Author Topic: Language "outrage" in the US  (Read 4514 times)

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #60 on: September 12, 2020, 01:34:01 PM »
So that’s “that”, but what is “this”? Is this this? Yes, this is this.

Did that "That" that that professor said in Chinese sound like a racial slur?

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #61 on: September 12, 2020, 01:36:38 PM »
Quote
psychological safety

I've learnt a term.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #62 on: September 12, 2020, 01:46:13 PM »
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.

Yeah but with this case and many others in the US, academics are losing their jobs because of these cretins, the deans just get on their knees and start licking them up and down, because the customer is always right.

Sin Agog

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #63 on: September 12, 2020, 02:07:50 PM »
Just looked up the Portuguese word for deny and it came with a trigger warning on the website.  https://context.reverso.net/translation/portuguese-english/nega

All seems a little imperialist.  We must run everything by our English overlords first before we talk.  Well, it would seem that way if it weren't a tiny flash in the pan.

Buelligan

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #64 on: September 12, 2020, 02:16:20 PM »
Yeah but with this case and many others in the US, academics are losing their jobs because of these cretins, the deans just get on their knees and start licking them up and down, because the customer is always right.

Isn't a teacher's job is to teach people?  Isn't that the primary goal?  Does that mean simply repeating the subject without thought to the students?  Is a teacher keeping their job, irrespective of how much thought they put into teaching (by considering how what they say and do will affect their students) the ultimate concern?

I mentioned earlier a little anecdote about a teacher I had that would perv on girl pupils.  It was really horrible.  He may have otherwise been an excellent teacher but what he did ensured that all the girl students spent his whole class worrying about whether they'd caught his eye.  We didn't ask questions, we did everything we could to be invisible.  This is not a good way to teach. 

Similarly, if a teacher doesn't give any thought to how their words will impact their students, and from this example, I'd say this man doesn't, does that make his teaching accessible, useful, to the whole student body?  Probably not, is the answer IMO and not because he said something that sounded offensive but because he either didn't consider whether it would[1] or he didn't care.
 1. If he had considered it, a warning or explanation, as has already been mentioned, would have been the obvious solution.

touchingcloth

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #65 on: September 12, 2020, 02:24:03 PM »
Just looked up the Portuguese word for deny and it came with a trigger warning on the website.  https://context.reverso.net/translation/portuguese-english/nega

All seems a little imperialist.  We must run everything by our English overlords first before we talk.  Well, it would seem that way if it weren't a tiny flash in the pan.

Nega would be pronounced with the e sounding the one in “beach”, so I don’t think the word could be easily confused.

That said the Portuguese struggle to pronounce the I sound in the n-word as it doesn’t really exist in the language. A friend of mine once asked what the difference between “beach” and “bitch” was, and listening to her say them one after the other they were hard to distinguish - both had a really long e sounds - beeeech. She was terrified of the prospect of offending someone, but fortunately her natural pronunciation is not the rude word, which would be the case with nega as well.

Sin Agog

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #66 on: September 12, 2020, 02:49:40 PM »
Nega would be pronounced with the e sounding the one in "beach", so I don't think the word could be easily confused.


Someone complained when I was playing a tropicalia track by Gilberto Gil and Jorge Ben called Nega at a clothes shop I used to work at.  They assumed I was playing a groovy number of someone saying the same racial slur over and over again.  Fun times.

Thomas

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #67 on: September 12, 2020, 02:57:25 PM »
The conservative National Review is the only publication I can find that actually has some detail and more extensive quotes from all sides of the complaint - the student statement, the dean, and the professor himself (bear in mind that the NR no doubt have their own stance) - in my last post I said I wasn't sure what the original complaint actually took issue with, but it's quoted directly here.

Nevertheless, it seems nobody has managed/tried to contact the originating complainants directly. If the originating complaint is genuine, then I respect where it came from, but, browsing the Twitter waves, I have seen more than one variation of this opinion:

Quote
I would bet all 40 of my years of Blackness on the fact that this letter signed "Black MBA candidates c/o 2022" was indeed NOT written by anybody actually identifying as Black. And if it was, we need to have a private chat.

