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Tags language , racial slurs , racism issues , semantics , Stephen Hagan

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Old 1st August 2020, 03:17 AM   #601
Darat
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Agreed, another Brit, I know what a raccoon is but if I hear the shortened version outside a very clear context my first thought would be the racial slur, quite simply the chances that anyone would be speaking about raccoons and not use the full word is vanishingly small.



Agatha, the film you're thinking of is "The Great Outdoors" which I remember as being absolutely hilarious, especially the raccoons. I also recall a book we covered at school in the eighties called "Pardon me, you're stepping on my eyeball" in which one character has a pet raccoon which is burned to death in a passage that I wish I hadn't just remembered...
I'm probably one of a small minority of the UK population that uses "coon" in anything but a derogatory way but that is because I had Maine Coon cats. And when talking to other people owned by Maine Coon cats we tend to say "coons". However I've never not realised that such a usage could be misunderstood so have always been careful outside of that context to use the full name.
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Old 1st August 2020, 03:21 AM   #602
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
So basically anything or one with the name Coon or Karen should change its/their names.
Rule of So...
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:08 AM   #603
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The Cambridge Dictionary has literally one definition

It is, wait for it...

That's the first thing people think of in the UK.
I'm not asking for the dictionary definition, Soba. I'm only asking you for a minimal demonstration of your claim that "the word is most likely to be associated with a racial slur". I understand that you think so, and you may be right, but I'd like some indication that you are correct as far as the general public goes.

Also, we're not only talking about the UK, are we?

Quote:
Then you're wrong.
Which part? That we prefer rational decisions? That rational decisions are usually better? Or that exceptions don't invalidate the rule?
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:17 AM   #604
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Rule of So...
Fair call. Take out the word so and answer
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:18 AM   #605
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I'm not asking for the dictionary definition, Soba. I'm only asking you for a minimal demonstration of your claim that "the word is most likely to be associated with a racial slur". I understand that you think so, and you may be right, but I'd like some indication that you are correct as far as the general public goes.

...snip...
Are you unaware of how dictionaries are created and kept up to date?

Let's say you are - apart from being documented as the primary use in the UK by the dictionary what type of evidence would you accept?

Ofcom?

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/asse...veLanguage.pdf

"... Racist language such as ‘coon’, ******** and ‘wog’ were among the most unacceptable words overall; they were seen as derogatory, discriminatory and insulting. Many participants were concerned about these words being used at any time, with their use requiring significant contextual justification. Other words in this category were more open to debate; participants had differing views about their acceptability after the watershed, based on how insulting they were perceived to be. ..."

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post

Also, we're not only talking about the UK, are we?

...snip...
Given the use of "UK" in their posts about this it might indicate they were talking about the UK?
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:25 AM   #606
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Are you unaware of how dictionaries are created and kept up to date?
Yes, but while it tells me the known and common definitions of a word, it doesn't tell me how a particular groupf of people will interpret that word in various contexts. Angrysoba is describing interpretation, not definition.

Quote:
Given the use of "UK" in their posts about this it might indicate they were talking about the UK?
So? We've also talked about Australia and the US, and isn't the company Canadian? Why focus on only one fountry?
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:30 AM   #607
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I'm not asking for the dictionary definition, Soba. I'm only asking you for a minimal demonstration of your claim that "the word is most likely to be associated with a racial slur".
I already have provided evidence in terms of dictionary definitions and we have had poster testimony here. I've done my bit. You demonstrate this is incorrect or not.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I understand that you think so, and you may be right, but I'd like some indication that you are correct as far as the general public goes.
I'm not funding an opinion poll.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Also, we're not only talking about the UK, are we?
We were when we were discussing the UK, obviously.



Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Which part? That we prefer rational decisions? That rational decisions are usually better? Or that exceptions don't invalidate the rule?
I gave you examples of childish interpretations being the most likely interpretations, then you asked for examples. I pointed out I had already given them. Now you are saying examples don't invalidate the rule. You have yet to demonstrate that it is a rule. You have merely asserted it. I have shown you that it is common for there to be these things called play-on-words. It's really strange that you are digging in and saying that it is not rational to accept that there could be childish, obscene, offensive interpretations. Don't miss the point now!
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:33 AM   #608
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
So? We've also talked about Australia and the US, and isn't the company Canadian? Why focus on only one fountry?
Oh FFS! It is partly because you went down that rabbit hole! Don't go down the rabbit hole and then ask us why we are there?

It demonstrates that, guess what,different people come to different interpretations of the same word.

