Australian zoo relabels "fairy penguins" in an excess of PC

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon Apr 24 14:46:09 UTC 2006


There is an exchange in a Thorne Smith novel, published in the 1920s
or early 30s, arising from a near collision between a large boat and a
small one in fog in NYC harbor.  Someone on the large boat calls out
something to the effect of get out of the way, this is a ferry boat;
the drunks on the small boat take this as "fairy" boat and respond
accordingly.

Thorne Smith was the author of the two "Topper" books, and 8 or 10
others.  This scene might be from Night Life of the Gods, but I read
his oeuvre nearly 50 years ago.

GAT

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 9:47 am
Subject: Re: Australian zoo relabels "fairy penguins" in an excess of
PC

> At 8:57 AM -0400 4/19/06, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >My guess is that it'll be "ferry" in those dialects that don't
> distinguish>between "ferry" and "fairy," as in St. Louis BE, in
> which "fairy" and
> >"ferry" both rhyme with "Larry." ;-)
> >
> >-Wilson
>
> As opposed to these parts, where nobody would confuse the Staten
> Island fairy with the non-eponymous harbor-crossing vessel.
>
> --Larry (not to be confused with Lairy or Lerry)
>
> >
> >
> >
> >On 4/16/06, Brenda Lester <alphatwin2002 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> >>  -----------------------
> >>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >>  Poster:       Brenda Lester <alphatwin2002 at YAHOO.COM>
> >>  Subject:      Re: Australian zoo relabels "fairy penguins" in
> an excess of
> >>  PC
> >>
> >>
> >>-----------------------------------------------------------------
> --------------
> >>
> >>  Tinkerbell
> >>    Tooth Fairy
> >>    Faerie Queene
> >>
> >>    What next?
> >>
> >>
> >>  "Mark A. Mandel" <mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU> wrote:  Penguins
> lose 'fairy'
> >>  tag
> >>  From: The Sunday Mail (Qld)
> >>  By Hannah Davies
> >>
> >>  April 16, 2006
> >>
> >>
> >>  THEME park bosses have re-named their colony of fairy penguins
> amid fears
> >>  they could upset the gay community.
> >>
> >>  Managers at Sea World, on the Gold Coast, are now calling the
> species>>  "little penguins" in case associations with the word
> "fairy" offend
> >>  visitors
> >>  to the park.
> >>
> >>  "We didn't have any complaints about the name of the penguins,
> but someone
> >>  thought they could be seen as offensive so we decided to
> change it to
> >>  little
> >>  penguin instead," a Sea World spokeswoman said. "We just
> didn't want to
> >>  upset the gay community. The new name is more politically
> correct.">>
> >>  However, Queensland's gay community and other zoos which keep
> fairy>>  penguins
> >>  described the name change as ridiculous and unnecessary.
> >>
> >>          --------------------
> >>
> >>  full story: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,18823845-
> 1248,00.html>>
> >>
> >>  -- Mark A. Mandel
> >>
> >>  ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>  ---------------------------------
> >>  Talk is cheap. Use Yahoo! Messenger to make PC-to-Phone calls.
> Great
> >>  rates starting at 1ยข/min.
> >>
> >>  ------------------------------------------------------------
> >>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------
> >The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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