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Old 01-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #16
Underneath The Sky
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Originally Posted by Bonnie151 View Post
Oriental is not an offensive term in the UK. If someone is described as Asian over here, it usually means that they are from India/Pakistan etc. People from China and Japan etc are usually described as being from the Far East or Oriental. I do find it interesting how some terms are offensive in one English speaking country but not another.

We do often generically refer to Americans as Yanks. I'm betting it's a hangover from WWII when so many military "Yanks" were temporarily based over here but I could be completely wrong. I do have to keep telling people that Yankees are from a certain area of the US, though!
I don't think you should speak for the whole of the UK. I'm from Northern Ireland and over here it's considered not good taste to refer to Asian people as Oriental.
Also, over here, Asian pretty much equals Chinese/from Hong Kong. Anywhere else gets referred to by name, or a person from India is referred to as Indian and so on.

Also, Americans are just Americans over here. We only use Yank very occasionally (and then it's moreover we were making a joke about an American person).

It may just be the areas we're in, though.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:23 PM   #17
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'Mentally retarded' is the one I don't get at all. I don't use it because I know people find it objectionable, I just don't understand why.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:46 PM   #18
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I learned an interesting fact in high school history. My teacher purposely referred to an Italian-American student as a Wop. Of course the student immediately took offense and the teacher asked why. The student said that Wop was a derogatory term. So the teacher asked him what it meant. He had no idea. Then the teacher said WOP means "With Out Papers". Apparently, at least according to the teacher, many immigrants, particularly from Italy, didn't have their papers (or the appropriate papers) upon entry into the U.S. I'm sure it had a derogatory connotation when it was originally used, but I thought it interesting so people who be offended, and yet not understand why they were offended.

I have used derogatory terms in the past and not even realized they were derogatory. It's nice to be able to ask someone without having your headed handed to you. Once you know though, I think you need to be more aware.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:50 PM   #19
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In general, it's polite to call people what they wish to be called. My son has a name with a common nickname that ends in -y (think Jonathan, could be called Jonny). He hates the -y nickname, and thinks it's babyish. Someone calling him that repeatedly would essentially be bullying him. On the other hand, I have an adult male co-worker with the same name who goes by the -y nickname. He introduces himself by that name, and clearly does not feel demeaned by it. I call him that all the time.

The Asian community in the U.S. has clearly stated that they do not like the term "Oriental". That should be enough for us not to use it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underneath The Sky View Post
I don't think you should speak for the whole of the UK. I'm from Northern Ireland and over here it's considered not good taste to refer to Asian people as Oriental.
Also, over here, Asian pretty much equals Chinese/from Hong Kong. Anywhere else gets referred to by name, or a person from India is referred to as Indian and so on.

Also, Americans are just Americans over here. We only use Yank very occasionally (and then it's moreover we were making a joke about an American person).

It may just be the areas we're in, though.
I agree with this. It is not a good idea to nominate yourself as spokesperson, but recognise that nothing bad was meant by the OP, as I'm sure do you
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JennaDeeDooDah View Post
Are there any words or terms out there that are politically incorrect, but you really don't understand why? For me, "Oriental" is one of those terms. People insist that it needs to be "Asian". Okay, I understand that they are from Asia, but so are people from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, etc. and they are called Middle Eastern. No one gets angry that they aren't referred to as "Asian". The Orient is an area of the far east and the term derives from a Latin word that means east. To me, referring to a person as Oriental is really just being more descriptive of their ancestry, much like referring to someone as a New Englander or a Southerner. However, since "Oriental" is no longer a PC term, I don't use it, but I really don't understand the ideas behind why it is politically incorrect.


Anyone have any idea why this is a politically incorrect term? Anyone have any other politically incorrect terms that you don't use because they are considered politically incorrect, but don't really understand why?


