Visualize sitting in the front row of a philosophy lecture, Contemporary Moral Problems to be more specific. The topic stated on the syllabus for the day says, "Homosexuality." Although the issue seems to be clear, the teacher walks in and reinstates the itinerary only he casually substitutes the word gay with the word fag. A number of jaws drop, while other students accept the term without any consideration.
This scenario may be a little radical, but it emphasizes how the everyday usage of politically incorrect words within professional settings continues to promote what is common over what is right. In addition, most students are initially conditioned to believe that anything a teacher says must be true. They are authority figures to students and to some they also play the part of role models. The classroom is a professional environment in which the processes of teaching and learning are exchanged. If a teacher uses certain language in the classroom, then the students are going to think that they may also use similar language in the classroom, as well as other professional settings.
While it may be true that, by definition, the word fag is not obscene it is still offensive depending upon the perceiver.
It is also true that change does not come easy and due to particularized paradigms people find it even harder to revolutionize old habits. Nevertheless, with time little word substitutions here and there will help people to develop a more PC vocabulary. For example, instead of a person using the word fireman, which inherently suggests that firemen are of the male gender, this person can use the word firefighter, in order to relieve any implications that this person may be a man, but, rather, that this person can be either a man or a woman. This subtle...