The word "Paki" debate...

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Muslim, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Ghost_007 Registered Senior Member

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    I have never come across anyone who thought the people who live in Pakistan are called Pakis, not once, not in the UK and not once elsewhere in Europe. I have also never come across anyone respectful using the term in the media, not in the UK, Europe, the US or anywhere else.

    People who make such mistakes should not be forgiven in my opinion, they should be mocked and humiliated, if the situation allows for this. Pakistan is a recognised and well-known country, Pakistanis have settled all over the place, the UK, US, Europe, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Canada etc. They are more dispersed then lets say Kazakhs or Uzbeks. There are no excuses in my view.
     
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  3. John99 Banned Banned

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    How about calling British - Brits?

    Should they be mocked and humiliated or perhaps shot?
     
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  5. John99 Banned Banned

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    how about Danish - Danes?
     
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  7. John99 Banned Banned

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    Swiss - Swedes
    Norwegian - Norde\Norse\Nordic (?)
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    We call them that pretty commonly in the U.S. and I've never heard them complain about it. It's not meant as an insult and apparently it's not taken as one. There's even a type of rock called "Britpop."

    Our Southerners graciously put up with the entire world calling them "Yanks," and there's no greater insult than that. So I think Americans can be given some slack if we don't happen to understand the subtleties of the word "Paki," especially when someone like Sam tells us that that's what she calls her Pakistani friends.
    The original Germanic tribe who settled on that peninsula were the Danes. They call themselves dansk.

    Most languages don't capitalize adjectives formed from names: americano, americansk, americain, amerikaner, etc.
    You've got them mixed up. The Swiss are the people from Switzerland. They speak three different languages and call it Schweiz in German, Suisse in French and Svizzera in Italian.

    The Swedes, or the Swedish people, are from Sweden. The call the country Sverige and themselves svenska.
    They call the country Norge and themselves norsk.

    "Norse" and "Nordic" do not refer to Norway.

    "Norse" refers to the original North Germanic tribe and its successor people who remained in the north: the Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, Icelanders and Faroese. The ones who did not remain in the north became the West Germanic tribes, (Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Langobards, etc.) and the East Germanic tribes (Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, etc.). Old Norse is the language from which the Scandinavian languages are descended, rather similar to Modern Icelandic.

    "Nordic" refers to Scandinavia from a geographical, rather than ethnic or linguistic standpoint. I.e., it includes Finland. The Finns are not only not Germanic but not even Indo-European. They came from farther east and may have originally been a Mongolic people. Their language is related to Hungarian and many linguists put it in a much larger family with Turkish, Kazakh, Azeri, Uzbek, Tatar, Mongolian and their whole vast set of Mongolic relatives. There has been so much mixing of peoples in Eurasia over the millennia that it's not easy to sort out their DNA.

    At any rate, you can see that it's not easy for people who speak one language to come up with a name for people who speak another language, that perfectly matches their own name for themselves. Often the problem is phonetic: The Spaniards can't pronounce "English" so they call them inglés. Sometimes it's grammatical: The Russian adjectival suffix is -skiy so they call them angliyskiy. Sometimes it's because an ancient name in an ancient language followed two different evolutionary paths in two different languages. Latin Londinium slowly turned into "London" in English, but it became Londra in Italian. Sometimes it's a matter of history. We named Hungary after the Huns, the first non-European people to occupy the territory, whereas the people who live there now named it Magyarorszag, after their own ancestors who arrived more recently, the Magyars.
     
  9. Valentine_A Registered Member

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    No. Finnish and Hungarian are not in the same family as the other languages. They, along with Estonian, belong to the Finno-Ugric language family, while Turkish and Mongolian are Altaic languages – a group of languages whose precise classification is still a matter of dispute among linguists. The reason Turkish is sometimes confused with the Finno-Ugric languages is because of something called vowel harmony, a linguistic feature which Turkish shares with Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian.
     
