procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

indian sayings

i don't want to be needlessly rude or offensive. neither do i want to be unnecessarily bound to social conventions, but i don't need for that to be at the expense of others when the only reason is to alienate them.

so i'm questioning the use of terms with 'indian' in them - indian summer, indian giver, indian file etc. not being from north america, nor having studied american history, i have no real understanding of where these terms have come from - but cannot but assume they are offensive.

  • maybe indian file is ok - it just means to walk in a straight line (what my parents told us to do as kids walking where there was no footpath)
  • but indian summer - like what happened in sydney a couple of weeks ago, where it was unseasonably hot - and then it was back to autumn again - am i offending anyone by calling it an indian summer?
  • as for indian giver, it's not a nice thing to call anyone, true or not (that is, a gift given and then taken back), but it's probably even worse considering its possible origin - but i don't know so maybe it's fine!

    i just worry, like jerry seinfeld, that there is so much that i say, that is offending people for no reason, other than my thoughtlessness - it would be good if that weren't the case!

    as for jerry, however, what do you say instead of reservation? i made us a... booking? i think he ended up saying 'i asked them to set aside a table where we could sit and know noone else will be sitting there' or something similarly awkward!



    Blogger Mark said...

    I think all these phrases are being slowly phased out anyway. In fact the last time I heard any of them was on Seinfeld itself.

    And to paraphrase Walter Sobchak: 'I think the preferred nomenclature er dude is ah native american.'

    10:59 am  
    Blogger Elsie said...

    I'm not familiar with these phrases. Must be a Canberra thing.

    5:11 pm  
    Blogger Mark said...

    LOL Elsie. They're American in origin.

    5:16 pm  

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