Author Topic: Language "outrage" in the US  (Read 4515 times)

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2020, 09:52:54 AM »
Do we know why he was saying it?  Why it was part of the lesson/lecture/whatevs?

Why he's teaching the most common mandarin filler word as part of his international communication course? I can only assume it's because he's actually a racist.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2020, 10:05:14 AM »
Absolutely pathetic infantilism for state news to be using phrases like 'the N word' in the context of this article. Baby speak. 'He who must not be named.'

Well, they recently got in the shit for using said word (at the request of the victim) in a news report about a racist attack. So I can understand their caution.

https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-08-07/bbc-complaints-n-word/


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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2020, 10:09:33 AM »
Why he's teaching the most common mandarin filler word as part of his international communication course? I can only assume it's because he's actually a racist.

Perhaps I wasn't clear.  Do we know what the reason was he was teaching that word?  Is it because he teaches a module on how to say Umm, uh.. in Mandarin?  Or was there other context?  Even past interactions with students.  My point was, until people understand why he did whatever he did, they can't really know whether what he did was wrong (killing baby Hitler, that sort of thing).

sirhenry

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2020, 10:21:11 AM »
Perhaps I wasn't clear.  Do we know what the reason was he was teaching that word?  Is it because he teaches a module on how to say Umm, uh.. in Mandarin?  Or was there other context?  Even past interactions with students.  My point was, until people understand why he did whatever he did, they can't really know whether what he did was wrong (killing baby Hitler, that sort of thing).
From the article linked in the OP:
Quote
Professor Greg Patton at the University of Southern California (USC) was telling students in a communications lecture last month about filler, or pause words, such as 'err', 'umm' or 'you know' in English.

Footage of his lecture, which has now gone viral, shows Prof Patton saying: "In China, the common pause word is 'that, that, that'. So in China, it might be na-ge, na-ge, na-ge."
So it does look to be innocuous, though as it was the only example he used, it's not possible to say conclusively. And the first link in that BBC article is to the twitter feed of someone who looks to spend his time finding similar 'outrages' to publicise.

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2020, 10:40:15 AM »
It's very innocuous - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24JhHLpgjXI

He is just covering filler words and doesn't make "a thing" about it, just goes over it casually before moving on (I'm assuming the full video is MUCH longer and covers a lot more stuff).  That vid also includes faculty responses (I presume they're real).

Buelligan

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2020, 10:42:31 AM »
From the article linked in the OP:So it does look to be innocuous, though as it was the only example he used, it's not possible to say conclusively. And the first link in that BBC article is to the twitter feed of someone who looks to spend his time finding similar 'outrages' to publicise.

I didn't notice the thing about the person's twitter feed but I did read the bit about telling students in a communications lecture last month about filler, or pause words and that's fine, but it doesn't fill in the whole picture as to why someone should be shot or not. 

You know, I had a really dreadful gropey teacher (at school) who would stand over girls, so's he was behind them when they were sitting, with his groin in your back, put his arm down on one side of you, his head next to yours, then the other arm round you onto the desk in front, so's you were completely enveloped in him, couldn't move at all.  He was breathing right into your face.  If he'd said he was just explaining a point, that would've been true but it wouldn't have been the whole truth.

Sometimes someone is just explaining something, sometimes it's a bit more complicated, until we know the background context, we don't know.

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2020, 10:48:18 AM »
Teaching Chinese people online I hear this a lot. It really does sound like they're saying the bad word, and this has caused a bit of understandable drama in the past when the teacher has been black. However, as others have already said, in the context of a lecture about language it's pretty obvious what the intention was and it's just wilfully daft to get upset about it. If they'd never heard the term before they could have checked themselves on Google in a few seconds and realised they were in the wrong and just left it at that. I do wonder why this isn't what happened.

I think the idea of there being a cancel culture and performative outrage etc. is pretty much total bollocks and invented by the right, but then stories like this emerge and it becomes a lot harder to justify that viewpoint in my mind.

