"ese" suffix insulting/racist?

Enid Pearsons e.pearsons at EARTHLINK.NET
Tue Apr 8 17:40:13 UTC 2003

Affectation?  Puh-leeze (or Police?) Both voiced and voiceless
pronunciations for -ese have been considered normal variants for Chinese,
Japanese, etc., by American dictionaries since at least the _Century
Dictionary & Cyclopedia_ (1889).  You can find them in current versions of
RHD, AHD, MW3, NOAD, and WNW. Granted, this is not so in the few British
dictionaries I've checked, old and new, which show only voiced.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter A. McGraw" <pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 11:21 AM
Subject: Re: "ese" suffix insulting/racist?

> ---------------------- Information from the mail
header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Peter A. McGraw" <pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "ese" suffix insulting/racist?
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On the contrary, I hear "Chineece" and "Japaneece" a lot!  It always
> strikes me as an affectation of some sort--spelling pronunciation, maybe??
> I don't remember hearing "Portugueece."  And I'm sure I've never heard
> "journaleece" or "bureaucrateece."
> Peter Mc.
> --On Tuesday, April 8, 2003 10:54 AM -0400 Laurence Horn
> <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
> > Larry, who's been wondering if anyone else would bring up the fact
> > that the suffix in "Portuguese" differs from the others (Chinese,
> > Japanese, motherese, journalese) in being optionally voiceless
> > (rhyming with "geese" rather than "please").
>                                Peter A. McGraw
>                    Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
>                             pmcgraw at linfield.edu

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