[Ads-l] Now in your hands, the the key to the "singularity"...

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 2 23:59:06 UTC 2016

> On Jun 2, 2016, at 4:28 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> The buzz in college was that "Oriental" is Occident-centric, i.e.,
> racist.  Why? Because East Asian cultures differ considerably and
> cannot be lumped together.
> Also, "the Orient" is an exotic Euro-American construct.

I thought it was mostly the latter consideration, since "(East) Asian" is not considered offensive by the same considerers.  It's mostly that "Orient" (cf. "orientalism") has to do with where the sun rises (or appears to rise) if one is in the Occident (don't know if "Occidental" is offensive), so removing the autonomy of those so described. (Of course, this builds in the etymological fallacy, but so be it.)  For the same reason, "Near East" and "Far East" are Bad.  "Middle East", "Southwest Asia", etc. are (more or less) OK because with those it's just geography, with no Occidental perspective presupposed.  On the other hand, we have an Asian food store in town called "Oriental Pantry", and that's apparently OK.  Go know.


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