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Author Topic: Political Correctness=Manners 2.0
Cytania
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Hi Fel2.0, you're missing the point. It's not an unfair world if noun's aren't interchangeable. I was addressing my point at whingeing rightward whites because I percieve them to be labouring a non-existent point. Blacks aren't making such a fuss they have far more real and pressing concerns like 'racial profiling'.

Government grouping of race is a problem unrelated to linguistic PC. I've worked for several government departments and administered several systems with conflicting and incompatible racial classifications! It's a blunt tool and one that should be open to review as racial concerns change. To deny the need for any tool at all is to live in a dream world where posts on race don't get as hot as this one.

One thing about manners and PC is that they are both subject to situation, context and ongoing change. Part the trouble with people accepting them appears to be that they don't want to alter their behaviour, learn their society's darker history or update their habits. According to these people they'd be the same at the pastor's garden party as they would be working on an assembly line. They acted the same in 1960 as they act today. I don't believe it.

Koner: you're on a tricky one there. The military could be said to be a robust zone where manners and PC are replaced by ranks and military terms of address and outside that any cussword goes. Having said that officer codes bind things up tighter than a maiden aunt on a sunday picnic. Which is the real armed forces? Preppy or rough?

[ April 05, 2006, 07:15 AM: Message edited by: Cytania ]

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Fel2.0
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Cytania - so what is good for the goose is not good for the gander? In other words, assuming something about blacks based on their skin (racial profiling) is horribly wrong. Assuming white are whining (racial profiling) is perfectly fine. Got it. Thank you for clearing that up.
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Cytania
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Well Fel2.0 egg-laying is certainly not good for a gander!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goose

A gander is a male goose. The original folk phrase is what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. This implies that once reduced to the level of food we cannot differentiate between goose and gander.

The mistake you are making is the same. You are trying to force me to talk about white and black in exactly the same terms ignoring the different histories and current prevailing issues surrounding them. You are trying to _reduce_ my argument.

Firstly in my original post I pitched my jibe at only a specific subset of white people and in subsequent posts I focused it in on a political sub-group of whites, even naming two Fox hosts as exemplars of the sentiments I don't like.

Are you really playing pedant with me here? 'Eats Shoots & Leaves' is not my favourite book. Again it's that word context.

Your approach is typical of the rightwing who trumpets political correctness as a major woe. Lock onto a small detail and run with it ignoring the broader issues. It's a very specific and petty case of setting up a straw man.

[ April 05, 2006, 08:05 AM: Message edited by: Cytania ]

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Koner
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quote:
I agree with removing gendered terms for power position, so I try to say Congress Rep rather than the more convenient Congressman.
Using the term "Congressman" or "Congressmen" can equally mean a man or a woman because they refer to the TITLE which they hold and not the PERSON who holds the title. The English language is a gender neutral language. Its not like French, Spanish or Italian where each word has both a male and a female version.

In those languages there would be different variants of the word to use depending on the gender of the person who holds the title. So if it is a man who holds the title it would be "Congressmano" and it would become "Congressmana" if it were a woman. (Yes I know those are not the real words for those languages I just was trying to make the point).

The ONLY reason that you or anyone else geoes out of the way by using "Congress Rep" instead of the completely acceptable "Congressman" is becase the the same type of people who are pushing this whole "PC" thing on us. There is no reason for it other than to make them feel good about themselves.

I will continue to call ALL congressional representatives, regardless of their gender, CONGRESSMAN because that is their title and not who they are.

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Cytania
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Past generations never had to worry about their congressmen because they _were_ all men.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeannette_Rankin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Latimer_Felton

So society wise we've had less than a hundred years to adapt our language.

The inadequacy of terms can be revealed by silly headlines like 'Congressman Had Sex With Man' which is a homophobic non-starter if that representative was a woman. Of course most the time congress proceedings are so boring that gender hardly matters so the terms persist. Linguistic inertia...

[ April 05, 2006, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: Cytania ]

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Fel2.0
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Cyntania - egg laying is good for the gander, if they are eggs carrying his genes! How do you think ganders come about anyways - magically?