Of course, as Buelligan ponders (and the complaint intimates), it's possible that Prof' Patton was trying to slide a bit of gleeful racism under the radar. (That said, the complaint claims that Patton is incorrectly pronouncing the Chinese word, which I understand is not the case - some in this thread have also attested familiarity with the word as pronounced in the clip).

My main takeaway from stories like this one is the way in which they are reported, and the attitudes they successfully inflame (mainly that PC has gone mad, and that X group is 'too sensitive').

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #68 on: September 12, 2020, 03:05:06 PM »
All very good points Thomas, but...

it's possible that Prof' Patton was trying to slide a bit of gleeful racism under the radar.

Does anyone who has actually watched that bit of the video think that? (genuine question)  I have and I don't. 

Further, if other videos of that word and all the Chinese films I've got on DVD and blu-ray with Mandarin soundtracks (all out of context from this discussion) are anything to go by, his pronunciation is correct (at least to my ears).  If anything he's making it sound less like the n-word than some others.

That's all separate from whether or not he should have at least given a warning, of course.  Still just seems to me he's in the moment in lecturing mode.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 03:23:12 PM by Shit Good Nose »

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #69 on: September 12, 2020, 03:22:20 PM »
Isn't a teacher's job is to teach people?  Isn't that the primary goal?  Does that mean simply repeating the subject without thought to the students?  Is a teacher keeping their job, irrespective of how much thought they put into teaching (by considering how what they say and do will affect their students) the ultimate concern?

I mentioned earlier a little anecdote about a teacher I had that would perv on girl pupils.  It was really horrible.  He may have otherwise been an excellent teacher but what he did ensured that all the girl students spent his whole class worrying about whether they'd caught his eye.  We didn't ask questions, we did everything we could to be invisible.  This is not a good way to teach. 

Similarly, if a teacher doesn't give any thought to how their words will impact their students, and from this example, I'd say this man doesn't, does that make his teaching accessible, useful, to the whole student body?  Probably not, is the answer IMO and not because he said something that sounded offensive but because he either didn't consider whether it would[1] or he didn't care.
 1. If he had considered it, a warning or explanation, as has already been mentioned, would have been the obvious solution.

He does give an explanation, and he has used one of the best examples in all the languages he knows, to illustrate the point of a word being used when Mandarin speakers fill voids in speech. He said the word perfectly correct (I know I live there) , correct me if I'm wrong but you would have to be ridiculously naive to think he didn't know what 那个 nèige sounds like n***** , and hearing it might prick people's ears, but also did he not think he shouldn't have to fucking worry because he's talking to supposedly intelligent people who will understand his example reasoning and maybe check it themselves if they don't know?

But no maybe, he is a Mr racist and thought; "fantastic, this class is my perfect chance to disguise saying n****** a word I love, they think Chinese people speak weird so I can mask it by saying 那个 nèige for 'that'  and I won't get rumbled"

Anyway I've got to run, need to lynch my geography teacher from 18 years ago for mentioning the Niger River.

Zetetic

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #70 on: September 12, 2020, 03:27:27 PM »
Does anyone who has actually watched that bit of the video think that? (genuine question)  I have and I don't.
Nah. (I mean I could imagine there being context outside the video that would change my mind.)

I think the question of who actually initiated this and what their motives were is worth constantly bearing in mind.

(See also the Fawlty Towers stuff.)

Buelligan

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #71 on: September 12, 2020, 03:29:59 PM »
I agree entirely about the reasons for pushing this story to the fore, like the Faulty Towers thing.  Nevertheless.

He does give an explanation, and he has used one of the best examples in all the languages he knows, to illustrate the point of a word being used when Mandarin speakers fill voids in speech. He said the word perfectly correct (I know I live there) , correct me if I'm wrong but you would have to be ridiculously naive to think he didn't know what 那个 nèige sounds like n***** , and hearing it might prick people's ears, but also did he not think he shouldn't have to fucking worry because he's talking to supposedly intelligent people who will understand his example reasoning and maybe check it themselves if they don't know?

