Oriental - is it a four-letter word?

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Salty, Sep 1, 2009.

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  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Gov Patterson of NY has just signed a bill which prohibits the word "Oriental" from any State document - because it is considered “Derogatory and insensitive language".

    So what do you think? Is oriental derogatory? Is this PC gone amuck?

    If Oriental is derogatory, then why wasn't the word Caucasian included in the bill?

    Thoughts

    Salty

    PS, and BTW exacatly what is a so-called "Asian-Americian"?
     
  2. donnA

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    well there you go, more stupid stuff
     
  3. TC

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    Let's see. Orient means east (ie. eastern Asia - China, Japan, Korea, ect.), and Oriental means eastern - a person from the Orient. Does not sound offensive or derogatory to me.
     
  4. StefanM

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    It's a matter of language evolution. It's similar to the use of "colored" in the past. It used to be acceptable (cf. the NAACP), but now it's not.
     
  5. TC

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    The language/thought police did not tell us folks in Minnesota this. When did it become unacceptable.
     
  6. StefanM

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    I'm a "youngun" (product of the 1980s), so I honestly do not recall a time when I ever thought of the term as acceptable.
     
  7. BigBossman

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    I've never thought of "Oriental" being as a racial slur. I have heard other terms that are far worse than that.

    I'm sure that in time that "Hispanic" will be thought of as offensive. We'll probably have to use the term "Latino".
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Placing it in the frame work of "language evolution" in no way removes the idiocy of the entire thing. I have never known anyone to be offended by it under any circumstances. Good grief
     
  9. JohnDeereFan

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    I use several words that are now considered offensive for some unknown reason.

    Frankly, I stopped caring whether or not they were offensive when I realized that nobody can explain the moral difference between "colored person" and "person of color".
     
  10. Salty

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    I think some people do not want to be called by a certian term is beacuse they have be told it is offensive, but they have no ideal why it is offensive.

    Same thing with the Mentally challange, they used to be refered to as mentally retared. That term was used to replace the word idiot -

    From Wikipedia: is the paragraph:
    Alternative terms

    The term "mental retardation" is a diagnostic term designed to capture and standardize a group of disconnected categories of mental functioning such as "idiot", "imbecile", and "moron" derived from early IQ tests, which acquired pejorative connotations in popular discourse over time. The term "mental retardation" has itself now acquired some pejorative and shameful connotations over the last few decades due to the use of "retarded" as an insult. This may in turn have contributed to its replacement with expressions such as "mentally challenged" or "intellectual disability". While "developmental disability" may be considered to subsume other disorders (see below), "developmental disability" or "developmental delay" (for children under age 18), are generally considered more acceptable terms than "mental retardation" among members of the disability community.
     
  11. Johnv

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    I concur. I'm part asian, too. Doesn't bother me in the slightest. Even if the word did cause offense, it's unnecessary to use legislation to control the word's usage.
     
  12. rbell

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    Funny...down here, there are many businesses, run by Asians, who use "oriental" in their business names, signage, ads, etc.

    'Tis a shame that "governor" Patterson couldn't have banned some other words and phrases:
    • The words "governor" and "Patterson" should never appear together. The root word of "governor" is "govern," and Patterson is obviously incapable of such an act.
    • We should ban all words that describe race or gender. Everyone can be referred to as "it." Better yet, we should all be called Beverly. If you have a problem with it...shut up, Beverly.
    • Some medical regulations need to be clarified. The government normally doesn't offer treatment for cranial rectitis, but in Patterson's case, the disease is so advanced, suggestions are welcome.
    • In all constitutional documents describing the rights of the governed, "Freedom of speech" needs to be replaced with the phrase, "Freedom to make everybody feel nice," and "Freedom to say what the government tells you to say...because they know best for you, Beverly."
    • Basic point: any word that makes Patterson mad, cringe, retch, vomit, or wish he was a republican should be banned, and any use of that word should be a capital offense.
    Memo to Patterson from American citizens: We would thank you for the comic relief. Unfortunately, since you're actually serious...this ain't even funy any more.

    Maybe a New Yorker will run against you that believes in freedom more than you do.

    I found a New York phone book. That was a real time saver. It has everyone who believes in freedom more than Patterson listed...in alphabetical order, no less!
     
  13. Salty

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  14. rbell

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    This situation is looking more and more like a fire drill of what would originally be called an asian derivative, but can no longer be addressed in such manner, thus we shall, by governor's edict, refer to such for both now and in perpetuity, as a

    "Beverly fire drill."
     
  15. Scarlett O.

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    I'm not so sure about banning a word - seems kind of silly.

    But, I was taught the following in college (1979-1983):

    I was taught that the word was improper in referring to people from Asia. I was taught to use the word Oriental when referring to objects or things such as rugs, restaurants, dress, jewelry, customs, music, food, etc.

    I was taught to use the word Asian when referring to the people.

    The reason that was given to me was that the Latin word from which the word oriental is derived is a Eurocentric word. It means "east". East of what? East of Europe - from a European view that they are the center of the world.

    I had to just now look up the Latin word, because I couldn't remember it, but it's "orientalis" meaning east.

    I've always done what I was taught in this case and never thought a thing about it. I say oriental food, oriental rugs, oriental customs and I say Asian people.

    It's no big deal. But I certainly wouldn't ban the word. That's just a little silly. :tonofbricks:
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    So why do liberals want to ban words but not books? How is one different from he other? Where is the consistency in that?
     
  17. Johnv

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    I wondered the same question. There's no reason to ban either.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    I am sure there is some agenda behind it. Maybe honest Robert will let us in on it.
     
  19. KenH

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    We have a local restaurant called Oriental Gardens. I guess it's a good thing it's not in New York. :)
     
  20. StefanM

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    Maybe we should refer to Europeans as Occidentals.
     
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