Only my best freinds (in fact, usually only other Hungarians)

ever call me a Hunkey.

is the point here. I remember an incident when I first came to Japan and

was running around with a mixed crew of Japanese and Americans. At a

noisy party one night, one of the Americans yelled out "Jap" at one of the

Japanese guests. The room got really quiet for a second, until

tha person shot back with "gaijin". After this, there was a feeling that

now all of us in the group had crossed a line; we

could insult each other (and get away with it) as only friends could.

It doesn't surprise me that Jason Wilke doesn't find derogatory a term

which others do, or that he doesn't mind referring to himself in this

way. After all, I have heard African-Americans referring to themselves

(in jest, as a defense mechanism, etc.) as "nigger". And it was "queers"

and "dykes" (not heterosexuals) who formed groups like Queer Nation and

Dykes on Bikes. Does that mean that it's okay for everyone else to use

these insulting and just down-right mean words? Of course not. It seems

to me that if SOME people find a term that's used to describe

them derogatory, then that's good enough reason to consider them to be so.

Danny Long, full-time gaijin

I find it somewhat odd that Jason Wilke keeps trying to convince us that

a term (in this case German 'Ami' for 'American') lacks any negative

connotations by emphasizing the degree of trust, closeness, and

friendship that exists between him and those who use this term on him.

For me, that is a pretty good sign that it probably does have negative

connotations. Only my best freinds (in fact, usually only other

Hungarians) ever call mea Hunkey.

Dennis Preston