The NZ Herald Business Editor took to Twitter earlier today:
Erm. Thanks Fran.
I have always been more amused than offended by the term “nigger” – which after all, is nothing more or less than a Southern American mispronunciation of “negro”. Oops, you are probably not allowed to say “negro” any more either – Spanish for “black”. Oops, “black” is off limits too – the pc term is now the ludicrous “person of colour”. Which includes everyone, does it not ?
And don’t forget Asian reaches from the Mediterranean to the China sea and the Indian (Asian) Ocean.
Gasp! They’re being invisiblemanist!
Even more ludicrously, saying “person of colour” is OK, but “coloured person” is evil. Just ask Benedict Cumberbatch who was crucified for that faux pas recently.
It seems to be a general rule that whenever the original term used to refer to a particular group of people becomes unacceptable, the long winded euphemism which is used to replace it then acquires the negative connotations associated with the original term, and a new, even more long winded euphemism has to be coined. This then mutates into a term which is also unacceptable, and so on, ad infinitum.
Most of us never used terms like “nigger” in any malicious sense; it had fallen out of use by the time I knew what it meant, to be replaced by “black people”. These were simple expressions allowed one to refer to a specific group of people with some useful economy of speech.
All languages and culture have these expressions, but it seems that only the ones formerly used in english speech are considered beyond the pale. I am quite happy to avoid using expressions which are obviously offensive, but I do object to the degree of self censorship which is now required in everyday speech, to avoid someone taking offence where none is intended; the whole concept of “microaggressions” seems to have been developed to silence white people from expressing any opinion whatsoever.
I can’t help thinking that the entire process was best skewered by George Orwell in 1984, and that its purpose is to prevent us, the ignorant proles, from being able to exercise any political analysis or critical thought on the ideas which the left is pushing, to the detriment of civilised life.
edit – spelling corrections
This is a recognised process. It’s called the euphemism treadmill.
Thanks for that. I should have known that there would be a name for it.
If it walks,talks,acts & looks like a Duck,I’ll call it a Duck. If being called a Duck is offensive to you then…
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Last Updated: 2016-09-29 11:00:03