Re: "jew(ish)" (was: RE: Self-Use of Ethnic Insults (was: Re: Ebonic Christmas ))
|From:||BP Jonsson <bpj@...>|
|Date:||Monday, January 17, 2000, 20:42|
At 22:05 +0000 16.1.2000, And Rosta wrote:
>> The lame, spastic, epileptic cripple,
>> (+ other words I would have no "able" person use about me! ;-)
>Does "other" include or exclude the words on the previous line?
"spastic" and "cripple" definitely belong among them, but expressions like
"lame excuse", where "lame" is used in the sense "low quality" are no
favorites of mine. Neither do I like when people use "go epileptic" to
mean "get very upset", or to describe effects of intoxication.
>In this country, "spastic" and its derivative "spazz", meant "an idiot,
Here "CP" (for Cerebral Palsy) is used as a general adjective of similar
>especially one who is physically incompetent (e.g. when playing football)".
>This led the charity The Spastics Society to change its name to Scope.
>When my wife was teaching a few years ago, among the schoolchildren
>"scope" had become an insult roughly synonymous with "spastic/spazz".
How come I'm not surprised...
>Euphemism is the linguistic counterpart of Nazi appeasement; you give
>ground to the bad guys, and in the end you're going to have to yield
>your new ground to the bad guys too.
Right. It's attitudes that need changing, not language.
Here there is an enormous inflation in euphemisms for "mentally retarded"
virtually each decade has its own. They quickly enter (school-kids') slang
as synonyms of "idiot/stupid", of course. Words for physical handicaps are
somewhat less inflatable, and to be honest I feel that "motorically
disabled" and its equivalents in other languages are somewhat more unwieldy
than "lame" and equivalents...
>Compare the way African-American
>has become not a classification by geographical origin on a par with
>other hyphenated-americans but a classification by 'race'.
Here "Swede" has acquired so strong racial overtones -- contrasted to
"immigrant" or "blackhead" that one hesitates to use it. I'm glad I don't
*have* to regard myself as such, being more than half descended from people
who lived and died outside the borders of present-day Sweden.
B.Philip Jonsson <mailto: bpj@...> <mailto: melroch@...>
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