[linux-elitists] Introducing Myself

Ben Woodard ben@zork.net
Mon Jan 12 09:41:27 PST 2004


On Sun, 2004-01-11 at 17:09, Teh Entar-Nick wrote:
> begin  Andrew  quotation:
> > Ugh I feel so gypped by LEGO these past few years.
> 
> 	I'm sick and tired of this anti-gypsy slur.  You can be
> cheated by non-gypsies, and not all gypsies are not somehow racially
> cheaters or thieves.  Please do not use the word "gyp" to mean "cheat"
> or "Welsh" to mean "go back on a deal".  The world's full of fun
> racist crap without you trying to resurrect old nonsense.

It is kind of interesting. I wonder how many people here in the US even
realize that "gyp" as a word is an ethnic slur. Until you pointed it out
I didn't even think about it. I think that maybe it has something to do
with the fact that here in the US our 2nd class citizens tend to be the
blacks and the Latinos rather than gypsies. I know personally, I sort of
know that gypsies were a persecuted people in Europe but I couldn't tell
you more than that. I have no idea how to recognize one and I wouldn't
know I was talking to a Gypsy unless someone self-identified. I'd argue
that I'm reasonably well educated.

I guess what I'm arguing is that here in the US the association with
Gypsies and "gyp" is pretty weak. I'd say that most Americans are so
clueless about the origins of the words and don't have a clue about who
the Gypsies are/were and what they are/were supposed to be like.

In one sense, gyp having lost its ethnic association, is almost the
opposite of "niggard" which although it has absolutely nothing to do
with the racial slur "nigger" but sounds enough like it that people
still get offended.

Personally, I'm generally against sanitizing our language. I "piss" not
"urinate". I "shit" not "defecate". And the stuff that comes out is
"crap" not "excrement". (and now for the big one. Voted #1 most dirty
word in the language") Females have a "cunt" not a "vagina". Without
"cunt" we wouldn't have "queen" "queer" "cunnilingus" and a whole bunch
of other words. (I'm not sure if "penis" replacing "cock" in common
usage is also part of the systematic replacement of words that certain
people find uncomfortable.)

BTW I also believe that we shouldn't remove swear words from the Linux
kernel source. In many cases the hardware that the person is swearing at
really needs to be sworn at. ;-)

-ben





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