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 Post subject: Re: What a crying shame!
Post #61 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:33 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
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Second, you are trying to badger me into changing my native language (which is not American). I had the same experience with 'oriental'. An American admin here asked me to stop using it because some Chinese people in America didn't like it. He preferred 'Asian'. I pointed out that 'Asian' here in Britain means Indian/Pakistani and that a local mall near where I live, which was a collection of Chinese, Japanese and Korean shops, called itself 'Oriental City' (and the term can be found in that usage all over London). I refused to change. This is an international forum.


The term "oriental" is generally considered inappropriate to use to refer to people, not just by Chinese-Americans, but by a substantial percentage of English speaking East Asians around the world. While referring to a rug or a mall as oriental can be acceptable, referring to a person as oriental has been mostly phased out and is considered politically incorrect not just in the US but internationally as well.

In comparison with another racially charged term - the N-word - the fact that a person of African-American descent often uses that term does not make it socially acceptable for one of a non-African American descent to use that term. I know of several old white men that insist that they too can use the N-word because they've heard some African-Americans use that term on a rap album and it's only fair that they can also use that term. Granted that there are major differences between the two terms and it isn't a perfect analogy. However, the similarity lies in that the most relevant reason why one should not use those terms is not for political correctness, but of simple human decency to not address someone by a term that is likely to offend or upset that person.

John Fairbairn, you were informed that the term oriental is offensive to many people and you refused to change. The term may be still be used in the UK but is offensive to many throughout the world and the fact that this an international forum and not a British forum is more reason for you to not use that term here. The main reason though that you refuse to change is because you are an inflexible person that is generally not open to any sort of change.

I give you all the respect in the world for your passion for Go and its rich history and your contributions to this forum are both significant and appreciated. However, I find that the crying shame here is that in this historic moment in Korean Go - the generational passing of the guard that one can count on one hand (Cho Hunhyeon->Lee Changho->Lee Sedol->Park Junghwan->Shin Jinseo) - that the brilliance of Shin Jinseo is not celebrated but rather the absence of Lee Changho is mourned. That the rise of Korean and Chinese Go isn't praised as an advancement for the game as a whole, but the decline of Japanese Go is a sign of its fall.

It is no wonder that you long for the days where games took days to complete as that kind of nostalgia is quite common across many fields. What is less common is the lengths to which you belittle shorter time limits. I personally don't care about the term Mickey Mouse as much as the implication that a world champion with 2 hr thinking time is not worthy of any respect as it isn't "real go".

My opinion is that we should cheer the amazing progress that the game has made. We should be excited by the highest quality play and prefer to see Ke Jie play Park Junghwan in a 2hr thinking time world title game than to see O Rissei play O Meien yet again in an insignificant Honinbo qualifier with longer time limits. Rather than replaying Shusaku's masterpiece for the millionth time, we should be fascinated at Alphago's shoulder hit, discussing Lee Sedol's wedge and studying AlphagoZero's 3-3 play. We should be thankful for internet go and how it has opened access to both higher quality and quantity of games for the entire world rather than rueing the fact that the some privileged Japanese kid who might have played on an expensive tenchimasa kaya board in an earlier generation is now clicking a mouse. We should celebrate the ingenuity of mankind to develop programs like Lizzie that could give access to the type of instruction that was previously only available at prestigious go clubs and academies in China/Japan/Korea and may one day, lead to a world champion from another part of the world.

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 Post subject: Re: What a crying shame!
Post #62 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:08 am 
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Brooklyn wrote:
The term "oriental" is generally considered inappropriate to use to refer to people, not just by Chinese-Americans, but by a substantial percentage of English speaking East Asians around the world. While referring to a rug or a mall as oriental can be acceptable, referring to a person as oriental has been mostly phased out and is considered politically incorrect not just in the US but internationally as well.


What is the substantial percentage? :) I found a reasonable sounding discussion of the topic here https://english.stackexchange.com/quest ... pejorative , but my main take away point was that Asian-Americans were more likely to find the word Oriental offensive than Asian-'Europeans', given that a listed reason for the offense was the tie in with European Imperialism. Now I am really quite curious to know why that is likely to be. Is it down to the whole Vietnam War fiasco? Or is it down to people in the USA being more vocal about what they believe to be offensive?

