The first action item on the agenda for the November meeting of the Holiday Committee on Political Correctness was the word “happy.”
In a sixty-four-slide PowerPoint, Neal pointed out that “happy” discriminated against those who were clinically depressed, which included most of the committee members themselves, ironically enough—a depression that was heightened, furthermore, in Neal’s somewhat circular reasoning, during the holidays.
After a heated discussion, the committee voted 6 to 3 to eliminate “happy” from holidays.
The next action item was more an issue of semantics than that of political correctness. It had to do with the exclamation point.
Was it still appropriate to yell out “Holidays!”? The problem was that without the accompanying “Happy,” what did this now mean? Was it meant as a warning, as in something to beware of, to be on the hyper-vigilant lookout for. Watch out! Holidays!
In a much more heated discussion, the committee voted 5 to 4 to eliminate the exclamation point from all holiday greetings, whether in written (print or digital), verbal, nonverbal or any other unforeseeable, future communicative formats. But the feeling was that the committee could not offer the world a naked Holidays. (It should be pointed out that the members did not use the word “naked.” They said, “clothing-challenged.”)
A Holidays without punctuation only left the door open for possible punctuation intruders, including that ever-inquisitive hook thing, and those three dots, whatever they were called, that could only lead to Santa knows where.
Thus, finally, “holidays” was given a full stop: Holidays.
The word itself still had to abide by other grammatical rules, of course, and could be used (the committee unequivocally agreed), whenever appropriate, in a sentence. For instance, and even if the verdict was out on “peace” (the first action item for the December meeting), for now, at least, it was still politically correct to say, “Peace and holidays to everyone.”