It could also point to the fact that while you may sit there and say, "I can't understand why anyone would think coon is offensive!" that you may be missing an important point which is that not everyone is going to interpret the word coon the way you do, or that somehow your interpretation is necessarily superior, and that this routine of yours of looking down on people who object to the word is not a priori some super-rational position.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:34 AM   #609
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, but while it tells me the known and common definitions of a word, it doesn't tell me how a particular groupf of people will interpret that word in various contexts. Angrysoba is describing interpretation, not definition.



So? We've also talked about Australia and the US, and isn't the company Canadian? Why focus on only one fountry?
The evidence I presented about the UK use of the word?
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:39 AM   #610
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes, but while it tells me the known and common definitions of a word, it doesn't tell me how a particular groupf of people will interpret that word in various contexts. Angrysoba is describing interpretation, not definition.
The Offcom link that Darat posted tells you very explicitly how people in the UK interpret "coon".

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/asse...veLanguage.pdf

"Coon" appears in this category:

Quote:
Strongest words (highly unacceptable at all times – strong contextualisation required)
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:40 AM   #611
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I already have provided evidence in terms of dictionary definitions and we have had poster testimony here.
Come on, man. You know as well as I do that a couple of anecdotes don't cut it. You wouldn't accept that from someone else. As for the dictionary I've explained why it's not what I'm looking for.

Quote:
I gave you examples of childish interpretations being the most likely interpretations, then you asked for examples. I pointed out I had already given them. Now you are saying examples don't invalidate the rule. You have yet to demonstrate that it is a rule.
You are seriously asking me to show that rational explanations are generally better than childish ones? Really? You're grasping at straws, here.

Quote:
Oh FFS! It is partly because you went down that rabbit hole!
...what? When did I do that? I've not focused on any single country. You have.
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:45 AM   #612
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Come on, man. You know as well as I do that a couple of anecdotes don't cut it. You wouldn't accept that from someone else. As for the dictionary I've explained why it's not what I'm looking for.
What about Darat's link? What would you accept? If you don't accept that, then I can't help you.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You are seriously asking me to show that rational explanations are generally better than childish ones? Really? You're grasping at straws, here.
Nope. In context, the childish one could be the "rational" one.


Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
...what? When did I do that? I've not focused on any single country. You have.
You insisted that people in Britain would draw the conclusion that coon means raccoon, because the word raccoon has the word coon in it. I've been insisting you are wrong.

Again, believe me or not, but if you don't I can't help you.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:51 AM   #613
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
What about Darat's link? What would you accept? If you don't accept that, then I can't help you.
Very well, I will provisionally accept the dictionary definition, in the absence of any other useful evidence.

Quote:
Nope. In context, the childish one could be the "rational" one.
No, it could be the correct one, not the rational one. "Rational" and "childish" here are in opposition. As I said you're grasping at straws.

Quote:
You insisted that people in Britain would draw the conclusion that coon means raccoon, because the word raccoon has the word coon in it
Again: I didn't bring up the UK. I was responding to a comment about the UK but my point applies generally.
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Old 1st August 2020, 04:57 AM   #614
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We give you UK dictionaries that show that the word is only a racial slur in the UK. You say that's not enough. We've given you several people explaining that we don't shorten the name of the non-native animal in the UK because we only use that as a racial slur, and you say that it's not enough. We give you OFCOM explaining why the word isn't permitted on broadcast media before the watershed, and you still seem to say that's not enough for you to believe that North American usage isn't the same as the UK usage.

Genuine question - what would be enough for you to concede that a word which I don't want to type out means something different in North America than it does in the UK, and that the meaning that is familiar to you is virtually unknown here?
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:02 AM   #615
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
We give you UK dictionaries that show that the word is only a racial slur in the UK. You say that's not enough. We've given you several people explaining that we don't shorten the name of the non-native animal in the UK because we only use that as a racial slur, and you say that it's not enough. We give you OFCOM explaining why the word isn't permitted on broadcast media before the watershed, and you still seem to say that's not enough for you to believe that North American usage isn't the same as the UK usage.

Genuine question - what would be enough for you to concede that a word which I don't want to type out means something different in North America than it does in the UK, and that the meaning that is familiar to you is virtually unknown here?
I've provisionally conceded the point already.
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:05 AM   #616
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Granted, though your post doing so wasn't there when I started typing mine.
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:08 AM   #617
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Are you unaware of how dictionaries are created and kept up to date?

Let's say you are - apart from being documented as the primary use in the UK by the dictionary what type of evidence would you accept?

Ofcom?

