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Originally posted by JFenix at 2010-5-8 11:22
Same in the US. 'Asian' does not extend to arabs, indians, pakistanis. I always thought it was wrong to use the term 'oriental' when talking of people. Thought the term was used to describe things, such as 'oriental rug' or refering to a place - the orient. Is this not right? ...
I think that "oriental" did have some negative connotations due to misuse of what should be an otherwise innocent expression. It is derived from the Latin word for "east".
I think Wikipedia's entry on Orient gets it pretty much right as far as usage is concerned.
While a small number of reference works used in the United States describe Oriental as pejorative, antiquated but not necessarily offensive, the American Heritage Book of English Usage notes that
It is worth remembering, though, that Oriental is not an ethnic slur to be avoided in all situations. It is most objectionable in contemporary contexts and when used as a noun, as in the appointment of an Oriental to head the commission. But in certain historical contexts, or when its exotic connotations are integral to the topic, Oriental remains a useful term.
Random House's Guide to Sensitive Language states "Other words (e.g., Oriental, colored) are outdated or inaccurate." This Guide to Sensitive Language suggests the use of "Asian or more specific designation such as Pacific Islander, Chinese American, (or) Korean." Merriam-Webster describes the term as "sometimes offensive,"Encarta states when the term is used as a noun it is considered "a highly offensive term for somebody from East Asia."
In British English, the term Asian generally refers to people originating from the Indian Subcontinent and its surrounding countries. Oriental is used to describe people of Eastern and Southeast Asian descent, most particularly Chinese and Japanese. This usage reflects historic immigration into the UK, since more than 50% of the non-European population is British Asian, whereas East and Southeast Asians comprise only 5-6% of the non-European population. Of those, the majority are of Chinese descent.
Oriental is not usually considered an offensive term in Britain.
In Australian English, the term "Asian" is generally used in reference to people of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese ethnicity. Australians generally refer to people of Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese or Chinese descent as Asian, and persons of Indian or Sri Lankan descent by their respective demonym. However, use of the term often varies according to personal preference.
The word Oriental, in place of Asian, is seldom used in colloquial conversation in Australia, although it is considered anachronistic rather than offensive.
In Canadian English, like Australian English, the term "Asian" is used most often to refer to people of eastern Asian descent and other similar southeastern groups. It can be expanded, however, such as in colonial times, to include the more southern Asian countries such as India and Sri Lanka , which is quite common, especially in use by South Asians themselves. In modern Canadian usage, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, the term "Oriental" is considered offensive when applied to a person of East Asian ancestry.
The ignorant racist fool, Wetacos, maybe should have referenced wikipedia before making her remarks.
Oh, and I agree with Seneca, Wetacos lacks self identity and blames everyone else for it.
[ Last edited by emucentral at 2010-5-8 07:06 PM ]