But no maybe, he is a Mr racist and thought; "fantastic, this class is my perfect chance to disguise saying n****** a word I love, they think Chinese people speak weird so I can mask it by saying 那个 nèige for 'that'  and I won't get rumbled"

Anyway I've got to run, need to lynch my geography teacher from 18 years ago for mentioning the Niger River.

Let's just imagine that we're not white.  And we've suffered racist abuse.  And our lecturer repeats a word, a word that's been used to taunt us, perhaps by some of the other students.  He says it right there, how does that make us feel?  Excluded and unconsidered at the very least.

When I said explanation, I meant, explain why that word might be considered controversial.  I'm not suggesting that this guy's definitely a racist, I'm saying he might be a racist or he might be a thoughtless prick, neither of those two qualities are ideal in a teacher.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #72 on: September 12, 2020, 03:37:02 PM »
I think the question of who actually initiated this and what their motives were is worth constantly bearing in mind.

(See also the Fawlty Towers stuff.)

Absolutely, but at the same time it has, as previously mentioned, cropped up several times over the years, so there's obviously some traction beyond "wooooo, handbags, sensitive snowflake alert".  Regardless of that though, I still think it's probably a lecture/lesson he's given tens of if not hundreds of times over the years with no previous issue, so I think he can be excused for glossing over it as much as any other part of the same lesson/lecture.  Now he's been pulled up on it he'll almost certainly be careful with it in future.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #73 on: September 12, 2020, 03:44:17 PM »
Yes, on consideration he should have sent out a disclosure form stating;

 "I am going to reference another language on this course (you know those weird none English ones)" there will be a word said (because it's a perfect example to illustrate a language point) that sounds like a derogatory word, now I probably should ignore this perfect example because some of you may not think rationally and think that we should ignore other languages spoken by millions of people because it might sound like a naughty word, and pander to the irrational overtly sensitive, who can't possible grasp linguistic comparrisons".

Zetetic

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #74 on: September 12, 2020, 03:45:04 PM »
I think the question of who actually initiated this and what their motives were is worth constantly bearing in mind.

Buelligan

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #75 on: September 12, 2020, 03:46:05 PM »
Yes, on consideration he should have sent out a disclosure form stating;

 "I am going to reference another language on this course (you know those weird none English ones)" there will be a word said (because it's a perfect example to illustrate a language point) that sounds like a derogatory word, now I probably should ignore this perfect example because some of you may not think rationally and think that we should ignore other languages spoken by millions of people because it might sound like a naughty word, and pander to the irrational overtly sensitive, who can't possible grasp linguistic comparrisons".

FTFY. 

Comparisons.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #76 on: September 12, 2020, 03:46:58 PM »
I agree entirely about the reasons for pushing this story to the fore, like the Faulty Towers thing.  Nevertheless.

Let's just imagine that we're not white.  And we've suffered racist abuse.  And our lecturer repeats a word, a word that's been used to taunt us, perhaps by some of the other students.  He says it right there, how does that make us feel?  Excluded and unconsidered at the very least.

When I said explanation, I meant, explain why that word might be considered controversial.  I'm not suggesting that this guy's definitely a racist, I'm saying he might be a racist or he might be a thoughtless prick, neither of those two qualities are ideal in a teacher.

Firstly I'd fall off my fucking chair thinking did he really just say n****** under the guise of Mandarin?!

Sin Agog

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #77 on: September 12, 2020, 03:50:05 PM »
I wish every German carried a sign saying they are not making a death threat every time they say the word 'the'.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2020, 04:25:33 PM by Sin Agog »

pigamus

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #78 on: September 12, 2020, 03:56:18 PM »
You do get some very cloistered, unworldly types in academia - perhaps he's been doing this course for years and is a bit oblivious of how these things go out into the world now.

