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BS: Political Correctness

Frankham 24 Sep 00 - 01:05 PM
MarkS 23 Sep 00 - 08:47 PM
mousethief 23 Sep 00 - 08:01 PM
bbelle 23 Sep 00 - 07:17 PM
CamiSu 23 Sep 00 - 07:05 PM
bbelle 23 Sep 00 - 05:15 PM
DougR 23 Sep 00 - 04:57 PM
bbelle 22 Sep 00 - 05:26 PM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 05:22 PM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 04:39 PM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 04:19 PM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 04:15 PM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 04:10 PM
DougR 22 Sep 00 - 04:06 PM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 02:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Sep 00 - 02:07 PM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 01:15 PM
Lepus Rex 22 Sep 00 - 01:09 PM
Wolfgang 22 Sep 00 - 12:57 PM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 12:03 PM
Lepus Rex 22 Sep 00 - 11:31 AM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 11:21 AM
leprechaun 22 Sep 00 - 10:07 AM
CamiSu 22 Sep 00 - 10:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Sep 00 - 05:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 22 Sep 00 - 05:22 AM
Ringer 22 Sep 00 - 03:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Sep 00 - 05:03 PM
Uncle_DaveO 21 Sep 00 - 03:01 PM
Lonesome EJ 21 Sep 00 - 02:41 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 21 Sep 00 - 02:15 PM
Ringer 21 Sep 00 - 01:27 PM
rabbitrunning 21 Sep 00 - 10:50 AM
GUEST 21 Sep 00 - 10:23 AM
Ringer 21 Sep 00 - 10:15 AM
bob schwarer 21 Sep 00 - 06:37 AM
Lepus Rex 20 Sep 00 - 07:33 PM
Penny S. 20 Sep 00 - 06:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Sep 00 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,petr 20 Sep 00 - 01:58 PM
Airto 20 Sep 00 - 12:52 PM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Sep 00 - 12:42 PM
rabbitrunning 20 Sep 00 - 12:16 PM
GUEST 20 Sep 00 - 12:13 PM
Little Hawk 20 Sep 00 - 09:46 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Sep 00 - 08:57 AM
Airto 20 Sep 00 - 07:26 AM
Ebbie 20 Sep 00 - 02:11 AM
Terry K 20 Sep 00 - 01:15 AM
Little Hawk 19 Sep 00 - 10:30 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Frankham
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 01:05 PM

The problem as I see it is that the term "Politically Correct" which emanated from the left wing movement as a criticism of itself became a political tool for those who adovocate hate politics.

Refraining from referring to someone by a derogatory name is not "political correctness" as I understand the term.

It applies to an acceptance and unasailability of an orthodoxy of a system of government. Using racial epithets or derogatory language in a dramatic context to enlighten folks against this kind of practice is useful as in the intent of Twain's sympathy for the plight of his character in Tom Sawyer.

Also, under controlled circumstances and in the proper context, a song might be presented for historical reasons to show a particular period of history even if it was obnoxious without offense if taken in the proper spirit by an audience. Here, an editorial policy on the part of the performer is in order.

Those who holler ethnic slurs can't hide behind the line of defense that castigates enlightened people from recoiling in protest or disgust by calling them PC.

In short, the term PC is now being used as a political weapon by those with malice. They know they offend and sort of roll in it like a pig in you know what.

I applaud Rick's "Ethically Conscious" like to see this being added to the dialogue.

There is this: those who defend the use of inappropriate racial slurs because they follow a system of logic that says it's ok for them to do it could also be called PC. It cuts both ways.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: MarkS
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 08:47 PM

Everybody should come to Pennsylvania. Here we tell Amish jokes with no problem at all.
Since they don't read the newspapers, listen to the radio, or watch television, so they don't know to get indignant about the behavior of the rest of us!
MarkS


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: mousethief
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 08:01 PM

Native Alaskans have had nothing but grief, it seems, since the purchase. In the book "Orthodox Alaska" it tells of how the US gov't sent Presbyterian "missionaries" to the "heathens" -- the people in question were Russian Orthodox, and their priests were all Alaska-born natives (some of mixed blood but many pure Tlingit/etc.). They were told that they were Americans now and their prayer books and gospel books, written in the cyrillic alphabet but in their various tribal languages, were burned, and their children were forcibly removed from their parents and sent to boarding schools on the mainland where they were "Americanized."

