Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pakis, sooties and ragheads: welcome to the world of the Windsors!

It's a word that takes me back to my childhood, a time of fear and prejudice, when people could get away with racial abuse because it wasn't seen as racial abuse but as an acceptable term for a minority that looked funny and smelled funny.

So says Riazat Butt in a Guardian article. Meanwhile, the Prince Harry pakigate story has been dissected all over the national media and been followed up by stories about his dad - Prince Charles, not James Hewitt, as some naughty people suggest - and his friendly, affectionate nickname for his Asian chum. Sooty. Yes that's right, "Sooty". Because soot is black and Charles' friend is also... oh you get it. Good. And of course, the Prince Harry story wouldn't be complete without his added little touch of describing someone else as looking like a "raghead", a derogatory term relating to the headgear of some Arab or Asian people.

The debate about the word "paki" and whether or not it's actually a racist term, or just a clipping (like, say Brit for British, or Aussie for Australian) has been taken up on many news websites. Some of the more interesting articles are here (from where the quotation at the top of this post comes from) here and here.


Anonymous said...

Hello Dan
I have been using you blog for a while, by any chance do you know what the paper ena5 will be on tomorrow. I'm a bit silly being under prepared but if you have any tips it would be great. You've always been so spot on it surprises me. Thank you.

Dan said...

Hi, I can't help you. Sorry.

I don't know what's on the paper and if I did AQA would probably have to kill me. I'd suggest having a look through the past papers on the AQA site and casing out the last few years' worth of questions.

The essay questions are very generic, but you could check and look for "contemporary language change" for a ppt i did a while back on answering this qu with examples and background.

Sorry not to be able to help more, and good luck!