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2020, 10:48:43 AM »
When living in Singapore it was useful to know a bit of mandarin but pronunciation is a bit tricky. The mandarin for ‘what?’ Is pronounced sha-ma, but when a middle aged white man says it, it sounds like Michael Jackson saying ‘shamone!’ , however I never got into a fight with paedophile enthusiasts or get ‘cancelled’

Oh and in Sweden, fitter (as in aircraft fitter) means ‘cunt’ the high I found out 2 weeks into an aircraft inspection in linkeoping

So my view is this whole thing is a bit of a pointless tirade to be honest

Isn't the word for sale in Swedish "Slut". Saw that plastered on the shop windows in Stockholm and thought I was quids in

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2020, 10:57:20 AM »
Teaching Chinese people online I hear this a lot. It really does sound like they're saying the bad word, and this has caused a bit of understandable drama in the past when the teacher has been black. However, as others have already said, in the context of a lecture about language it's pretty obvious what the intention was and it's just wilfully daft to get upset about it. If they'd never heard the term before they could have checked themselves on Google in a few seconds and realised they were in the wrong and just left it at that. I do wonder why this isn't what happened.

I think the idea of there being a cancel culture and performative outrage etc. is pretty much total bollocks and invented by the right, but then stories like this emerge and it becomes a lot harder to justify that viewpoint in my mind.

It's happened with this particular word a few times though, as it says in the article. 


There are also a few different Japanese words that sound like it.  I can't remember exactly what they mean, but they're all, again, very innocuous.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2020, 11:00:07 AM »
This is obviously a load of horseshit. Dwi'n dysgu cymraeg (I'm a Welsh learner). The plural of ci (dogs) is cwn ("coon") though it is not commonly used and everyone jokes about the welsh of one hundred being cunt (it's actually "cant" but whatever)  and Spanish for black is negro.

I strongly suspect this is the right wing trying to whip up a fake cancelling.

Pretty sure hallway has cunt in it too. Might just pretend to be proper welsh every where I go so I can say cunt in public.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2020, 11:00:13 AM »
Ironically this seems like a particularly egregious bit of cultural imperialism on the part of the young western wokeheads (of a sort that often also rears its head in arguments over cultural appropriation) . But then I'd like to see the substance of their complaints to see if there's some subtlety I'm missing.

That’s what I take from this, with the scant details available.
“That word from your funny little language is offensive because it sounds like a bad word in the default language of the world: English.
Please don’t offend me by uttering your goobly-doobly woop-woop shite in my proximity. Thanks.”

No wonder the Chinese students are pissed off.

Buelligan

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2020, 11:11:59 AM »
And just to continue for a moment with thoughts on background, presumably, this professor or teacher is reasonably experienced both with that word and with teaching.  So, when preparing the lesson will have thought, oh yes, that's that word that sounds like ...  So why use it without giving a warning or explanation first? 

sirhenry

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2020, 11:30:07 AM »
Other languages are available...

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2020, 11:30:44 AM »
Obviously the cancellation of the prof for teaching a word to students is pretty ridiculous, but I'd disagree that the BBC report is being prudish in not printing the full word that the Mandarin term is being compared to (and I would apply that logic to any direct reporting of racist or derogatory language). The 'N word' is hugely offensive and upsetting to hear or read for many, many people, and if news outlets think it's OK to bandy it about without warning then I really do think it sends out a message that your reaction as a black person (or other marginalised group, depending on the word etc.) isn't really worthy of consideration, and I think disregarding that to satisfy some sort of libertarian point-scoring (as seems to be some people's motivation whenever this comes up - not referring to anyone here), when there's no ambiguity about what the euphemism refers to[1], is really petty and selfish actually.

Not defending the BBC at all btw, but I find the topic of 'censoring' racist language is one I've had a few arguments about with people I know, and I find it so frustrating that many of them can't seem to get their heads around the fact that people might not want to be randomly assaulted with aggressively racist terms that have been used against them and their ancestors while they're scrolling through the news in the morning or whatever.

Anyway, as a few posters have said, the hand-wringing over the Mandarin word itself is surely the equivalent of laughing at foreign words because they sound a bit rude. I remember at school we were shown a video of some classical Indian dance, with singing, and my friend and I were pissing ourselves because there was a bit in the chorus that sounded like 'GIANT VAGIIINNAAA' and we were obviously ignorant little shits at the time.
 1. It does make me laugh when yer Mails and Telegraphs etc. censor any sort of swear word/sexual language etc. with asterisks, to the point where it genuinely does get quite cryptic ' "He called her a 'b***** f****" etc.

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2020, 11:36:03 AM »
Isn't the word for sale in Swedish "Slut". Saw that plastered on the shop windows in Stockholm and thought I was quids in

And there's lots of slags in the Netherlands and Flanders.

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Re: These men are idiots, Donny
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2020, 11:57:29 AM »
he even says "Chinese say that, that that"
Yes?