My heart goes out to the natives of Alaska, and it pains me to hear your story, although I'm glad you mentioned it.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: bbelle
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 07:17 PM

Cami Su ... Not so suprising, considering this is the same person who, upon discovering I'm Jewish, said:

"Huh. I never seen a Jewesh person before. Your nose ain't big like the rest of 'em. Good thing. giggle giggle giggle"

Please note - The above are not typos or grammatical errors. It is written verbatim.

No, it isn't acceptable. I left that job, within a few weeks, because of the way people "talked." And, it was quite evident that I didn't fit into whatever niche they'd carved for themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: CamiSu
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 07:05 PM

Moonjen,

That is astonishing! I can hardly believe anyone in the US in this day and age would then continue with her explanation, given your reaction. Impolite AND insensitive, or is the word 'numb'?

Not acceptable here.

Cami Su


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: bbelle
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 05:15 PM

Doug: Exactly my sentiments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: DougR
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 04:57 PM

Moonjen: Nope. DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: bbelle
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 05:26 PM

I moved from Portland, Oregon, to Fairbanks, Alaska, and the culture shock was enormous. The worst was in the prejudice against the Eskimos and Indians. I couldn't believe the bigotry and the words used to describe these wonderful people. And, lest someone wants to point out to me this Eskimo or that Indian, who did this or that, just as in real life, there are those who do not make their heritage proud. My point is not the latter, but the fact that, no matter who they are, they are treated with abject prejudice. Remember, I'm talking about Fairbanks, specifically, and cannot speak for Juneau, Anchorage, etc.

One day I mentioned to a group, with whom I worked, that I was going blueberry picking with my sis. Without batting an eye, one of them told me to be careful of the "niggerheads." My chin hit the floor. I asked her if she didn't mean "tussocks?" She said oh, yeah, but the tops are all nappy like "nigger's hair," so that's what everyone calls them. When my sis and I arrived at the berry patch, I asked her what these "things" are called. She looked at me very straight and said "tussocks, but some people have a different name for them."

Again, this occurred in Fairbanks and I have no knowledge whether the term is used in other locals, not is it everyone in Fairbanks, who used the term, because there are many who wouldn't.

So, if a prejudicial term is acceptable to a region of people, is it acceptable to all?


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 05:22 PM

Thanks for the link Alex. YOU can be the one to tell Rachael though;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:39 PM

Tribal leaders can be wrong. I'm sure you'll agree, one doesn't have to be a WASP to be fooled by an urban legend. :-)

CLICKY (The Straight Dope)

Thanks for the compliment on the songs. I think it's the one thing I do reasonably well (although that is always open for debate!).

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:19 PM

Well my daughter got it from her tribal leaders - but what would they know?

BTW Alex, I love your additions to the Mudcat Songbook. Great songs are what this place is all about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:15 PM

The "Squaw"="Prostitute" thing is an urban myth. Look at snopes.com.

We had a creek here (near Seattle) called "Nigger Creek" which the WHITE folks worked hard to change the name of, but the BLACK folks wanted it kept, because it was a historical marker of the fact that a black man homesteaded there in our state's pioneer days. His name was something boring like Johnson, and the powers-that-be ultimately changed the name of the creek to Johnson Creek in his honor, but that (according to the people fighting the name change) doesn't relay the fact that a large chunk of Snohomish County was owned by a freedman in the mid-to-late 1800s to the person driving over the creek or seeing it on a map.

PC is funny business, ain't it?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:10 PM

My daughter tells me that Squaw means prostitute. I would suggest that that's what they be called from now on.

'Prostitue Peak' has a nice ring to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: DougR
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:06 PM

We have a mountain peak here in Phoenix, Arizona, that has always been referred to as "Squaw Peak." A relatively new freeway that runs by "Squaw Peak" is also named the "Squaw Peak Expressway."

There have been several efforts made since PC became popular to change the name of both of them. Leaders of the movement to change are two young Native American girls who have had some success in getting various name changes made in the West because they felt the names (Native American related) were not PC. So far, the peak and the freeway names have not been changed.