Generally speaking, I am slightly sceptical about the whole geopoliticalpseudoracialidenititycrisis of our modern world. For example, British Isles is now an offensive term, but it is a staple of the modern atlas. Second example, I come from a region which has NO name which is not considered as offensive by particular strain. I can't even refer to it here, other than saying THAT THERE PLACE HEH BAE, as a result. Whilst some may choose to be offended, or may actually be offended, by the use of the O word by John Fairbairn, I think I find his defense rather reasonable. If people are offended though, that can only be a good thing. We need more tears and suffering
in this world.

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 Post subject: Re: What a crying shame!
Post #63 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:41 pm 
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Javaness2 wrote:
Brooklyn wrote:
The term "oriental" is generally considered inappropriate to use to refer to people, not just by Chinese-Americans, but by a substantial percentage of English speaking East Asians around the world. While referring to a rug or a mall as oriental can be acceptable, referring to a person as oriental has been mostly phased out and is considered politically incorrect not just in the US but internationally as well.


What is the substantial percentage? :) I found a reasonable sounding discussion of the topic here https://english.stackexchange.com/quest ... pejorative ,


Thank you for that reference. I looked over the discussion briefly, and may have missed something, but my main takeaway from it is two-fold: 1) People are guessing about how and why referring to a person as oriental is considered offensive; 2) Nobody has observed it being used as a pejorative.

Quote:
but my main take away point was that Asian-Americans were more likely to find the word Oriental offensive than Asian-'Europeans', given that a listed reason for the offense was the tie in with European Imperialism. Now I am really quite curious to know why that is likely to be. Is it down to the whole Vietnam War fiasco? Or is it down to people in the USA being more vocal about what they believe to be offensive?


IMO, it has nothing to do with the Vietnam War. The racist terms, gook and slope, were used back then. Besides, political correctness had not yet become a thing.

BTW, in the referenced discussion, one guess that people made is wrong. "Oriental" is not a Euro-centric term. Europe is Occidental.

Throughout most of history, the Orient has been the place of high civilization. The East-West divide goes back at least to the Greeks and the Parthians. Alexander conquered "the world" ( ;)), but Cyrus became the King of Kings. Westerners may talk of the fall of the Roman Empire, but that was only of the Western Roman Empire. The Eastern Roman Empire continued for at least another millennium. It is only in modern times that the West became dominant. I suppose that the final blow was the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI and its dissolution. Or perhaps it was the dissolution of the Soviet Empire.

The military dominance of the West may have spawned derogatory views of Easterners by some Westerners, but I have never observed such attitudes among devotees of go. Speaking for myself, I became interested in Oriental philosophy at age 11, and for me Oriental has always been a term of reverence. That some people regard it as a term of denigration is to me a crying shame.

BTW, since people seem to be guessing as to why that has happened, it would probably make a good master's thesis in linguistics for someone.

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Post #64 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:50 pm 
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This article does suggest that its origins lie in the Vietnam War https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-amer ... al-n875601
With a brief reading my first impression is that the skunking of Oriental mainly lies in reaction to racism. It isn't that people actually found the word Oriental offensive, though it seems they now do, it is that they rebranded themselves to forcibly access equality. It's an interesting topic.

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Post #65 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:03 pm 
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This year may be a year about Asia.

Baduk has dual stories for South Korea and Japan, with China— interestingly— in the middle, perhaps so far balanced best. Although one day we may see a player and miss the country :).

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Last edited by Elom on Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post #66 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:11 pm 
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A year is a long time in byoyomi

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Post #67 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:28 pm 
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Javaness2 wrote:
A year is a long time in byoyomi


Even in correspondence go.

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Post #68 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:46 pm 
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Javaness2 wrote:
This article does suggest that its origins lie in the Vietnam War https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-amer ... al-n875601
With a brief reading my first impression is that the skunking of Oriental mainly lies in reaction to racism. It isn't that people actually found the word Oriental offensive, though it seems they now do, it is that they rebranded themselves to forcibly access equality. It's an interesting topic.


Thanks for the reference. :) So the term, Asian-American was adopted by a group fighting racist stereotypes in 1968. Still, the article claims that oriental was or is pejorative without evidence. It does reference racist stereotyping employed by British imperialists, but I think that imperialists of the time preferred the term, wog, to indicate racial inferiority.

