One result of this overly correct, non-offensive language is that terminology for referring to others has resulted in some strange, non-specific descriptions of people not previously accorded the terms "lady" or "gentlemen." For instance, I heard an employee of a bank which had been held up say that "the gentleman handed me a note demanding that I give him the money before he blew my ***** head off." Our secretary at work would tell me there was a gentleman waiting to see me. Expecting to find Alistair Cooke, I would instead be confronted with Stanley Kowalski. One hears cops reporting being "kicked in the balls" by a combative "lady." These usages render the words meaningless
I don't know what to do about this, other than to drop the terms "lady" and "gentleman" from our vocabularies, since they no longer have a place in our egalitarian society. We're all men and women here, with no need to categorize our selves as gentlefolk. We did win the revolution.