Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 16:50:44 -0500
From: tom reingold <>
Subject: Re: Saab or GM?

On 12/31/2002 9:53 AM:Johannes H Andersen wrote > > tom reingold wrote: >> >> On 12/24/2002 4:42 PM:Paul Halliday wrote >> >> > By Jap, do you mean Oriental? I have a Hyundai S-Coupe as well as two Saabs. >> > I wouldn't call it no-maintenance. I have a bad flow-sensor that mis-fires >> > like an overboosting turbo. It's a pig. "Jap" cars are all electronics and >> > prone to hideous failure. Still, the 3.0L Supra is one hell of a drive. >> >> Firstly, he said Japanese, not Jap. In case you don't know, Jap is a >> racist term. I know, I know, it sounds innocuous, especially since it's >> just an abbreviation. But it has come to have the same status as the >> word nigger. > > And who decides such things? If the poster didn't know, as it is not well > known, then presumably it was not used in a racist context and should not > be interpreted as such. You can read all sorts of things into everything > if you want to. > > Johannes I know he didn't mean it racistly. I have no problem with his mistake. I also think it's a good idea to tell people when they make that mistake, lest they are taken to mean to sound racist. Once you're warned, you have a responsibility. As for who decides these things? Ask dictionary writers how the observe the language. Recently, I read an article about them. They insist that they only observe and never dictate. This is for English, anyway. I'm sure the attitudes are different with other languages. The point is that there are general trends, and the general trend with the word "Jap" is that is usually used as a racist term. Most other uses are by people who don't know that. That qualifies it very resoluttely as a racist term. -- Tom Reingold Noo Joizy

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