The Mollusk

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #79 on: September 12, 2020, 04:01:40 PM »
Maybe he was a pervy nonce and whoever dobbed him in was just looking for the perfect thing to get him booted. Aahhh didn't think of that did you ahhhh

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #80 on: September 12, 2020, 04:05:06 PM »
You do get some very cloistered, unworldly types in academia - perhaps he's been doing this course for years and is a bit oblivious of how these things go out into the world now.

Well if that's were society in the free world is at now, that's pretty sad don't you think? That a language academic has to worry about referencing other languages out of fear it will offend, even if making a spot on comparison with an explanation beforehand.

pigamus

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #81 on: September 12, 2020, 04:09:17 PM »
Yes you're right.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #82 on: September 12, 2020, 04:12:46 PM »
Is there no onus on the potentially offended person to consider context? I can understand someone getting offended in the moment not knowing what was happening but when they see the context then that should clear things up and stop that offence.

That is a genuine question rather than a rhetorical conceit. I am not sure what I think about it yet. It's like if I mishear someone insult me and get offended but then calm down when they confirm what they have said. Is it like that? There is probably some difference but I am not sure if it is enough to make a difference.

Also, wasn't this said in a language course? There are loads of foreign words that sound the same as English words. Shouldn't language students be aware this might happen?

Zetetic

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #83 on: September 12, 2020, 04:14:51 PM »
The conservative National Review is the only publication I can find that actually has some detail and more extensive quotes from all sides of the complaint - the student statement, the dean, and the professor himself (bear in mind that the NR no doubt have their own stance) - in my last post I said I wasn't sure what the original complaint actually took issue with, but it's quoted directly here.

I live in hope, so quoting for accessibility.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #84 on: September 12, 2020, 04:17:31 PM »
Is there no onus on the potentially offended person to consider context? I can understand someone getting offended in the moment not knowing what was happening but when they see the context then that should clear things up and stop that offence.

That is a genuine question rather than a rhetorical conceit. I am not sure what I think about it yet. It's like if I mishear someone insult me and get offended but then calm down when they confirm what they have said. Is it like that? There is probably some difference but I am not sure if it is enough to make a difference.

Also, wasn't this said in a language course? There are loads of foreign words that sound the same as English words. Shouldn't language students be aware this might happen?

It's part (a very small part I imagine) of a lecture about Mandarin, and he explains and contextualises it in the lead-up to saying it, albeit without saying "careful, mates - it does sound a bit rum to the English ear".  And then we go back to what Zetetic has said a couple of times about questioning the whys and whos behind the escalation.

Zetetic

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #85 on: September 12, 2020, 04:18:59 PM »
Which is echoing a quoted opinion in Thomas's post.

Not just whoever raised it as an issue, but also whoever decided to respond to it in this way within the university.

Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #86 on: September 12, 2020, 04:20:54 PM »
Is there no onus on the potentially offended person to consider context? I can understand someone getting offended in the moment not knowing what was happening but when they see the context then that should clear things up and stop that offence.

Context is irrelevant to some people. For instance if I was discussing the politics of the n-word or repeating an MLK quote that contained the n-word, many people would still think it was inappropriate and offensive for a white person to use the full uncensored word.

There was a controversy in the US over the word 'niggardly' that undoubtedly led to edgy types deliberately using the word niggardly, kinda a Streisand effect.

I think context is very important.

The Mollusk

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #87 on: September 12, 2020, 04:21:08 PM »
Still, at least the whole thing has reminded me of this quaint little news story from simpler times (NSFW: actually contains the word in question): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz9Zy2-C_lY

Watched this twice this afternoon, it's so fucking outrageous. The teacher saying "Can you lend a n**** a pencil?" made me burst out laughing from pure shock. I can't believe that guy actually exists.

The Mollusk

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #88 on: September 12, 2020, 04:23:41 PM »
If JaDanketies softly coos the n-word into his sleeping child's ear in the woods where there's no black people around to hear it, is it racist?

chveik

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Re: Language "outrage" in the US
« Reply #89 on: September 12, 2020, 04:28:35 PM »
I think the question of who actually initiated this and what their motives were is worth constantly bearing in mind.

yeah but it's less fun than having a good old whine about 'cancel culture'

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