There is nothing wrong with being solicitous of other’s feelings. That’s courtesy. But if you choose not to be courteous — and in today’s political climate, it often helps to make the point forcefully — that doesn’t mean you are somehow required to take responsibility for someone else’s desire to take your meaning and pervert it, then lay claim to it.
As my Bennett example showed, this procedure of finding offense can happen no matter how careful you are. As the Snow example showed, someone can even concede your intent, then still turn around and argue that the signifiers (not the signs, or words) you chose could potentially offend someone, and that you should therefore have found another way of saying the thing. (…)
It is, in short, an extended call to lose the war more slowly.