I am not reducing your argument. I am pointing out the hypocracy of saying PC is good, we shouldn't be saying offensive things, and people who don't like it are just rightwing WASPs (I'm not rightwing, I'm not an ASP, and according to the KKK at least, I'm not white).

I used the example of the retreat I went to show the hypocracy of it all. Do you know what the subject was? white privilege. But we didn't get around to discussing it too much, because the people were all busy attacking each other and prejudging each other. The guy who was Domican - is he black because of his skin color, or latino because of his culture? Several members of the black group still disagreed with him being in the latino group. Which PC term should we use? Do we pick for him? Does he get to pick?

PC trying to be polite (not calling someone a fatass) is fine. But what about PC that involves the BBC going back and editing their stories on the London Tube "Attacks" to remove the word terrorist? Isn't that PC taken a little too far? Or how about this example - I met a guy at a coffeeshop one time. We chatting for ~30 minutes and exchanged numbers. Then me and my friends left. On the drive home, a girl asked me details on the guy. I started to describe him and called him "Mexican". She then cut me off, and told me that I shouldn't assume someone is Mexican just because of their skin color, there are lots of other brown skinned people, and I should use inclusive terms that don't discriminate, etc. PC lecture ad naseum. I let her finished, then said, "Well, he was born in Agua Calientes, went to school in Guadelajara, moved to this country two years ago, and HE described HIMSELF as Mexican, SO I THINK IT IS PRETTY F#@#$#@ SAFE FOR ME TO CALL HIM MEXICAN!" She just huffed at me and didn't even have the MANNERS to appologize. Because, see the facts didn't matter. She was repeating the PC stuff she had learned so therefore she was right. Anyone who disagreed with her was just a rightwing WASP.

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Koner
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quote:
So society wise we've had less than a hundred years to adapt our language.

The inadequacy of terms can be revealed by silly headlines like 'Congressman Had Sex With Man' which is a homophobic non-starter if that representative was a woman. Of course most the time congress proceedings are so boring that gender hardly matters so the terms persist. Linguistic inertia...

Cytania, have you ever watched CSPAN coverage of Congressional proceedings? The refer to male congressmen as "The Gentleman from ...." and they refer to female congressmen as "The Gentlewoman from ...". Why do you suppose they use the term "Gentlewoman" instead of the completely acceptable "Lady". Because of this concept of political correctness thats why. Because somehow someway someone got it in her head at one point or another that it was an insult to be called a lady.

Languages go through natural evolutions. But what you are suggesting, and what the PC crowd is suggesting is that we forcibly alter it to make it less gender neutral. Again "Congressman" and "Congressmen" are gender neutral term.

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Cytania
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Yep Fel2.0 modern manners can be difficult and we all make faux-pas from time to time or get corrected by people who misunderstand the whole setup. I never said PC was easy or perfect ;-)

It's also interesting that everyone knows when language modifiers overstep the mark. It's part of how we as a society mash things around and arrive at a vague consensus. What irks me is those tilting at the PC windmill somehow imagine the matter can be settled and language can be pinned down.

The BBC story is interesting since the word terrorist was replaced by 'bomber' which to my mind is more blunt. However it's certainly a step the UK finds hard to countenance.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/newsid_4690000/newsid_4696100/4696175.stm

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Fel2.0
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quote:
Firstly in my original post I pitched my jibe at only a specific subset of white people and in subsequent posts I focused it in on a political sub-group of whites, even naming two Fox hosts as exemplars of the sentiments I don't like.
I assume you are refering to this:
quote:
All that is left is the whining of white anglo-saxon protestant types that they are having to bite-down more than minority groups, and in the end nobody likes a whiner...
You do of course realize that Bill O'Reilly is not Anglo, Saxon, nor Protestant, right? So, maybe there is more to it than just WASPs? And, maybe jibing at people and trying to brush people into your preconceived groups doesn't work very well?

And terrorist would be a much more accurate and blunt term since they were attacks on civilians designed to create terror among the population for political gain. Bomber is a very vague term. After all, a B-52 is a bomber.

[ April 05, 2006, 09:41 AM: Message edited by: Fel2.0 ]

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Pete at Home
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Yes; it's not politically correct that the killer deliberately targets innocent civillians, im order to acquire publicity, and that his MO resembles that of the Zodiac killer, more than that of a soldier.