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Post #69 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:58 pm 
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This discussion and some of the explanations for why the term is objectionable evokes Said's Orientalism for me: https://www.amazon.com/Unknown-Orientalism/dp/B004HOD1Y2/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1546556981&sr=8-1

Given the eclectic interests of many on L19, this might be an enjoyable read. (In fact, I just realized that while I've had many conversations about the book and been assigned parts of it, I've never actually read it cover to cover. So, I might read it as well ;-)

FWIW, my take is that choosing a different word is a small price to pay to avoid offense.


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Post #70 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:08 pm 
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According to Webster's Dictionary:

oriental adjective
ori·​en·​tal | \ˌȯr-ē-ˈen-tᵊl \
Definition of oriental (Entry 1 of 2)
1 or Oriental : of, relating to, or situated in the orient
2 or Oriental : of, relating to, or coming from Asia and especially eastern Asia
oriental food
oriental art
—now sometimes considered offensive especially when used to describe a person

Oriental noun
Definition of Oriental (Entry 2 of 2)
dated, now usually offensive : ASIAN
especially : one who is a native of east Asia or is of east Asian descent

In 2016, a law was passed that prohibits the use of the words "oriental" and "negro" in US federal law.

Webster's Dictionary is an American dictionary and the law that was passed is an American piece of legislation. However, it is American English that has usually become the lingua franca for East Asians and therefore if speaking with an English speaking person of East Asian descent on an international forum, it is safe to assume that there is a reasonable chance that individual will take offense to the term oriental.

Change is a constant and what society considers acceptable in the past may not be in accepted in the present or future. In the 1960's the African-Americans were referred to as "colored people" by the majority of society but that term is no longer used.

The relevant point is often obfuscated by debates about political correctness. Examples on the extremes are brought up about people being over sensitive to being called certain terms and where the line should be drawn about revising one's vocabulary to be sensitive to the feelings of a few outliers that take offense too easily.

The relevant point is that if one is aware that there is a reasonable chance that the usage of a term will be offensive and hurtful to other people, then human decency dictates that one should refrain from using that term if at all possible.

JohnFairbairn and others on this forum - you are all now fully informed that when speaking with English speaking East Asians, the usage of the term oriental when referring to them will have a reasonable chance of offending that person. The reasons for why they take offense, if those reasons are justified, these are all tangents that closed minded people usually focus on while paying no mind to the fact that you are willfully and knowingly causing offense to another human being. Some sort of combination of fairness, privilege, historical right, what have you.... results in a self-justification to use a derogatory term that is hurtful to some people.

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Post #71 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:32 pm 
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This was mentioned twice:
Quote:
Still, the article claims that oriental was or is pejorative without evidence.
Quote:
2) Nobody has observed it being used as a pejorative.
I have.


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Post #72 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:01 pm 
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This thread is getting controversial and off-topic.

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Post #73 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:33 pm 
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Brooklyn wrote:
Change is a constant and what society considers acceptable in the past may not be in accepted in the present or future. In the 1960's the African-Americans were referred to as "colored people" by the majority of society but that term is no longer used.


FWIW, colored person was my late wife's term for herself. ;)

Quote:
The relevant point is often obfuscated by debates about political correctness.


Oh? As far as I can tell from the references given and other sources -- not that I am going to write a thesis on this question -- political correctness is the point.

Quote:
The relevant point is that if one is aware that there is a reasonable chance that the usage of a term will be offensive and hurtful to other people, then human decency dictates that one should refrain from using that term if at all possible.


To be sure, one should refrain from hurting others, if possible, but offending others is another question. Giving offense is part of life. Taking offense is also part of life, but one over which one has more control. Misunderstanding is also part of life, but one which we can work to remedy and overcome.

Quote:
JohnFairbairn and others on this forum - you are all now fully informed that when speaking with English speaking East Asians, the usage of the term oriental when referring to them will have a reasonable chance of offending that person.


Do you not see that the phrase, "fully informed" is PC talk? You are putting yourself in the place of laying down the law and issuing a warning. John Fairbairn is a long time student of oriental languages and cultures. He would not have chosen to make those studies without a great respect for oriental cultures and peoples. Language changes, yes, but his is a voice that deserves to be heard, not dismissed as closed minded.

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Post #74 Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:39 pm 
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EdLee wrote:
This was mentioned twice:
Quote:
Still, the article claims that oriental was or is pejorative without evidence.
Quote:
2) Nobody has observed it being used as a pejorative.
I have.