Do I think the names should be changed? No.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:15 PM

Ironically there is some pressure (not a lot) to get the Cleveland Indians to change the name of their team. This is ironic because the team was named in honor of an actual Native American baseball player from the early years of the 1900's (whose name (alas!) I have forgotten).

Ignorance is a dangerous thing. (and I should know!)

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:07 PM

Getting back to Seminoles and Utes and so forth - if it was Seminoles and Utes etc objecting, I could relate to that. "First the bastards steal our country - now they are stealing our names". But from what's been said here that doesn't seem to be where the objections came.

But I'd see it as only elementary good manners in such a case to get the approval of the tribal council or whatever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:15 PM

So what you're saying, Lepus, is that your education is niggardly but your vocabulary ain't?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:09 PM

Wow, I missed that last story, Wolfgang. It'd be almost funny if it weren't so sad that a college student was ignorant of the meaning and etymology of the word 'niggardly.' That's a word I've known since... I was a kid. And I ain't got no book-learnin'. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:57 PM

Which affair (D. Howard) was made even more complicated since Howard was the first openly gay appointee of the Mayor and the respective pressure group intervened on Howards behalf (he was rehired).

The affair led to some remarkable citations as:

'You hate to think you have to censor your language to meet other people's lack of understanding,'

and to follow up protests:

Student Demands 'Niggardly' be Prohibited at University of Wisconsin (02/03/99) Student Amelia Rideau is upset that her professor used the 'N-ardly' word at least twice: Once on Jan. 25 during a class on 14th-century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, and once in a subsequent class to explain the word's meaning. Ms. Rideau was outraged, and is demanding the UW implement a speech code which would punish anyone using what she described as 'offensive' language - including the 'N-ardly' word. She urged the university not to require proof of intent before punishing verbal villains such as her professor.

According to the Star Tribune: "Upset about the word' s similarity to a racial slur, Rideau talked to her professor, who then explained the word' s background, she said. On Friday, the professor repeated the word and defined it for the class, Rideau said. Angry he revisited the topic after she asked him not to, Rideau began to cry and stormed from the room. On Monday, she brought three black friends with her to the class for support, she said." (Associated Press, via Star Tribune 02/03/99) [link http://www2.startribune.com/cgi-bin/stOnLine/article?thisStory=70706124 ]

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:03 PM

Thanks for finding him, I couldn't remember who he was either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 11:31 AM

bert, I was going to mention that guy earlier, but couldn't remember his name. That was Washington D.C. ombudsman David Howard, and he was actually forced to resign. I belive he was re-hired later. Here's an article from Salon. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 11:21 AM

And what about that guy who got fired for saying 'niggardly'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: leprechaun
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 10:07 AM

Q. How many politically correct people does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. THAT'S NOT FUNNY!


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: CamiSu
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 10:02 AM

Gee, seems like I'm too late, it's all been said, and wrapped up. However, I would add my voice to those that say some words are hateful in themselves, (I still can feel the hurt/shock I felt, when a classmate called my friend 'nigger', which I'm sure wasn't a patch on what SHE felt.) Some I know are slurs, but I don't know against who, (and thanks moonjen for educating me that one, I'd never known who that referred to) and others are simply identifiers used with no malice. (I am a short, brown-haired, middle-aged --oh no! that hurts!--woman of mostly European ancestry. Lots of words.) I use the word Traveller with respect and I think it has been pretty clear on this forum that most people have meant it that way.

I DO think that overboard PC, such as the NY State stuff and avoiding words that only SOUND like slurs (engine? Oh, PLEASE!!!) Maybe some people need to carry a dictionary.

That said I think there needs to be, as well as careful listening, careful speaking. Little Hawk, it is not just listeners that need to avoid laziness. It is more work to think about what we say, but it is worth what we gain as our children learn to be more and more accepting of differences, until tolerance turns to welcome.

p.s. Pitr, what if the stories of the totems were written, either by the artist (who is certainly telling the original story) or by a member of that particular clan? Then the stories don't get lost, and the restrictions are met. Respect on both sides.

Cami Su


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 05:52 AM

"But would you advise against it, McGrath, on the grounds that it would be wrong (or insensitive or demeaning or whatever) or merely that it would stir up a hornets' nest?"

Primarily on the former grounds. But you never can tell, there might be a parent or a brother of someone with a learning disability standing next to you. And more strength to their elbow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 05:22 AM

Seeing as I started the thread I guess I had better try to round it off?

