1. Can an Israeli politician use the word "shoah" in an interview with a Hebrew speaking broadcaster, on an Israeli radio programme, intended for an Israeli audience quite familiar with the colloquial usage of the Hebrew word "shoah" as denoting a calamity, disaster?
Apparently, not, according to this.
2. Can an American politician repeat presidential hopeful Obama's full name and not be suspected of some unsavoury ulterior motive? *
Apparently not, according to this story.
3. And can anyone use the adjective "niggardly" without being accused of making a racial slur?
Apparently not, according to this.
* Update: here is Michelle Obama on same subject
Something funny. I didn't realize that those who pronounce Obama's full name intend to evince some sort of angst about its nominal commonality with a certain Iraqi dictator who is no longer. I thought they just wanted to remind listeners that he is an outsider, with an Arab or Muslim name. If I think about the name Hussein, my first association is King Hussein of Jordan. Not that other guy.
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Friday, February 29, 2008