Samclem, come on down!

In this thread you castigate me for contracting the word ‘Japanese’. Pray tell me which alternate universe you inhabit? I can contract Finnish to Finns, Swedish to Swedes, British to Brits, etc, but not Japanese to XXXX? I’d have understood it if it were Chinese to Chinks - an obvious racial slur - but I didn’t. There are racial slurs for Japanese, but the one you think is one most certainly isn’t. It’s a contraction. Get over it.

I was the one who reported said post. You cannot be that stupid. You have been on this board since 2003-if you don’t know that the word Jap is a major slur, then you must be incredibly, insanely fucking stupid.

Wanna bet?

I understand that nowaday people say that “Japs” is a major ethnic slur. But I just can’t see it.

“Japs” is a slur, but “Brits” isn’t? I suppose these things really make no sense, I understand in Britain “Paki” is a very offensive ethnic slur, but for the life of me I can’t understand why.

Makes no sense, and pretending to be outraged about it makes no sense either.

Quartz, shut the fuck up. ‘Jap’ is more easily derived from the English name for inhabitants of the island of Nippon, but that does not make it any less a racial slur than the one you mentioned in the OP.

You’re trying to apply logic to both language and human emotion. It doesn’t work that way.

But seriously, I understand why some ethnic slurs are considered ethnic slurs.

But “Jap”? How exactly is “Jap” an ethnic slur, when Brits, Jerries, Aussies, and so forth aren’t ethnic slurs?

Seriously, is anyone REALLY offended by the term? I mean, really really? Or are they just offended because they think they should be offended?

Maybe because it’s generally hurled in a derogatory manner at South Asians, regardless of national origin? And we don’t like it? I don’t know, am I supposed to like being called a “Paki” when I’m actually Indian (-American, -Canadian)?

It’s used as a slur. I don’t get why some people simply do not understand why others do not want to be referred to by a commonly understood racial slur. This isn’t exactly the debate over “oriental”.

“I don’t get why we aren’t allowed to call people kikes anymore!”

Because when it originated, it was used in a derisive way against the Japanese. Because it’s been used to hurt people.

Why is ANY slur a slur? What makes “Nigger” a slur, when it was originally just a mispronounciation of Negro?

It’s been used as an insult since WWII. Don’t like it-tough shit.

I work for the state government, and using terms considered derogatory by the groups they refer to can get one disciplined, and even fired.

This includes terms like “nigger”, “chink”, “jap”, “spick”, and “dago”, to name just a few.

And it doesn’t matter if the offender doesn’t understand why they consider it offensive. Once he’s aware that it is offensive, penalties for using it go way up.

I’m glad Samclem called you out on it. When reading the thread (before the warning) I cringed. “Jap” sounds terrible to me.

Simple – the term was in heavy use during WWII, and just about always in a negative way (“Dem dirty Japs…”). All that negativity has weighed the term down to the point where it’s no longer socially acceptable.

From a logical standpoint, it makes no sense. But when we’re dealing with what is and is not offensive (especially in a society that absolutely loves being offended, to the point of seeking it out), things rarely make any sense.

It’s an innocuous contraction which attained negative connotations because it was used in a negative fashion during WWII. In other words, had it not been once used as a slur, it would probably be considered as harmless as “Brits”.

This might help.

The historical context in which the word has been used is important in cases like this. I can’t believe that some people need this explained to them.

In this case, Quartz is right and Samclem was wrong. “Japs” is a very minor racial slur, about on a line with “Brit” or “Yank” . It’s so minor of a slur I don’t think a warning is called for but that’s a fine line.

Unless, as in the OP’s case, you are using it to refer to soldiers of the Imperial Japanese forces during WWII. In that special case, it is a legit period term, like “Kraut”.

The “Japs” were our enemy during that war, and they did their best to kill us and eradicate our way of life. Some of those “Japs” commited atrocities worse than the Nazi’s did. Or , since using “Nazi” is a slur now, we can’t use that term to refer to the dudes in the SS during WWII? Will I get a warning if I say “the Nazi’s killed six million Jews”?

Quartz used the term in it’s proper historical context.

But- it is best to not use that term outside of referring to a person in the Imperial Japanese Military.

So does that mean it’s okay to refer to korean soldiers as “gooks” as long as it’s in the context Korean War?

Sometimes I feel like I hallucinate what I read on this board. Some of you are truly an HR nightmare. Like Quadgop I’m a govt employee…holy crap, I’d be deep in grievance territory if I tried something like “Oh, let’s go to lunch in “Japtown” today! Don’t worry about that word…I know the neighbourhood was built around the time of the 2nd World War and that’s how we referred to you people back then!”

Homosexuals don’t like being called homos either. Just the way it works sometimes.

quartz. It’s possible that I, in the US, and being a child of the WWII generation, am more sensitive to “Jap” as a slur. If I understand, you are in the UK, where it may not carry the same weight. But I think it pretty well is understood in the modern world as a slur.

I only meant my note as a light chiding. Not a warning.

Well, since I know that in Britain “Paki” is an offensive ethnic slur, I would avoid using it there, and since it isn’t part of my vocabulary to begin with over here in the US I wouldn’t use it here either. But seriously, it’s just a short version of the country of origin of the person in question. “Paki” is offensive, “Pakistani” isn’t. But still, the word has absolutely no emotional resonance for me. Sure, nigger, mick, spic, kike, all those, I can see how they are offensive. And by analogy, words that have a similar history in other times and places can be offensive, even though I don’t share that history. But still…

Yeah, the way I’ve heard it is that in American usage, it’s generally considered offensive, while in British usage, it’s pretty much just an abbreviation.