It's selective manners. Be polite to the terrorist and his sympathizers, but don't worry about rubbing salt on the wounds of the victim's family.

While Courtly manners were hypocritical and unbalanced in a way calculated to hold up the rigid order of feudal society, PC manners are hypocritical in a manner calculated to promote division, hatred, and mayhem between groups where tensions were already high.

But the system contains an occasional useful and harmless idea, such as neutering the power words like chairman -> chair.
quote:
Originally posted by Cytania:
Yep Fel2.0 modern manners can be difficult and we all make faux-pas from time to time or get corrected by people who misunderstand the whole setup. I never said PC was easy or perfect ;-)

It's also interesting that everyone knows when language modifiers overstep the mark. It's part of how we as a society mash things around and arrive at a vague consensus. What irks me is those tilting at the PC windmill somehow imagine the matter can be settled and language can be pinned down.

The BBC story is interesting since the word terrorist was replaced by 'bomber' which to my mind is more blunt. However it's certainly a step the UK finds hard to countenance.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/newsid_4690000/newsid_4696100/4696175.stm


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Cytania
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Hi Koner, haven't seen CSPAN but the antiquated language doesn't surprise me. Why is it that government remains locked in the 18thC when it routinely passes laws modernising it's agencies?

Perhaps congressmen should wear knickerbockers and tricorn hats just to complete the picture.

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Koner
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quote:
Hi Koner, haven't seen CSPAN but the antiquated language doesn't surprise me. Why is it that government remains locked in the 18thC when it routinely passes laws modernising it's agencies?

What are you talking about?

Do you prefer that female congressmen be called "The Gentlewoman from ..." or as "The Lady from ..."?

Which is of those two ways of introducing her is "antiquated" and "locked in the 18thC"?

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Kit
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It should be obvious Koner.

It should be "Bob from ..." or "Sally from ..."

Although as heated as politics can get [Wink] that could lead to "The B$%$&%$ from ..." and "That J%^%*&^$*&*(% from ..."

Because that is much more modern.

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Pelegius
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Bruce Cockburn said something with which I fully agree "Political corectness is about manners at best and censorship at worst."
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pickled shuttlecock
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And frequently about both, neh?

To sum up: Cytania judges political correctness by its ideals, and Fel and Koner judge it by some of its actualities, others take the long view and judge it by what they think its end effects will be (generally harmful is the consensus)...

Oh, and don't forget about Cytania's wish of inevitability. Tilting at windmills... sheesh. "Negro" is probably the most specific term we'll ever get for people with African ancestry - unless there's a nice synonym that doesn't sound like an insult... something with a pleasant lilt like "Oriental" or "Asian" - but it didn't really stick, did it? You'd think with all the talk about language changing with the attitudes of its speakers, nobody would dare make such a silly statement.

I'm afraid there might be sufficient backlash from people who aren't necessarily conservative (but mostly are) that would rather their language change naturally than by an attempted coup.

EDIT: By the way, is "politically correct" always pejorative?

[ April 05, 2006, 11:51 PM: Message edited by: pickled shuttlecock ]

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Pete at Home
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"would rather their language change naturally than by an attempted coup."

PS has put his finger on it. PC had some good ideas, but the big problem is that it came in like a coup. Real systems of manners evolve over time in the culture. They aren't suddenly pulled out of some elite cabal and immediately enforced on the majority.

Toss the system. Use or reject the ideas on their own merit, individually. Yes, it's a rude thing to refer to a "male nurse" unless his gender actually is relevant; it's not polite to question someone's gender and their choice of profession at the same time.

Negro is latin for black.

Asian is greek for Easterner.
Oriental is Roman for Easterner.

Why are we getting bitchy about using the Roman word for East rather than the Greek word for East? Give me strength.

Ditto for "persons of color" v. "colored persons."

If whites are "european-Americans" then how come we're also "Caucasians" which refers to a spot in Asia?"

Blech. The PC system is all about creating conflict, creating divisions and exacerbating existing conflicts. It's designed to fracture and bring down that ossified Eurocentric concept that we call "civilization."

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Pelegius
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Pete, I think you confuse something which is not a system but an idea, with an actual set of rules, as if anything were agreed upon (well, I am pretty sure that "nigger" is never "P.C." nor is Coloured.)

