Monday, August 31, 2009

What's in a Name?

What's happened to all the left wing Liberals in the U.S.of A? It seems that they've recently morphed into Progressives. Does this mean that we should start calling right wing Conservatives "Regressives"? Does this move suddenly render the "L-word" obsolete?

This shift in nomenclature reminds me of the situation several years ago when it became unclear how white people were to refer to their non-white American brethren. Starting with Negro, the appellation shifted from "Colored People" to "Blacks" to "People of Color" and then settled into the new politically correct name "African-Americans". The NAACP apparently said the heck with this. They have remained the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. If they want to be taken seriously, shouldn't they have to get on the bandwagon and become NAAAAP? Besides, all those"A"s look pretty impressive.

The hyphenation trend has opened up the opportunity for a veritable plethora of newly hyphenated Americans, including "Asian-Americans", "Italian-Americans", "Irish-Americans", "Plump-Americans", "Kinda Skinny-Americans", ad nauseum. By the way, why exactly did "Orientals" become "Asians"? The Orient sounds far more exotic than Asia.

Using hyphens is probably less confusing than the color codes that were becoming the norm. For example, left wingers were called "Commie Pinkos" when I was a kid. This political bloc instead now comes from "Blue" states. The right wingers now emanate from "Red" states. This is really mind boggling since the Communists used to be called "Reds". Blue Dogs are a new group that has emerged from the political womb. They are called "Blue" because they come from Blue states. Why they are called "Dogs" is beyond me.

Right wing and left wing politics seem to be ingrained in our nomenclature. According to "Ask Yahoo",..."these terms come from pre-revolutionary France... Inside the chamber where the National Assembly met, members of the Third Estate sat on the left side and members of the First Estate sat on the right. The Third Estate consisted of revolutionaries, while the First Estate were nobles. