Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 9 June 2005

For "ned", read "chav"

Whilst this report is mildly interesting, for students of linguistics, this is the first and last time you will ever see either of these or other similar words used in this blog. I could not have imagined that I would ever agree with Rosie Kane of the Scottish Socialist Party about anything, but like her I deplore the use of this kind of patronising terminology to demonise other groups of people; the objects of this derision are people, too, however odious their behaviour seemingly often is.

I recognise, though, that the fact I do not have to live in close proximity to people often described in these ways may open me to the charge of a rather too 'liberal' middle-class attitude; fair enough, perhaps in some ways true, but in reality about as justified as similar claims about those not living in communities with a high proportion of immigrants to this country adopting very 'tolerant' attitudes. Not justified at all. People who justify the use of such terminology are no better than those who use derogatory terms to describe (and stigmatise) people from other countries, cultures or religions. These terms say as much, or more, about the users than about the objects of their 'affections'.

We're a' John (Jock) Tamson's Bairns
(from a traditional Scottish song by Dr Joseph Roy, expressing the view that 'we are all God's children', or more prosaically, all human beings are equal)

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