Esentialy, words become racist when they are thus used.

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ngthagg
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I enjoyed the wiki post, especially the bit at the end describing some of the various PC names. My favourite one is BC/AD changed to BCE/CE. Common era? Might as well call it Christian Era. If you don't wish to acknowledge Christ, you had better come up with a numbering system that doesn't start from the traditional birth of Christ.

Failure to deferred success is a good one too.

ngthagg

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Pete at Home
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Pelegius, people knew that racial slurs were bad before political correctness reared its ugly head.

And they didn't invent the wheel either. [Big Grin]


The topic of this thread is that Political Correcness = Manners 2.0. If you disagree that polical correctness is a system of manners, then you had best take that up with our hostess, Cytania. I'm operating on the thread's assumptions.

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
Esentialy, words become racist when they are thus used.
In that case it isn't the words themselves which are the problem and using different ones solves nothing.
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flydye45
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As I scientifically am a descendent of mitochondrial Eve, I will forevermore refer to myself as an "African American" and suggest that to all my fellow conversationalists.

As such, I expect all my grievances, real and percieved to be enforced by law, expect a different standard to be applied for any higher education admissions, and await my position in major league sports. While it is too late for me, my children should make out like bandits. [Smile]

And if enough people do to complicate the issue, maybe some racial rationality will be applied. I regularly lie to pollsters who ask insulting questions as well.

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Richard Dey
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Shuttle:

PeeCee is always perjorative because they're all so fugging smug -- and so fugging unworldly, and they're unworldly because they lack peripheral vision, historical context, and intellectual depth. Worse, they can't modify a gerund with a genitive!

Who is somebody with bad English to tell Americans how to speak it?

We've got the narrow-minded telling the broadest scope of Americans what to think?

We've got the big mouths mouthing off about other people's language?

Just who do PCers think they are? Language experts? The American Library Association isn't PC, and they refused to be cowed militant PeeCeers.

Pelegius: Colored is unPC, you note, because using a substantive is bad! ergo, Colored People is bad but People of Color is good [Smile] ! And now we've got People of Color and Colorless People?

PCers lack the ability, obviously, to see two sides of a piece of paper; yet they get to make up the rules?

As a black man once said to me, David Coulter [1934-1975] was not murdered by an Afro-American (the then-current PC). "He was killed by a nigger." "Whitey" Bulger isn't a "white man"; he's a little sh!t (and, btw, is now being denounced as a "transgendered personality" on national television!). I suppose drag quean isn't PC [Big Grin] .

I don't think African Americans are going to abandon BLACK POWER to be acceptable to the PC constabulary; but they'll have a whole new lexicon next season. We can put wagers down on what the next PC ID will be. Fine. Let them use eubonics, let them maintain a subculture, and those who abandon the comfort food will slither to the top of the food chain.

I think the PeeCees ought to go back to the handicapped unisexual toilet and rethink their strategies in their favorite gender-neutral, nonracist, unisexual, gender-free environment, no ages asked, i.e., they ought to go back where they came from.

They insisted on being taken seriously, and that, I think, was a defeatest strategy in their campaign.

And whilst they're gone, they might also take a degree in comparative language or geography. Can one imagine unisexual language in the Swedish my grandfather spoke? It had seven genders. No kidding. PeeCeeSpeak makes no sense in French, as Koner pointedly pointed out, nor in most languages of the world.

PC should go to work in China where it would work. Mandarin has no past tense, so they could never be flushed down the tube when they're finished doing what it is they do do well.

I bolted the PeeCee wagon at a huge hotel charity raiser that had more colors than the rainbow coalition they pretended to represent. When the PC MC was pleased that so many "colors" and "genders" had turned up at the event, he tried to cajole "the natives" by saying, Yankees are just another minority group.

Guess what. I cancelled payment on my thousand-dollar cheque and got half a free meal. Any minority that pays to be insulted isn't going anywhere in this country, and why subsidize losers? Sorry, but the oppressed shouldn't grow up to oppress. It may be PeeCee, but it's also irredeemably vulgar to be so predictable. Bite the hand that feeds you and you starve to death.

And guess what! The PC party was for a playground that -- guess again! -- never got built and the donations for which disappeared in "rental and contingency costs". Somebody told me that more than half of the invitees were carrying free tickets to the dinner. THAT is veddy, veddy PeeCee.

Any propriety that goes around telling people what they should call themselves, which is what PeeCeers do in company auditorium after company auditorium -- never pro bono but always for considerable honoraria -- is not worthy of respect at all. They're just commonplace common scolds.

In Boston, common scolds were plunked into the ducking stool and dunked in the Frog Pond on the Common. The Puritan oppressors got one thing right!

PCers are always wrong because PC is wrong from the getgo. Going around shaming people one doesn't even know is nothing but snobbery. Is learning to become a snob, by their example, really the best way to become an American these days?

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Pelegius
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This thread is absurd. All reasonable people believe in what might be called cultural manners, for which P.C. is an almost universaly derogatory term for the taking of this belief, which all reasonable people believe, to a level with which no reasonable person can agree . I do not use racial slurs, but neither am I a believer in the censorship that goes on under the name of P.C.
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Richard Dey
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Pelegius:

Unfortunately, it is PC that is absurd, and PCers are not reasonable. There is in every generation and in every culture the clique who would take propriety to unreasonable degrees.

It's called taking over society -- and every society has had them. It's called taking over society and rendering it intolerable for anybody they do not tolerate.

The commies were PCers, the Nazis were PCers, the RCs were PCers .... Don't expect all of us to be as good as Pelegius [Big Grin] . In the meantime, our universities might fall to the Deconstructionists! [Eek!]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Pelegius:
This thread is absurd. All reasonable people believe in what might be called cultural manners, for which P.C. is an almost universaly derogatory term for the taking of this belief, which all reasonable people believe, to a level with which no reasonable person can agree . I do not use racial slurs, but neither am I a believer in the censorship that goes on under the name of P.C.

That's a really insightful way to put it. Taking something that all reasonable people believe, and stretching it to a level with which no reasonable person can agree ...

"if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing!"

Or as the Supreme Court put it,
"The principle expands to the limits of its logic."

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Richard Dey
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And then, of course, there's basic training!

I like Weinberg's crack. "Political correctness is not a high-level intellectual pursuit. That's why it ran unchecked and unfettered through our universities."

I still argue that consciousness, awareness, and sensitivity to others cannot be learnt by rote; and political correctness is rote learning. It's David Coulter's comment, now somewhat dated:

"Fags are the Chinaman's chinks, the Italians' guinea-wops, the Frenchman's frogs, the Hispanics' spics ...," and he went on for a good 5 minutes nonstop! Sometimes, some people want to insult people. In that sense, political propriety only makes offensive terms the more dangerous.

And NH, how the hell am I supposed to explain to this Portagee generation that Portagee is NOT a putdown? I'm to lecture to a Portagee about his heritage? I repeat. The Proprietess of Propriety needs to go back to school before she 'tarts teaching everybody else how to think.

We got through WWII without much propriety -- though I suspect I'm in the last generation to use the term Jap (and mean it). If we can't survive as a nation without propriety check-ins and diplomas in proper language, we don't deserve to be a country anyway because it is clear indication that we aren't one.

Yes words hurt. Throw them back! Pick a fight! Beat him! Win! Take him out for beer. The only time guys insult each other is when they can get away with it; all propriety does is drive reality into the dark alleys. When you duke it out, you learn the others' strengths -- and you may well wind up on the same team. It works for women too, you know.

It's called male banding. Male banding is to propriety as super-glue is to library paste.

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livermeer kenmaile
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As a kid playing army in the 60s, Japs was the only word for the Japanese. Nips? Nipponese? he former sounds like a cracker snack; the latter sounds like the instructions on their box.

And divine wind sounds like it smells...

What I know of the Japanese they are arguably the weirdest people on earth. Ultimate humanity. Bonded inseparably by a shared set of massive cultural contradictions. Sole national survivors of two atomic attacks. Incredible comeback artists. More American than Americans in terms of consukmer culture weirdness.

[ April 09, 2006, 10:16 PM: Message edited by: livermeer kenmaile ]

Posts: 1449 | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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