  10. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    We covered this type of scenario way back in high school social studies. The point was made that many Canadians of southeast asian descent like to call each other Pakkies, but when a white person says it, them's fightin' words. Same with black Americans in hip-hop culture, they love callin' each other "nigga", sometimes they even mean it in a derogatory fashion, but again if a white person says it, it's go time. It's not the number 1 priority on my list of problems for the world to address, but I think if these are considered derogatory words when certain people use them, then they shouldn't really be used by anyone.
     
  11. mike47 Banned Banned

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    That is what I thought until I read this thread .

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  12. mike47 Banned Banned

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    I thought " Yanks " was derogatory too . Isn't that true ?.
     
  13. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    The word 'paki' is used by ANYONE who is trying to be derogatory. They don't have to be a nationalist party.
     
  14. Nyr Registered Senior Member

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    Its derogatory if you're not one; there's always some mysterious distrust among communities that leads to aggression when an outsider uses the term.

    I relate it to the sort of a situation in which people tend to get uncomfortable when outsiders use a nickname or something of the sort that usually only an inner circle of friends or family are privileged to use.
     
  15. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    The term paki was started by outsiders. Its what the english use when they want to demean or insult a pakistani immigrant. Its not a bloody nickname. Just because a group claims a term in order to have some sense of control over its meaning or subvert a meaning doesn't mean it loses its derogatory status. For example african american males may call each other nigger but it doesn't make them look very good.
     
  16. mike47 Banned Banned

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    If the word is really that bad then no one should use it at all . It is a human hypocracy to use such a word in families and friends .
     
  17. Nyr Registered Senior Member

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    Argh.. I meant the second part as a parallel; an analogy.

    Plus, would you consider your grandmother hypocritical if called you a little scoundrel, but attacked a stranger on street if he or she said the same?
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sounds like a Sprachbund, languages with similarities that are not due to common ancestry, but to their speakers forming a cultural community and assimilating elements of each other's languages. The Semitic languages have some remarkable grammatical similarities to the Indo-European family, yet they are unrelated. Romanian, a Romance language, has many phonetic features characteristic of the Slavic languages.
    • I don't believe it was originally intended as an insult. The "Brits" are fond of shortening words so "Yankee" simply became "Yank" when thousands of American soldiers came to their military bases after our country entered World War I. My parents were children at the time but their impression was that when the British yelled, "the Yanks are coming," it was an expression of gratitude, relief and affection.
    • I am not aware of the word ever being interpreted as an insult by my people (except the Southerners, more on that in a moment). There was a popular song titled "Over There" about American soldiers being shipped "over there" to fight in the war. The phrase, "The Yanks are Coming," appears in the lyrics as a perspective on how their arrival was greeted by the British, and it was regarded the same way: gratitude, relief and affection. Today the British seem to regard us with bemused fondness, in their traditional reserved way, so I don't think they say "Yank" as an insult.
    • 140 years after the American Revolution and 100 years after the War of 1812 there was still an undercurrent of animosity toward the British among some Americans. There was a significant segment of the population who thought we should enter the war on the German side, and an even larger segment who thought we should remain neutral. Analysis of the political machinations that resulted in our siding with the British would fill a library (not everyone regards Woodrow Wilson as a hero), but once the war was over and millions of Americans had fought and died side-by-side with millions of Britons, the animosity was buried forever. We regard British culture as our culture; many young Americans think that Shakespeare and the Beatles are part of our history, and I guess they are. As long as the earth turns, Americans will die to protect England. None of us regards "Yank" as an insult, except...
    • Of course "Yankees" are, technically Americans from the Northeast. During our Civil War the Southerners applied it to all Northerners and the Northerners did not object. So it's an insult to call a Southerner a Yankee. Nonetheless, today we are all Americans and Southerners and Northerners fought and died side-by-side with the British in two wars, and became accustomed to being called "Yanks" by people who couldn't tell us apart. I can't get away with calling a person from Texas or North Carolina a "Yank," but there's no reason I would ever do that. But if a British tourist or student calls them that, they will be politely corrected but no offense will be taken. So long as everyone is sober.

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