To call (all) Chinese "chows" stikes me as unpleasant,
but not so unpleasant as some other nasty locutions
of Mann's. You do go to the trouble of stopping him
from calling feminist women "harpies" on this list,
perhaps it would not be too much trouble to spare us
his anti-Chinese epithets too.
Robert, a personal insult issued broadside to
all members of a nation is not a suitable way of
expressing your opposition to the policies of any
government. I don't know how offensive this epithet is in
your dialect. If it is indeed only mildly insulting,
then it makes you a grump rather than a racist, but
it's unnecessary, so why not play safe.
On Thu, 19 Aug 2010, Michael H Goldhaber wrote:
> Dear All,
> I have just approved (for list publication) Robert Mann's attempted explanation of his use of the word "chows." It should appear shortly, if not already.
> New Zealand is a small, isolated country, relatively homogeneous until quite recently, and in many ways still quite "old-school" British. I am not sure all of that makes the remark acceptable, and would like others' opinions about how to handle it.