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Picture of Kalleh
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Hey, for once I agree with Trump. Since he doesn't seem to think anything is politically incorrect, he must not think the word "oriental" is politically incorrect. Neither do I.

Here is an article that agrees with me. It is written by Jayne Tsuchiyama, a doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in Honolulu. She, like me, does not think it should be considered wrong to use. Jeff Yang, a San Francisco columnist, describes what many think the problem is:
quote:
The problem with “Oriental,” San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jeff Yang told NPR, is that “When you think about it, the term … feels freighted with luggage. You know, it’s a term which you can’t think of without having that sort of the smell of incense and the sound of a gong kind of in your head.” In other words it makes Asians sound exotic because it was in circulation at a time when exoticizing stereotypes were prevalent.
Apparently it perpetuates racism, discrimination and disrespect. However, the author asks how it can perpetuate racism when, in fact, "A wave of anti-Oriental discrimination is not sweeping the country."

What do you think?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Hey, for once I agree with Trump.


Who are you and what have you done with the real Kalleh?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,
 
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Since "Oriental" derives from the Latin word for "East," I guess it depends on geography. To Bob, given his present location, WE are the orientals!

I don't think it's non-PC.
 
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When deciding if a word is offensive the only question is "do the people you are talking to consider it offensive?" I know people who find "oriental" offensive, so I don't use it.
 
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I think the Chinks and the Nips are too thin-skinned.


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quote:
I know people who find "oriental" offensive, so I don't use it.
Who are they, goofy? Are they Asians - or those from other races? The point of the author, an Asian who lives in an area with many Asians, is that people of her race don't consider it a slur at all. If it is a slur to me or you, but not to Asians, who cares? If anyone can be offended by anything, we'd all have to be silent.

Of course, the author may be wrong. There may be some Asians who take it as a slur. In her opinion, Asians are merely bemused by the fact that we don't use the word.
 
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It's interesting that you use "Asians" so frequently. Over here, the word would normally refer to people with an Indian, Pakistani or Sri Lankan heritage. That's because many people from the Indian peninsula came here in the past as they were part of the (former) British Raj.

We'd usually refer to Chinese/Japanese/Korean, etc., peoples by the name of their country if possible, otherwise, if not known, we might call them "East Asians". "Oriental" is rather old-fashioned and smacks of Fu Manchu, the Wily Oriental authored by Sax Rohmer from the first half of the twentieth century. He was the archetype of the "Yellow Peril" villain.

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"Oriental" is rather old-fashioned and smacks of Fu Manchu,


What country named the Orient Express?


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Nollidj is power.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
quote:
I know people who find "oriental" offensive, so I don't use it.
Who are they, goofy? Are they Asians - or those from other races? The point of the author, an Asian who lives in an area with many Asians, is that people of her race don't consider it a slur at all. If it is a slur to me or you, but not to Asians, who cares? If anyone can be offended by anything, we'd all have to be silent.


Isn't it enough to know that someone is offended by a word I am using? It doesn't matter who they are, and it doesn't matter what I think of the word.
 
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Isn't it enough to know that someone is offended by a word I am using?

If I am offended by every possible slur or insult, does that mean you must be silent?

Since you have no way of knowing what words I may find repugnant, you cannot voice an opinion about anything.


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Nollidj is power.
 
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Originally posted by Proofreader:
quote:
Isn't it enough to know that someone is offended by a word I am using?

If I am offended by every possible slur or insult, does that mean you must be silent?

Since you have no way of knowing what words I may find repugnant, you cannot voice an opinion about anything.


Of course not. If you're offended by a word I use, you tell me, and I stop using the word.
 
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you tell me, and I stop using the word.

That isn't the point. Why should the wishes of one inhibit everyone?


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I don't understand. I explained how I judge if a word is offensive, because others were giving their opinions about whether "Oriental" was offensive. I'm not sure how we got from there to the wishes of one inhibiting everyone.
 
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quote:
you tell me, and I stop using the word.

OK. In general, or just when you are around thhat particular person?


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Nollidj is power.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
quote:
you tell me, and I stop using the word.

OK. In general, or just when you are around thhat particular person?


in general. But I don't think I really used the word in the first place.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
 
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If the slur is widespread, fine. But if someone is offended by some word (and I've heard some weird ones) we have to be practical. I said above what Proof is saying:
quote:
If anyone can be offended by anything, we'd all have to be silent.
On the other hand, I suppose if some Caucasians (those are the ones I hear complaining about it, particularly Millenials who love to correct us old fogeys) are offended, I should be respectful and use another word. My point (and the author's), however, was - is it the Chinese/Japanese/Koreans, etc., who are offended? Or is it people from other cultures who think they should be offended? I, and the author, think it's the latter.