Seems like everyone is in some sort of agreement that racist/sexist/anything-else-ist slurs are a problem. On the other hand political correctness, in my opionion and that of a good few contributers, seems to cause its own problems as well.

We are all, hopefuly, like minded, mature individuals here. We don't need the rules applied by the humourless beaurocrats of Whitehall, Washington or wherever else in the world. Let's use our common sense instead. Don't make purposely offensive statements but don't, on the other hand, take offense at anyone requesting or posting songs with offensive lyrics.

Words and meanings change constantly. Just because I sing about a gay fuselier doesn't mean I am promoting or decrying homosexuality in the armed forces. I don't, however, sing my Suzie, she's a niggers gal because I feel uncomfortable with the term. (Original version of the Hooker John shanty BTW - I substitute the word with sailor and it scans just as well.)

At the end of the day if we are good at self government we will not need interference from the thought police at all!

Cheers one and all for submitting and making an interesting and informative discussion.

Dave the gnome, still British and proud of it. or should I say Dave the verticaly challenged, Vive la France!


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Ringer
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:49 AM

But would you advise against it, McGrath, on the grounds that it would be wrong (or insensitive or demeaning or whatever) or merely that it would stir up a hornets' nest? If the former, then I might want to debate your reasoning but if you convinced me then I wouldn't make the joke. If the latter, then I think I'd pack antihistamine but joke away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:03 PM

"I'm afraid I can't see the problem with the "little moron" jokes: they can, surely, only be seen as slurs against the intellectually deficient by joyless humourless oafs with no imagination. They're merely puns on the word moron."

Well I suppose you could think up punning jokes about "little Nigger" or "little Yid" too if you set your mind to it. But I wouldn't advise it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 03:01 PM

Here in Indiana, what might be Polack, Finnlander, or Moron jokes are often Kentuckian jokes.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 02:41 PM

DaveO...Kentuckian Jokes?! What's this? Actually,my daughter had The Drew Carey Show on last night and I heard what I suppose was a Kentuckian Joke...

Drew- "I couldn't get to first base with her."

Drew's Pal- "Oh? What exactly is first base?"

Drew- "I'm not sure,but in Kentucky second base is a barrel."

Lame joke. And consider this. Drew Carey and Catspaw are Ohioans. Abraham Lincoln and I are from Kentucky. I rest my case.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 02:15 PM

I think the PC craze seems to work backwards. In other words, after hearing protestations over short(Vertically Challenged), poor (Financially disadvantaged), and so on ad nauseum, then the joke versions ie; garbageman/sanitation engineer, the real injustices tend to get lumped in and discredited with the fake. It's very much like the African American who swears hid diarrhea is the direct result of the white man or the high school drop out of some minority who insists that NASA passed him ove for that white, male, Protestant, graduate of MIT, based on skin color. Enough of these and the genuine unfair hiring practice get laughed at.

I will admit, on the other hand, that I once told a friend (with all the feigned indignation I could muster with a straight face) that I would prefer to be called a "European American"

Slán,
Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Ringer
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:27 PM

Which bit's not surprising, GUEST? If you want to argue, you must address my argument, not my (admittedly feeble) attempts at humour in another thread. There, you'll have noticed, I also refer to the English (my own nation) as revolting. I'm making a pun: revolting can mean "being in a state of revolt" as well as "inspiring revulsion". In the pre-PC days, puns used to be reckoned humourous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 10:50 AM

As a children's librarian I run into people all the time who think that no one outside a culture can possibly interpret anything about someone or something from that culture. These people get annoyed with me for telling or singing African/South American/African-American/etc. folktales and songs because I'm white.

Then I get the people who think that children should only ever hear stories and songs from their "own" culture. They get mad at me for telling Irish/French/Polish/Norwegian/etc. stories or songs to "children of color."

The kids don't care. If the story's a good one, they want to hear it again and again and again.

I liked the early sixties, when Multiculturalism meant that everybody sang everybody's songs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 10:23 AM

Not surprising, considering you call the French 'revolting'


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Ringer
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 10:15 AM

I'm afraid I can't see the problem with the "little moron" jokes: they can, surely, only be seen as slurs against the intellectually deficient by joyless humourless oafs with no imagination. They're merely puns on the word moron. Doesn't PC allow puns?

