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"You sexist/racist/libera l/elitist bastard"

(38 Posts)
thatbags Mon 08-Jun-15 08:37:41

Nick Cohen on censorship.

and Mark Twain.

The first is an excellent read; the second is a tweeted quote.

soontobe Mon 08-Jun-15 08:49:32

I have read the first half of the first link. I think I agree with all of it. [It was rather wordy for me, and I wouldnt say 100% that I totally understood all of it].
I will read the rest later.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Jun-15 09:10:34

Yeah, my brain would need a rest after that too, soon. grin

annodomini Mon 08-Jun-15 09:38:20

You don't need to read the whole thing word for word to understand the gist of the article. The Mark Twain quote gives enough food for thought.

ffinnochio Mon 08-Jun-15 09:46:55

Ah - the politics of language. A thoroughly good read this Monday morning. Thanks for the link B. A welcome exercising of the brain.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Jun-15 09:50:30

The Mark Twain is fine. When applied to steak.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Jun-15 09:50:55

Missed out 'quote'

AshTree Mon 08-Jun-15 09:56:22

It is an excellent article, bags, thank you.
We want to create a sort of linguistic Lourdes, where evil and misfortune are dispelled by a dip in the waters of euphemism. Superb quote by Robert Hughes.

Do you remember the 'Creature Comforts' Electricity TV adverts from the 80's? A series of animated cartoons featuring snails, penguins, tortoises etc. I seem to remember one of them, featuring a family of gorillas, was pulled because of complaints by a PC group claiming that black people would be offended by it. Some black people were, quite rightly, offended that anyone should think they would identify with gorillas shock

Elegran Mon 08-Jun-15 10:12:23

Excellent, Thatbags

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Jun-15 10:28:59

"As the late and much-missed Robert Hughes said, ‘We want to create a sort of linguistic Lourdes, where evil and misfortune are dispelled by a dip in the waters of euphemism’.

We'll go back to calling the mentally disabled 'lunatics' then, shall we?

Did the queen's remark on her annis horribilis come from the hockey loving prefect or the confirmation supplicant?

The bit about people's willingness to claim victimisation of themselves and tell the world how badly they have been treated, I do agree with. We see it so often on GN.

whenim64 Mon 08-Jun-15 10:41:30

That fired my brain up bags. Much food for thought. I don't entirely agree with everything he says - reason is hard to quantify and we all know of examples where reasonable people are pushed to the limits by persistent use of inflammatory and provocative language. I couldn't care less about casual insults and PC pontifications - that's just mental gymnastics for people who get off on putting others down in order to feel better about themselves. His point about those who are quick to object being slow to put their beliefs into action is apt.

AshTree Mon 08-Jun-15 10:42:44

I don't think Robert Hughes was advocating abandoning PC terminology jings, but reminding us that by simply using this terminology we are not 'mending' anything, and perhaps society needs to do more than merely avoid offence.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Jun-15 10:44:50

Slippery slope.

Elegran Mon 08-Jun-15 11:00:06

We have been changing the terminology for centuries. Without changing the underlying attitude, it is just like covering a dirty sheet with a clean one - repeatedly. Being offended by being referred to by an out-of-date name for some condition or disease is like complaining about the colour of the sheet when the real problem is the smell from the ones underneath.

soontobe Mon 08-Jun-15 11:34:45

Can I add or ask something in that case.
People get told off on gransnet for saying something like "African", as, as they rightly point out, Africa is made up of different countries.
But on the other hand, how does that fit in with the numerous above posts.

Seperate point, it seems to be all right to write "Asian", when there are also many countries in Asia.

soontobe Mon 08-Jun-15 11:44:56

Maybe it isnt the posters above, who complain about writing Africa, and equally dont complain about writing Asians.

AshTree Mon 08-Jun-15 11:52:22

What a very good analogy Elegran

Elegran Mon 08-Jun-15 11:53:21

Europe is made up of different countries too, yet we say European. It depends on the context whether African is relevant or not.

Bellanonna Mon 08-Jun-15 11:53:42

Why can't we say African? I don't mind being called European. Then if necessary we can go on to identify which country of whatever continent.
Elegant that was a brilliant analogy. I so envy your way with words!

Bellanonna Mon 08-Jun-15 11:54:11

We crossed elegran

Bellanonna Mon 08-Jun-15 11:55:20

Oops, elegran. Blooming autocorrect

Elegran Mon 08-Jun-15 11:56:51

I would love to be elegant. No chance!

Elegran Mon 08-Jun-15 11:58:58

I should have said "Being offended by the use of an out-of-date name for . . . " because it is very often those who don't have the disease or condition who find it offensive.

soontobe Mon 08-Jun-15 12:11:22

True. We do say European. I hadnt thought of that.

Riverwalk Mon 08-Jun-15 12:20:38

Is there anything wrong with being offended by an out of date name even if you're not personally affected?

I would be offended and object if someone referred to 'a darkie' or 'a simpleton'.

It's a matter of respect and consideration for the feelings of others - nothing to do with being easily-offended.