Arnie, you are probably correct. "Asian" gets too vague. On the other hand, sometimes one doesn't know the specifics.
 
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Since it matters to you, one of my friends who doesn't like the word is of Asian descent.
 
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Well that does make it different, I guess. I don't get it, but then maybe it's generational. There are many, many other ethnic slurs that I do get.
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
If anyone can be offended by anything, we'd all have to be silent.


But this hasn't actually happened!

If someone finds a word offensive, don't use it. How do we get from this bit of common sense to a dystopia where no one can say anything?
 
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It hasn't gotten to the point where everyone must be silent but look at aall the words that now must not be vocalized, such as N-word, C-word, etc. See the other thread about this practice.


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Nollidj is power.
 
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Originally posted by Proofreader:
It hasn't gotten to the point where everyone must be silent but look at aall the words that now must not be vocalized, such as N-word, C-word, etc. See the other thread about this practice.


We have some taboo words, all cultures do. To say that eventually all words will be taboo seems ridiculous to me.

I agree that if the word is a mention (like a quote) rather than a use it doesn't make sense to censor it, since everyone knows what word is meant.
 
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If I call someone the "N-word", is that not just as bad as using the unabbreviated version? They probably know what I intended it to mean sowhat's the point in hiding behind polital cottectness?


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Nollidj is power.
 
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I agree, censorsing yourself like that does not make it better. But the point is mute since the sort of people who use the word would never censor themselves anyway.
 
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the point is mute s


I believe you meant "moot" since "mute" is "to silence".


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My take: there are several layers to these words in the US. There's old-fashioned [i.e., politically-correct terms of a previous generation] and there's insulting. In the US, some of our old-fashioned terms have baggage, a veneer of insult as described in the article's cite of SF Chron's Jeff Yang. I would go beyond Yang's mild and nostalgic characterization of 'oriental' as 'exotic'. Check out old film depictions of 'oriental' characters ('30's-'50's): they are not just irredeemably foreign, they are often sinister. During that era, 'oriental' was a politically-correct and geographically accurate way to refer to people from Japan, Korea and China, but to the homegrown man on the street it was uniformly taken as a reference to slanted eyes.

That might explain why many white folks dislike it. They remember & reject the attitudes of parents/ grandparents, who mentally put all immigrants with slanted eyes in one basket regardless of what term they used. It may be, as the author claims, that people whose families emigrated from those countries don't view 'oriental' as an insult. Nevertheless, using nation-related terms for heritage (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) probably promotes more intelligent discussions among Americans.

Arnie, good point on meaning of 'Asian', UK vs US! It's kind of humorous: we've been working w/folks from India & Pakistan for a few decades, but only recently do I sense people reaching for a 'word' for 'them'. Meanwhile we have a big enough 1st-gen-American set to find them among our news anchors, mayors, govrs! Perhaps it will be 'South Asians', but we'd better hurry up before the Trump mob has decided to call them all 'Muslims'...
 
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"Muslims???" Such a term for Inida is sheer lunacy, but it struck me that it does fit the US mythology. So, a new ter,: Mythologically Correct," as opposed to Politically correct.
 
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It would be funny, but I gather from what I read that more than a few Indians get the evil eye from Muslim-phobic passersby. I'm guessing this happens even to those in saris or Sikh turbans.
 
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Sikh and ye shall find.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
"Muslims???" Such a term for Inida is sheer lunacy, but it struck me that it does fit the US mythology. So, a new ter,: Mythologically Correct," as opposed to Politically correct.


It wouldn't surprise me. In the racism of the 1970s in the UK pretty much every foreigner was called "Paki" regardless of where they came from.
 
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I am at a conference, and I heard one today: "Citizen." Someone, who is a citizen of Canada but a resident of the U.S., detests the word "citizen." The people at the conference immediately felt guilty for using it, and posted a big butcher paper with any words that offend us.

I can't imagine being offended by the word "citizen," were I to move to Canada and someone said the word there.
 
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A bit ff point, but during a story about a hero soldier, the narrator said , "H gave his life for his fellow comrades"

Isn't that redundant since "fellow" would be a component of "comrades"?


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Nollidj is power.
 
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Yes, it's repetitively redundant and says the same thing twice.

As for "citizen," I dislike the term, "senior citizen." That excludes non-citizens, of which there are many. "Senior" alone suffices, as does "old fart."
 
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Or, in my case, senile old coot/


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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I never thought of "senior citizen," Geoff, but you are right. It could be offensive to some, I guess.

I am wondering, though, if we're getting too thin-skinned about words.
 
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