Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

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Of Gypsies and Vandals

The other day one of my friends brought my attention to this blog-entry, about how while many of us regularly use the word "gyp" to mean a fraud or cheat, some people claim it is in fact a racial slur.

Allegedly, "gyp" is short for "gypsy," and when used to refer to being cheated, its therefore pejorative to gypsies, allegedly.

BUT, there are no gypsies around here (and very few in America, where the word has originated and is largely used), and we know of no confirmed instance of one ever personally being offended by the word "gyp." If those using it don't have any idea it is anything other than another word for "cheat," and no one is around to be offended by it, is it still offensive?

Moreover, "gypsy" itself is an inaccurate (and some even say offensive) term -- its derived from "egyptienne," the incorrect medieval french assumption that the Roma came from Egypt!! (Though if you were to assume the word "Roma" was related to Romania you would be incorrect as well -- there is no etymological link (incidentally, Romania IS named after the Roman empire -- as part of the Roman empire the people called themselves "romans" and continued to after it fell, so in a sense the nation of Rome lives on!!))

The whole discussion got me thinking, what other words do we use in complete obliviousness to the implications they may make about a people? What about Vandalism? Are we implying those with Vandal ancestry are a violent and destructive people? This may seem like a pretty distant allusion, but it was only in 1973 that the Swedish King dropped the Goths and Vandals from his official title -- "King of the Swedes, Goths and Vandals"!!

So next time someone refers to vandalism I'm going to claim to be an offended vandal (hey, I even know how to speak Swedish). Personally I'm going to rule gyp "not offensive" based on the fact that it is almost exclusively used by people with no inclination to link it to the Roma people (and in fact, if I see someone call someone out on that, I'm gonna blast em for using the word "gypsy," which unlike "gyp" IS documented to be considered offensive to some it is applied to!!!)

In short, I think we're being gypped by political correctness fascists trying to thwart the use of the word "gyp!!"

Tags: political correctness

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