'Why is it the Irish and the blacks never get married? Because they are afraid their children will be too lazy to steal.' Is this joke racist? What does it depend on? If the person delivering the joke is Irish, does that make it any better? What if the joke teller is black? Mixed Irish/black heritage? Does it matter if the joke's told to white English people, Irish people, black people?
Many of these issues get an airing in an article by Simon Fanshawe in The Observer which looks at humour, political correctness and whether or not jokes about anybody - regardless of their ethnic background, ability/disability, sexuality, gender etc - are fair game. As it happens, the man who told that joke was Irish and the (gay) writer of the article goes on to look at The Sun's headline about Elton John marrying his gay lover David Furnish ("Elton takes David up the aisle"), the furore around the negative stereotyping of Kazakhstan in the new Borat film, and many other issues.
The article itself is thought-provoking and funny, but the readers' comments that follow it redress the balance a little and are worth a look too.
ENA1 - Language & Representation
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Connections between texts on Paper 1: dealing with AO4
Question 3 on Paper 1 has often been a bit of a low-scorer for students and you can maybe see why. It comes an hour in to the exam, and you’...
As part of the Original Writing section of the NEA, students will be required to produce a commentary on their piece. This blog post will pr...
As lots of students are embarking on the Language Investigation part of the Non-Exam Assessment, I thought it might be handy to pick up a fe...
When Dan asked what he should post about next on this blog, one of the most common responses was this, the World Englishes topic. Maybe ...