Thursday, January 29, 2009

[OT] Blog Chain

A blog chain is a serious of posts across several blogs, investigating loosely related ideas.

Razib started us off from Bangladesh, speaking about the economic downturn and resulting job losses of employment and income.

Benjamin related this to the feelings on Australian day--where economic pressure intensified the worst strands of racist nationalism.

Fresh Hell spoke of the down sides of Virginia's past, but also the promise of a future with America's first African American president.

Wendy discussed how racism can be persistent in casual stereotypes and comments.

Madderblue discussed just how weird old sayings and idioms can be.

And Kat discussed how sayings can go wrong, especially between countries.

I an a New Zealander and living in the UK and US I have learned to just keep talking and let the idiom fall where it may. But it does seem like the easiest territory to go wrong in is unintended sexual euphemism. I have learned not to say booty, rubber, or "I'm easy". I do wish the Americans would meet me half way when it comes to fanny packs and "hump day." ;)

And on a slightly more serious note I really struggle writing in American English where 'they' is not accepted as a gender neutral singular, and use of male pronouns is still accepted as covering men and women. Sigh.

Edited to add: see also this addition to the discussion from Bartholomew

6 comments:

FreshHell said...

Hump Day = Wednesday. Fanny packs? Never!!

Kappa no He said...

Oh, but booty is such an awesome word!

I didn't know you were a New Zealander!

Benjamin Solah said...

That's interesting about 'they' not being accepted as gender neutral. Male pronouns are mostly used in Australia, but people will understand you if you use gender neutral terms. Except if you're a guy, your concern for women's rights makes you a fag *rolls eyes*

WendyCinNYC said...

Hump Day is gross--makes me think of dogs.

I'm with you on the "he" meaning "he or she." Although I think that's slowly fading away.

Kat Frass said...

I love the term "hump-day", but that could be because I find the secondary sexual meaning hilarious. I think double-entendres are GREAT. :-) Booty, also is such a fun word.. goes right back to all that great American slang.

I still tend to use he as general neutral.. but it is certainly frowned upon by many many people in America. I think it is that whole "politically correct" thing.. which drives me NUTS!!

Razib Ahmed said...

He still indicates ‘he’ or ‘she’ in USA? Even in a country like mine where patriarchy is still strong, we have started to use ‘they’ in this regard.
I also did not know that you were from New Zealand. It is one of the most beautiful countries on earth and I wish to travel it once before I die.