(I must confess that I can't think of the funny replies to Little Hawk's examples - except possibly the first - so I've assumed they're all in the same category as the only such joke I can remember: There were two morons on a bridge. Why did only the big one fall off? Because the other was a little more on.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: bob schwarer
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 06:37 AM

This from http://bonehead.oddballs.com/

Bonehead award three goes to the Boeing Company. It's a political correctness gone mad award.

Now this is dangerous because the last time I gave Boeing a bonehead award they started bouncing all the mailings that go to Boeing employees. But we'll give it a go anyway. I received the following from a Boeing employee, Lynda. Thanks, Lynda! In Lynda's words:

Y'know those big round things that hang from the wings of a jet airplane - the things that make it go?

Well, here in Boeing's 737 factory we have recently been informed that we may not call them "engines" anymore. Seems that somebody got offended because "engine" sounds too much like "Injun" and they felt it was a racial slur. We are supposed to call them "powerplants" now. Really.

What next?

Bob S.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 07:33 PM

Thread creep, here: Dave, yeah, Finns were one of the nationalities considered 'less than white' back in the old days, due to their Uralic language and (by Swedish standards) often 'Eastern' looks. A friend of mine has actually talked to people up North who feared her because she's Finnish; some folks up there still think Finnish and Saami people all know witchcraft ("Whoa, like, I was just kidding about Finnlanders... You're not gonna, like, curse me, are you?"). Sort of sad, but SHE enjoyed it:)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 06:52 PM

The way I learned it, cretinism was related to iodine deficiency, and a collection of symptoms found in people who developed as foetuses where the element was in short supply, where adults might be found with goitre. It included a failure of brain development. Rather different from simply age relating the development, but it doesn't excuse the term being used as an insult.

A friend of mine asked me about the insult "paki unit", not recognising the second part. I knew. We have a special needs language unit attached to our school, and the children there are referred to as units, with the same derogatory meaning as cretin etc. We try to stop it...

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 02:13 PM

I quite agree, Airto. With accuracy and tactfully there's nothing wrong with them. People are insulted when there is an intent of insulting; and when there is an inaccuracy which is insulting in itself. "Didacoi" is perhaps a different matter from "gypsy" or "traveller" - in a way it's a word like "half-caste". I've never heard it used except when there is a hostile intent.

"What's black and blue and floats in the bay?" The last fella that told a Newfie joke in here..." I'd like to think that's based on a true incident. And there's versions of that for "Irish jokes" and "Polack jokes" and "Kerryman jokes" and the rest. But probably not for "moron jokes", which makes them a good bit worse than the others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 01:58 PM

In Canada now, the term is first nations (as opposed to Native Indian). The story that I would like to relate is about the west coast nations that took offense when staff in the UBC museum of anthropology would explain the story behind totem poles to tourists. Now, each totem pole is somewhat like a coat of arms or family crest and often involves a tale involving animals such as ravens, killer whales etc. But in recent years it has come to light that the story of a given totem pole or carving can only be told by a member of that family. It cannot be told by anyone. In their culture that would be a terrible offense and might offend the spirits of their ancestors or some such reason. It got to the point when the museum staff would explain the meaning behind the beautifully carved entrance doors (by well known Haida artist Bill Reid who was of mixed heritage) first nations protesters would stand at their side and cry "you cannot tell that story, you have no right". Consequently the museum staff no longer do so, they simply say they cannot tell the story. My only reaction to that is that it is a little sad that that it is a kind of censorship - that it would be offensive to them for anyone to tell the folktale. Also, that the tales themselves will inevitably be lost as the families disappear. Essentially it is about respect for one cultures beliefs and values. A few years ago there was a lawsuit of human rights violations brought by group of Sikhs who were refused entry (at a cab drivers convention) because the hall they rented was a Royal Canadian Legion and the rules of every legion hall require that all headgear be removed out of respect. The outcome ultimately was that the legion hall had to alter their rules.. but who decides which cultures rules take predence or which is more valid. Similarly in a court case involving a trial of the Air India bombing (in which over 300 perished, and yet received scant coverage in the US), when a defence lawyer mentioned that all Sikhs are bound by their religion to carry a ceremonial sword and the judge mentioned that no weapons are allowed in the courtroom there was an uproar. Petr


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Airto
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:52 PM

I felt I needed some clarification, McGrath, because I'd noticed some people vowing in this and other current threads to stop using the terms traveller and gypsy on the grounds that they cause offence.

