Decorum needs to be raised. [Way OT]

John Summerfield debian at
Wed Jan 16 01:41:16 UTC 2008

Dean S. Messing wrote:
> John Summerfield wrote:
>> Dean S. Messing wrote:
>>  >> Even worse in international fora such as this, where we come from many 
>>  >> different cultures. I offended an American once by describing him as 
>>  >> penurious, but an Australian in the same financial position would most 
>>  >> certainly have agreed with me.
>>  > 
>>  > Well, at least you had the good sense to not call him "niggardly".  He
>>  > might have thought you bigoted against black people.  Is "penurious"
>>  > not a pejorative in Aussie?
>>  Primary meaning is synonymous with skint. Not a (brass 
>>  razoo|shekel|penny) to one's name.
> Ya learn something every day.  As I've never heard of "skint" I see
> from google that it's British slang. I'm guessing that it derives from
> "skin flint" which, in America anyway, can be insulting (depending, of

More likely, I think, from skinned.

> course on one's tone of voice, &c.)
>> You reminded me of a chap over east who wants Coon cheese renamed. 
>> Reckons it's offensive. Ditto the E. S. Nigger Brown Stand.
> The first time my Father-in-Law (who is Chinese) visited us I chucked
> at the brand of toothpaste he brought with him: "Darkie" with a
> picture of a smiling white-toothed black man on it.  I see at
> <> that Political Correctness has
> struck down even this.
> And then there's David Howard, the head of the Office of Public
> Advocate in Washington D.C. in the late 90's, who dared to use the
> word "niggardly" while discussing the budget with city employees.
> Within days Howard was forced to publicly apologise and resign because
> of such a "racially insensitive" remark.

I had heard of that. Americans might be offended at my thoughts at the 

_I_ think he should have challenged his detractors' command of American 
English and referred reporters to Webster.



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