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/asse...veLanguage.pdf

"... Racist language such as ‘coon’, ******** and ‘wog’ were among the most unacceptable words overall; they were seen as derogatory, discriminatory and insulting. Many participants were concerned about these words being used at any time, with their use requiring significant contextual justification. Other words in this category were more open to debate; participants had differing views about their acceptability after the watershed, based on how insulting they were perceived to be. ..."



Given the use of "UK" in their posts about this it might indicate they were talking about the UK?
And yet I have pointed out that “wog” is not an offensive word in Australia. Perhaps UK sources are not the final word on English language around the world.....
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:11 AM   #618
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
Granted, though your post doing so wasn't there when I started typing mine.
I expected that. Just clarifying.
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:11 AM   #619
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
And yet I have pointed out that “wog” is not an offensive word in Australia. Perhaps UK sources are not the final word on English language around the world.....
Nobody is saying that they are; the conversation moved to UK usage briefly, to show that the North American usage isn't universal. The UK sources presented are only evidence for UK usage.
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:14 AM   #620
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
Nobody is saying that they are; the conversation moved to UK usage briefly. The UK sources presented are only evidence for UK usage.
Okay. So some can engage in off topic conversations then. Good to know.
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:43 AM   #621
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Okay. So some can engage in off topic conversations then. Good to know.
I am not sure that it was off-topic, but if you think that it was then please do report the post(s) where you perceive that any derail started, and let the mod team decide.
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:58 AM   #622
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
No, it could be the correct one, not the rational one. "Rational" and "childish" here are in opposition. As I said you're grasping at straws.
Huh? That's just silly. It's the rational interpretation if that is the meaning that is strongly implied, even if it is childish.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 1st August 2020, 06:43 AM   #623
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Huh? That's just silly. It's the rational interpretation if that is the meaning that is strongly implied, even if it is childish.
You're playing with words here. Not only is the meaning not implied in any way in this case, but as I've said the reasonable interpretation is that the brand name isn't an insult to the customer. You are deliberately changing up the meanings of these words in order to equivocate.
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Old 1st August 2020, 06:55 AM   #624
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You're playing with words here. Not only is the meaning not implied in any way in this case, but as I've said the reasonable interpretation is that the brand name isn't an insult to the customer.
In the case of Coon Cheese, no, it is not so much a misinterpretation, from what I recall. It is the association of the word.

Now, lionking says it is not offensive in Australia, and Sydexlron disagrees. I can't speak for them personally, but what I can say is that the word for some people sounds extremely offensive.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You are deliberately changing up the meanings of these words in order to equivocate.
I'm not deliberately doing any of the underhanded things you are accusing me of. I am disagreeing with you. Instead of smearing me with bad motives, just argue the issues.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 1st August 2020, 06:58 AM   #625
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Now people are proud to admit they are wogs. My daughter’s mother-in-law has Italian heritage and I have had occasion to say to her “sometimes the wog is strong in you”, which generates laughs and not hostility.
I recommend not doing that next time you're in the UK.
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Old 1st August 2020, 07:24 AM   #626
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
And yet I have pointed out that “wog” is not an offensive word in Australia. Perhaps UK sources are not the final word on English language around the world.....
And?
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Old 1st August 2020, 10:01 AM   #627
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
In good part because nobody seems to understand the point of my hypothetical. And I didn't rule it out; I simply switched the root of the brand name in the hypothetical. I didn't suggest that no one with that surname existed, did I?



You keep saying that but that's your opinion. I'd like something a little more solid.



Ok let me help you out: RacCOON.



I dismissed it because it's irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that we generally prefer people acting rationally, and that the rational answer is usually better than the idiotic one. That you can find examples where the reverse is true does not change that. Exceptions do not invalidate a rule.
In the UK we know what 'gasoline' is, and we know that Americans often shorten in to 'gas', but if you use the word 'gas' without very clear context we will assume you're talking about a gaseous substance, most likely the domestic fuel supply, if you smell gasoline and say "Can you smell gas?" and you'll almost certainly get the response "No, but I can smell petrol", not sarcasm but the immediate meaning of the word is different to us than to you. Same with 'coon' we don't use the word 'racoon' often enough for a shortened version to be high in our consciousness but almost everyone (over a certain age at least) will be aware of it as a racial slur.


ETA: NVM, I see the point has been accepted and the thread has moved on.
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Old 1st August 2020, 10:25 AM   #628
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You're playing with words here. Not only is the meaning not implied in any way in this case, but as I've said the reasonable interpretation is that the brand name isn't an insult to the customer. You are deliberately changing up the meanings of these words in order to equivocate.
As long as the customer isn't an american black..

