I’ve not been able to figure it out yet – I’m not even sure where I saw it – but I’d love to know, not for any particular reason, which clever user of languages came up with the idea of calling jobless people Underemployed.
I’ve seen many strange descriptions over the last few years but this one – as a way of being Politically Correct perhaps? – really strikes me as being totally inappropriate and fake. It’s like calling a child who has not yet gone to school Undereducated, a person with a smaller stature Undergrown, a person who doesn’t vote Underpolitical. A movement to advance the idea of the Underaged and make younger people feel a little bit better about their position in society, or simply a means of cutting more people from the Un(der)employment lists?
To my way of thinking, society would be better off if we used our language in a way that everyone can understand. That doesn’t necessarily mean using words which we all agree are insulting or inappropriate – but it also doesn’t mean re-writing works by Mark Twain – but certainly cutting out words, or attempts at words, which try to sugarcoat reality in some way and, by doing so, create a false impression. For me, an underemployed person is someone with a job, but not enough work to fill their time or their potential and not someone who hasn’t got a place of employment at all.
- Viktoria Michaelis.