Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 22:51:22 -0500
From: Aaron Drews drewsa[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GUSUN.ACC.GEORGETOWN.EDU
Subject: Re: Asian
On Tue, 12 Mar 1996, Ron Rabin wrote:
Has the meaning of Asian changed recently in American English?
When Oriental became no longer PC, Asian was substituted. Does Asian
now mean what Oriental used to mean whatever Asian used to mean before
Funny that. I just had a similar discussion on another
(non-linguistic) mailing list.
It seems that "oriental" carries the same weight as "nigger" to
some people. Plus, "oriental" refers to rugs, and Asian refers to
people. The Persians aren't happy about this though.
Somebody postulated that "oriental" has become derogatory because
of literary connotations of the word, which implies barbarism or
something like that. By some sort of osmosis, those that determine what
is and is not PC have adopted the same definition for "oriental" and
declared it un-PC.
Personally, I'm not satisfied with that explanation, and I'm
still trying to figure out why "oriental" is so bad. If anyone has an
answer, please let me know!!!
--Aaron E. Drews
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