Terminology

Raymond de Hoop rdehoop at keyaccess.nl
Fri Feb 9 09:21:30 EST 2001


Polycarp66 at aol.com <Polycarp66 at aol.com> wrote on 09-02-2001 12:54:

> It is not simply a matter of "new" words which is disagreeable.  It is the
> tendency to abandon perfectly good older terms because someone has become
> offended with some real or imagined offensive occurence.  When languages
> cease to develop they die.  I'm not prepared, however, to change my use of
> terms every five minutes to suit someone's whims.

Polycarp,

It is not simply that I am offended by the terminology of "race", "racial",
etc. I am just a perfect white, male christian from the western world, so it
does not affect me.
    If you knew just a little of history, you would have known that the
thinking in terms of "race" with regard to the human world, with its roots
in the nineteenth-century evolutionistic thinking, has brought about a lot
of inhumanity from those _who allow themselves to use this terminology_. One
of the results has been the thinking of the perfect Aryan race over against
the inferior Jewish race, result: next to the death of millions of other
people, six million Jews, who are killed. Further, what to think of the
racial laws in the USA untill the sixties/seventies. Or what to think of
Apartheid (to be sure: a Dutch word, my mother tongue) in South Africa, that
was terminated  only at the end of the previous century?
    Next to that, just consider whether the term "race" is adequate when
talking about Jews. Doing that you will have one very serious problem: the
Ethiopian Jews. 

It was not just Jonathans whim, or mine. It is just a matter of rethinking
history and culture; hoping to learn of the errors made in the past. The
development of language also implies that a word erodes and that good older
terms loose their good older meanings. A people that does not learn from its
past will die.

Greetings

Raymond

-- 

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Dr Raymond de Hoop          Tel.: ++31 50 553 0115
Boeiersingel 11
NL-9745 CA Groningen
The Netherlands             E-mail: rdehoop at keyaccess.nl


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