Nig-nog, and insults

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Nov 6 10:09:31 EST 2003


(I've changed the subject line because "digest' doesn't really tell me what
it's about; I hope that doesn't mess up anyone's careful threading)

Sallyo replied to Deborah

>> I'm intrigued, Sally.  That's usually a language thing Americans make
>> (eg calling a black Englishman "African American").  Is the term used
>> that often in the wild southlands where you are?
>
>Nope. We don't have any people of that descent in Tasmania, and I've never
>seen one in outer Aus, either. Therefore I use the term the USAers seem to
>prefer themselves.
>
>In the old days, I would have said "Negro", but I understand that's not
>acceptable now.

Luckily when I used the word I was speaking in a historical/linguistic
context...  It doesn't usually come into my conversation, on account of
someone English is English to me rather than my trying to sort out their
ethnic origin (can get dodgy, indeed, because if I am not told by the
person where s/he comes from I don't see how I am to tell someone Indian
from someone Pakistani, and I worry about "Asian" because surely that ought
to include the Chinese and Japanese too, who are [a] not the same as each
other and [b] not the same as someone from Ceylon...)

Why is 'negro' not allowable any more?  Is it derogatory?  And if it is, is
hispanic and is caucasian?  I always thought of these as being purely
descriptive terms, nothing to do with any sort of value-judgement at all.

Minnow


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