"ese" suffix insulting/racist?

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Wed Apr 9 01:17:35 UTC 2003

In a message dated 4/8/03 1:41:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
e.pearsons at EARTHLINK.NET writes:

> 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).

A. K. McRae, Jr _Worcester's Comprehensive Dictionary, Revised Edition_
Philadelphia: Lippincott, copyright dates of 1860 ,1871, 1884, 1888, 1907
(which I picked up in a used-book store) has "Chinese" and "Japanese" with
/z/ rather than /s/.  Oddly "Portuguese" is not in the dictionary, nor are
"legalese" or "bureaucratese".

        - Jim Landau

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