some people complaining that they hate political correctness, it is rather easy to see, based on what they say and write, that what they are really saying is:
“I am butthurt because I am not able to make assholish or stupid comments without somebody pointing it out in public”
When I was growing up in the UK, I used to meet people from Yorkshire a lot, since I went to college in Manchester. A lot of people from Yorkshire pride themselves on being “plain speaking”, “telling it like it is” etc. etc. Some of them are refreshingly direct. However, I soon discovered that some of them were, in fact, tactless or boorish assholes. Their rationalization for the pathology was “plain speaking”. It was just that, a lame rationalization.
So. when you hear somebody complaining about political correctness, take some time out to observe what they say and how they say it. They might be direct, and not interested in euphemism, indirect speech or other forms of verbal evasion. On the other hand, they might just be behaving like a jerk.
Political Correctness – Short version