wow. that's quite astonishing, and yet somehow not surprising when it's the Evening Standard. sometimes i forget i live in a civilised country.
It may not be surprising coming from the ES, but I also think it deserves not to pass without comment. Angry letter writing commences today.
Took me a minute to figure out. I agree with you nears would have been an easier choice.
It would have been so much better. I can't have been the only person to think, "...Did I just time warp back several decades?"
Holy hell, how did that make it past the department of polital correctness?
Or even the department of WHAT THE ARE YOU IT'S 2011. Which is a lower bar than the "sensitive to the power politics of language department" by a good long drop.
I invite you to join the "angry letter to the ES" campaign.
I'll compose something short and sharp in my head on the drive to St. Paul today, and send it during the weekend.
I have no idea. The mind boggles.
Several decades prior to when we thought it was, apparently.
I'm afraid, being from a part of the country where most folk are either white or of Indian or Pakistani origin, I honestly don't know what terms are and aren't appropriate for, in the most generic term I can think of, people of African origin. Is that allowed? I don't know! Having read the Wikipedia entry on "negro", I'm not feeling particularly enlightened. What is appropriate?
Edited at 2011-12-17 09:14 pm (UTC)
People of African origin are African (or Nigerian, Congolese, Kenyan, etc if you actually know which country they're from). I would say that all other terms are way too loaded for a person who is not of African origin to use. For instance, I don't mind being called Asian because I consider that a geographic and hence neutral term, but "Oriental" pisses me off. Even if you hear someone self-identify with a different term, like the one in the crossword, you probably won't want to use it when referring to that person.
Edited at 2011-12-18 10:02 am (UTC)
So can I refer to someone as "black" in a descriptive context (I really hope I'm not being offensive here, I want to know what's OK and what's not), or can one never refer to someone using their skin tone / ethnic origin as a descriptive? For example, "there were three black guys and two white guys in the band"? Race can be a useful and totally not meant to be offensive descriptor, and without such recourse, one gets tied in knots trying to re-phase something and then everyone gets awkward and doesn't know if they've been accidentally racist or at the least politically incorrect. I've seen this situation arise more than once, especially here where we know a grand total of zero black people personally. Was than an OK sentence? I've heard others say the correct term in such a context is "African-American" but that's not useful in Britain and I haven't heard an equivalent term here.
I won't tell you how long I tried to make 'African' = 'nears'; what else could it be? *lightbulb* Oh. My. gawd. O.O
The only time I would expect to see or hear that word ever is immediately preceding the word Spirituals. And I don't know that I'd feel comfortable saying it even in that context.
The technical term negro doesn't shock me as much, I study a lot of history from when that was the preferred word (Negro leagues, United Negro College Fund, etc. ) However, even if they meant the technical terminology, the clue is stupid since there are sections of Africa that are not anthropologically negro at all.