I'm sure that if you look you will find evidence, but was it used as a stock pejorative phrase in the same way that the n-word was? I think that kind of evidence would be far more convincing. The basic problem being that nobody in the UK, for example, every went round saying things like "You behave yourself or you'll have to sit on the Oriental step".

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Post #75 Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:04 am 
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EdLee wrote:
This was mentioned twice:
Quote:
Still, the article claims that oriental was or is pejorative without evidence.
Quote:
2) Nobody has observed it being used as a pejorative.
I have.


Thanks, Ed. :D

Gee, I had hoped that the link would have illustrated the pejorative use of oriental.

As for the talk, I have stronger feelings than the speaker about what she calls White fragility. IMO, reverse racism is a croc. IMO, political correctness is, too. Both are in the realm of personal morality.

Since 1963 I have understood that racism is central to US politics, and I understand that systemic racism is the main way that it sustains itself, although I cannot date that understanding. (Edit: I have been a systemic thinker for many years. To a systemic thinker, systemic racism is obvious.) Currently I am considering the best way for me to fight against systemic racism. IMO, PC is counterproductive in that fight.

This is not really the forum to go into all of this.


Edited.

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Post #76 Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:07 am 
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Hi Bill,
Thanks.
Quote:
IMO, reverse racism is a croc. IMO, political correctness is, too.
I disagree they are so :black: :white: and clear cut. Complex issues rarely are. :)
Quote:
This is not really the forum to go into all of this.
I agree it's a hot potato. It wasn't I who brought it out in the open here.

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Post #77 Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:24 am 
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Brooklyn wrote:
However, it is American English that has usually become the lingua franca for East Asians


Are you sure about that? I found a map here: https://moverdb.com/british-vs-american-english/ which seems to indicate the contrary.

Attachment:
british-v-american-english.png
british-v-american-english.png [ 35.62 KiB | Viewed 390 times ]


A related question: are all varieties of English acceptable on this forum? What if a word is normal in X-English and offensive in Y-English?

American English
British English
Canadian English
Australian English
Hiberno‐English (Irish English)
New Zealand English
Scottish English
Welsh English
Ulster English
Manx English
Channel Island English
Bermudian English
Belizean English
Falkland Islands English
Guyanese English
Bay Islands English
Caribbean English
Antiguan English
Anguillan English
Bahamian English
Bajan English
Jamaican English
Vincentian English
Trinidadian English
Brunei English
Burmese English
Hong Kong English
Pakistani English
Indian English
Nepali English
Manglish (Malaysian English)
Philippine English
Singlish (Singapore English)
Sri Lankan English
Cameroonian English
Kenyan English
Liberian English
Malawian English
Namlish
South African English
South Atlantic English (spoken on Tristan da Cunha and Saint Helena)
Ugandan English

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Post #78 Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:37 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Hi Bill,
Thanks.
Quote:
IMO, reverse racism is a croc. IMO, political correctness is, too.
I disagree they are so :black: :white: and clear cut. Complex issues rarely are. :)
Quote:
This is not really the forum to go into all of this.
I agree it's a hot potato. It wasn't I who brought it out in the open here.


Thanks, Ed. :)

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Post #79 Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:55 am 
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I see that I (a foreigner) am being accused of Un-American Activities. And by an anonymous person at that. At least McCarthy told us who he was.

The Crucible... The Forum...

Seems America needs a new Arthur Miller rather than a Wall down to the Atlantic seaboard.

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Post #80 Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:03 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Brooklyn wrote:
Change is a constant and what society considers acceptable in the past may not be in accepted in the present or future. In the 1960's the African-Americans were referred to as "colored people" by the majority of society but that term is no longer used.


FWIW, colored person was my late wife's term for herself. ;)


My parents, born between 1895 and 1903, used the term colored people without rancor...but times change. I think that if I referred to my (African-American) wife as Colored, I might be sleeping alone...at least for awhile :-(

More than 25 years ago my wife informed me that saying someone was Oriental was offensive...I don't really feel like it is, or meant it to be offensive, but like certain words (e.g., niggardly) I understand some people have negative reactions. So language evolves. Let me hasten to add, however, that I stringently reject the PC culture that seeks to stifle contrary viewpoints by crying over how they are offended. I think this is a distinction worth making. Just my 2 cents.


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