Would you agree that, when used with precision, these terms are not in themselves derogatory, and are in fact useful? And that there's no need for people to ditch them?


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:42 PM

In Minnesota,years ago, the Polack, Ethnickian, Kentuckian (et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam) jokes showed up frequently as Finnlander jokes.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:16 PM

Nope, sorry, the little moron jokes were still very much around on the playgrounds when I was a kid in Denver in the mid-to-late 1960's. Mind you, we took moron to mean someone who was too dumb to put an ice cream cone in his mouth instead of on his forehead, so even at the age of ten I thought that they were cartoons. We moved to Omaha when I was fourteen. There I heard a lot of the same jokes (from Polish friends) as Polack jokes and was appalled!


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 12:13 PM

Yes, 4 words: imbecile, idiot, moron, and cretin are all scientific words that were created to catagorise the level of metal retardation of adults and children. The terms identify at what age level a person's mental capacity is. They are classed as syndromes as well, e.g. cretinism. Not funny.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 09:46 AM

The word "moron", curiously enough, spawned (!) an entire genre of jokes when my mother was a kid, back in the 30's and 40's. They were like Newfie jokes or elephant jokes...

What did the little moron say when his bicycle fell over...?

What did the little moron do when the moon was blue...?

How do you get a little moron to tie his shoes?

And so on, and so on...apparently there were hundreds of them, all using the term "little moron".

Strange, eh? Has anyone else heard about this particular variety of running joke? It appears to have run its course by the end of the 40's. And I think we can all be thankful for that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 08:57 AM

I didn't mean to say that traveller - spell it how you like - is a term to avoid. It's as good a term as any to refer to people who have a wandering way of life, either of their own choosing or because it has been forced on them.

But it needs to be used with tact, and it's as well to be aware of the different meanings it has. (I once met someone who had assumed that that "No travellers" in a pub meant no "commercial travellers" coming in and trying to get the landlady or the customers to buy things they don't need, like double-glazing or extra insurance.) If someone would sooner be called a Gypsy, that's the word you use.

And please, could we do without using that nasty word "moron" - it's got too many associations from its origins as a nasty term used by nasty pseudo-scientists: moron.n A term used by American psychologists and criminologists of children and adult persons of feeble, undeveloped, or degenerate mind or character. (Dictionary definition.)

And I'm not objecting because I think using the word insults the kind of people Dave Dressup used it of by likening them to people with learning difficulties, but because it insults people with learning difficulties by likening them to insensitive oafs like the people Dave is referring to.

(Other than that I think what Dave Dressup says is pretty spot-on. Except I'd extend "violence" to include the kind of hostility and suspicion that lies behind it, and is often present even when outright violence does not occur.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Airto
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 07:26 AM

Some words are clearly pejorative and always were, such as nigger, kike and wop. Others, such as tinker, have become pejorative (something to do with the way certain people spit it out, I think). And others still, such as coloured and alien, while sounding neutral are in fact discriminatory because of the concept of otherness they contain.

But isn't there another category comprised by words which are in themselves OK even though the group being described is oppressed? To my mind, the existence of pubs with 'No Traveller' signs doesn't make the term traveller pejorative in itself any more than the 'No blacks or Irish' signs, which used to be commonplace in England, put those terms out of bounds.

Finally, I would like to know into which of the above categories people think the term gypsy should go. It is only in the last few days that I've become aware of possible doubts about its acceptability.


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 02:11 AM

Look again, Spaw: if your referring to LH's "...it's normal courtesy", he's kerect.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Terry K
Date: 20 Sep 00 - 01:15 AM

I'm not sure you're using the word "pedantic" in its strictly correct meaning.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: Political Correctness
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Sep 00 - 10:30 PM

I know that, Spaw, but GEEEZ! Now I gotta look through the whole damn posting and find out which "its" or "it's" you mean...and even then I can't fix it. It's a real drag and it's not even worth its own amount of time to do so...is it?

What say we launch a "pedantic grammar nazi" thread?

On second thought...NO! Anything but open that can of worms again.


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