An please don't turn this into a thread attacking people for being "ignorant" or "racist". This is about terms and words that you don't use and you choose to not use them because you know it makes people uncomfortable, but you are unsure of why that is.
OMG, that was the first thing I thought of when I read your title. Saw someone correct someone else here the other day on an adoption thread and was
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey'snewestfan View Post
In general, it's polite to call people what they wish to be called. My son has a name with a common nickname that ends in -y (think Jonathan, could be called Jonny). He hates the -y nickname, and thinks it's babyish. Someone calling him that repeatedly would essentially be bullying him. On the other hand, I have an adult male co-worker with the same name who goes by the -y nickname. He introduces himself by that name, and clearly does not feel demeaned by it. I call him that all the time.

The Asian community in the U.S. has clearly stated that they do not like the term "Oriental". That should be enough for us not to use it.
I wouldn't go that far. Annoying him? Yes. Irritating him? Sure. But I don't think that that behavior falls under the category of bullying.

I agree with your statement that it's polite to call someone what they wish to be called.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by worm761 View Post
That's funny!

I was always taught that Oriental was used for objects, like an oriental rug. No one wishes to be referred to as an object. My aunt is/was Japanese. She referred to herself as either Asian or Japanese.
This is the reason I've always heard; that Oriental referred to objects, not people.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mickey'snewestfan View Post

The Asian community in the U.S. has clearly stated that they do not like the term "Oriental". That should be enough for us not to use it.
I'm 45 years old and have never heard that outside the Dis - not even from the Chinese exchange student who stayed with my sister for a year.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:17 PM   #25
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'Mentally retarded' is the one I don't get at all. I don't use it because I know people find it objectionable, I just don't understand why.
Because it is used, incessantly, as an insult. While it was once a medical term, it's now become pejorative and slang, so self advocates with intellectual disabilities, and people who advocate on behalf of those with intellectual disabilities have chosen a new, equally if not more descriptive term to use instead.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by worm761 View Post
That's funny!

I was always taught that Oriental was used for objects, like an oriental rug. No one wishes to be referred to as an object. My aunt is/was Japanese. She referred to herself as either Asian or Japanese.
I remember seeing/hearing that explanation for why its not politically correct before. I am Chinese and have never heard someone use Oriental to describe a person in real life. I don't find it offensive but I do find it odd because when I hear Oriental, I think of a rug.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:23 PM   #27
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One I didn't realize was not politically correct is sitting "indian-style". Now they just say "criss-cross applesauce". Is it really derogatory to refer to that seating position as indian-style? I guess I just never had any racist thoughts when I used the term myself, it just referred to that particular sitting position so I didn't see what was that wrong with it. I'm sure someone will enlighten me though... (Please no flaming, it's just one of those things I grew up getting used to and haven't given it much thought since then; my intention would never be to offend anyone.)
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:31 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennaDeeDooDah View Post
Interesting. Do you know if they consider Middle Eastern to be an insult, or just something that prefer to not be called?
In my experience, people prefer to be refered to by their country of origin. To use the blanket "Middle Eastern" label discounts their unique countries and heritage and lumps a wide variety of people in one generic group.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:34 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by laurajetter View Post
One I didn't realize was not politically correct is sitting "indian-style". Now they just say "criss-cross applesauce". Is it really derogatory to refer to that seating position as indian-style? I guess I just never had any racist thoughts when I used the term myself, it just referred to that particular sitting position so I didn't see what was that wrong with it. I'm sure someone will enlighten me though... (Please no flaming, it's just one of those things I grew up getting used to and haven't given it much thought since then; my intention would never be to offend anyone.)
I agree...AND the term "criss-cross applesauce" is beyond stupid. They could simply go with cross-legged.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by laurajetter View Post
One I didn't realize was not politically correct is sitting "indian-style". Now they just say "criss-cross applesauce". Is it really derogatory to refer to that seating position as indian-style? I guess I just never had any racist thoughts when I used the term myself, it just referred to that particular sitting position so I didn't see what was that wrong with it. I'm sure someone will enlighten me though... (Please no flaming, it's just one of those things I grew up getting used to and haven't given it much thought since then; my intention would never be to offend anyone.)
I had no idea this was not correct either. Wonder what else I say that is insulting to some people?
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