Otherwise, it's probably funny..
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Old 1st August 2020, 09:54 PM   #629
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And?
And nothing. The link you posted had the word wog. I pointed out that it’s not universally offensive. Nothing further to add.
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Old 1st August 2020, 10:35 PM   #630
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Reminds me of the word Paki

Pretty much offensive everywhere apart from Aus. (Have had a few discussions with Aussies about it)

They all seemed convinced it is some kind of term of endearment
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Old 1st August 2020, 10:54 PM   #631
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Reminds me of the word Paki

Pretty much offensive everywhere apart from Aus. (Have had a few discussions with Aussies about it)

They all seemed convinced it is some kind of term of endearment
Bull ****
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Old 1st August 2020, 11:01 PM   #632
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
Bull ****
Sorry but if you are denying a load of Aus cricket fans call the Pakistani team the Pakis you are living under a rock.
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Old 1st August 2020, 11:10 PM   #633
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Sorry but if you are denying a load of Aus cricket fans call the Pakistani team the Pakis you are living under a rock.
You were wrong about Australian’s attitude towards the cheese’s name and you are wrong about this.

Racists hand waving away their racism by pretending that a derogatory name is used as an endearment is still racism.

Having worked in Pakistan, I can assure anyone who cares, that they do not regard this as an endearment.

Having lived in the UK and Australia, I can assure anyone who cares, that they do not use it as an endearment.
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Old 1st August 2020, 11:34 PM   #634
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
You were wrong about Australian’s attitude towards the cheese’s name and you are wrong about this.

Racists hand waving away their racism by pretending that a derogatory name is used as an endearment is still racism.

Having worked in Pakistan, I can assure anyone who cares, that they do not regard this as an endearment.

Having lived in the UK and Australia, I can assure anyone who cares, that they do not use it as an endearment.
Fair point.

I probably used the wrong wording.

A lot of aussie cricket fans I know consider it in-offensive.
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Old 1st August 2020, 11:50 PM   #635
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Reminds me of the word Paki

Pretty much offensive everywhere apart from Aus. (Have had a few discussions with Aussies about it)

They all seemed convinced it is some kind of term of endearment
If you’d said America, you might have had a point.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 12:16 AM   #636
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
If you’d said America, you might have had a point.
I've never heard anyone in the US say the word "Paki".



(Exception. I know one type of knife, made by the Pakistani Steel Company, that I have heard called "Paki daggers".)


ETA: I think the most common term for Pakistani people used in the United States is "Indian". Most of us don't know the difference.

Last edited by Meadmaker; 2nd August 2020 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 12:17 AM   #637
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Fair point.

I probably used the wrong wording.

A lot of aussie cricket fans I know consider it in-offensive.
Are these white fans, or people of Pakistani ethnicity?
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Old 2nd August 2020, 12:25 AM   #638
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I've never heard anyone in the US say the word "Paki".



(Exception. I know one type of knife, made by the Pakistani Steel Company, that I have heard called "Paki daggers".)
Yeah, I think that is what zooterkin meant when he said it was an offensive word anywhere except in the US.

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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
ETA: I think the most common term for Pakistani people used in the United States is "Indian". Most of us don't know the difference.
Phew! Somehow calling people from Pakistan Indians does not sound any better.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 12:47 AM   #639
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
You were wrong about Australian’s attitude towards the cheese’s name and you are wrong about this.

Racists hand waving away their racism by pretending that a derogatory name is used as an endearment is still racism.

Having worked in Pakistan, I can assure anyone who cares, that they do not regard this as an endearment.

Having lived in the UK and Australia, I can assure anyone who cares, that they do not use it as an endearment.
The thing about Paki is that, in origin, it is exactly the same as, for example, Aussie.

The reason it is an term of abuse in the UK is that it was used as a term of abuse - and not just for people from Pakistan, of course, but anyone of South Asian origin. It just happened to be the word "paki" that got adopted for this. It could have been something else.

It's certainly believable that in another country that had never used it except "properly" as a short descriptor for people actually from Pakistan, and generally connected to sport, it would not have any such connotations.

In today's world, of course, borders are blurred and people are far more aware of what happens elsewhere, but why are people in Pakistan offended by it? This is a genuine question; I am not disputing that they are, but I am interested to see how it came about. Is it because they are aware of the UK usage, or is there another abusive usage where people actually apply it negatively to Pakistanis as a national group that they are aware of (and I am not)?

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Old 2nd August 2020, 01:19 AM   #640
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Are these white fans, or people of Pakistani ethnicity?
White.

Though a couple of Indian people I know use it as well when India plays them.
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