Japanese fire drill

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Sep 21 21:41:45 UTC 2003

>I hadn't thought about region affecting the name-- I grew up in
>Pittsburgh and that's what we called it-- but I wonder how being from
>Pittsburgh would have transformed it from 'Chinese" to "Japanese."

Surely it's almost always "Chinese". It's in MW3.

I find a few instances of "Mexican fire drill" on the Web, but I've never
heard this myself.

The idea is to use a nationality which has an undisciplined/disorganized

Almost any choice would seem more likely than "Japanese", (1) since the
Japanese have a very long tradition of very well organized fire
preparations, I believe (Japanese cities having been constructed largely of
wood and paper until recently), and of course (2) since the Japanese to
some degree received a quasi-German overly-disciplined/regimented/robotic
stereotype in the US during and following WW II.

Some US-ans who are not scholarly types might not perceive any distinction
between China and Japan, either in reality or in stereotype.

Why Pittsburgh? Well, uh, ....

-- Doug Wilson, Pittsburgh

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