Quote
you'd be right at home in modern USA universities.
???

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #46 on: September 12, 2020, 12:05:41 PM »
In France there's a town called Brest and nobody there thinks it's funny. I mean come on!!

chveik

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2020, 12:07:00 PM »
I think the idea of there being a cancel culture and performative outrage etc. is pretty much total bollocks and invented by the right, but then stories like this emerge and it becomes a lot harder to justify that viewpoint in my mind.

these stories are designed to make you feel that way. some weird shit happening on US campuses is hardly representative of society as a whole

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2020, 12:08:00 PM »
There's an African country called Niger. How they're still getting away with that is beyond me.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2020, 12:09:07 PM »
these stories are designed to make you feel that way. some weird shit happening on US campuses is hardly representative of society as a whole

Ah but what if it was a story swung the other way on the pendulum? Would you still say its not representative of society as a whole?

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2020, 12:11:21 PM »
As Zetetic said, perhaps a warning would have been prudent.  But on the other hand if he's just churning out a lecture he's been doing for years and it's never come up as a problem before, and he's purely in language teaching mode, it's easy to accept that he just didn't make the immediate connection.  I'm sure we've all innocently said things and only realised the faux pas after we've said it and someone has pointed it out to us, at least once in our lives.

chveik

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2020, 12:13:47 PM »
Ah but what if it was a story swung the other way on the pendulum? Would you still say its not representative of society as a whole?

that's really not the gotcha you think it is

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2020, 12:15:25 PM »
Yeah it didn't quite make sense the moment I hit post but fuck it.

imitationleather

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2020, 12:18:04 PM »
these stories are designed to make you feel that way. some weird shit happening on US campuses is hardly representative of society as a whole

You're right.

When I was at Goldsmiths it kept being featured in the news because of what the more off-the-wall people in the student union were doing. In the articles it would always be presented like everyone at the university supported them declaring that all white men should be murdered etc., when in fact everyone who wasn't in their tiny clique thought they were extremely embarrassing.

This is probably similar.

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #54 on: September 12, 2020, 12:18:39 PM »
And the first link in that BBC article is to the twitter feed of someone who looks to spend his time finding similar 'outrages' to publicise.

Indeed.

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The Mollusk

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #55 on: September 12, 2020, 12:34:36 PM »
Forgot About Dre is a very popular lullaby in China.

Got a big laugh from me, cheers

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #56 on: September 12, 2020, 12:45:48 PM »
Isn't the word for sale in Swedish "Slut". Saw that plastered on the shop windows in Stockholm and thought I was quids in

As I was after arriving in Rotterdam for the first time at the age of 18 and seeing 'slagroom' offered for half a guilder.

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2020, 12:54:06 PM »
Underworld walk nervously into thread.

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #58 on: September 12, 2020, 01:16:12 PM »
So that’s “that”, but what is “this”? Is this this? Yes, this is this.

Thomas

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2020, 01:29:24 PM »
Watched the clip. Just sounds like he's trying to be a professional language lecturer by pronouncing a relevant Chinese word properly (rather than dropping it in to be provocative, or anything like that). He gives an example of what he's talking about - phonetically stark, because it sounds nothing like our English um, and relevant because Chinese is the most commonly spoken language on the planet - and moves on.

Quote
Enunciated, na-ge sounds like the N-word, which led several of the professor's students to complain to the university.


The right to complain is important - but I'm not sure exactly what the complaint is about, in this case. That he didn't give sufficient warning that he was about to employ a sound-alike?

He could've apologised for not giving sufficient warning - the word seems to be an interesting subject itself, being as there's a history of inter-cultural misunderstandings - but to step down from his job seems grossly over-the-top. Perhaps he simply took for granted that his class - studying filler words - might already know the term, or that they wouldn't be affected by hearing sound-alike words. Or that they might ask him about it. Perhaps it didn't occur to him, or he didn't realise it would occur to anyone else. (Or perhaps he's a racist getting a secret two-second thrill).

Quote
"It is simply unacceptable for the faculty to use words in class that can marginalize, hurt and harm the psychological safety of our students," he said.

All well and good, but he didn't use such a word. This statement is almost libellous, innit? The dean is essentially, as an official of the university, confirming that the professor used a racial slur whilst working.

In a lecture about filler terms, he was using a filler term from the most common language on the planet.

I do think that incidents like this - invariably highly publicised - assist people on the right in their vision of a loony liberal world gone PC mad, rather than actually helping to combat racism.

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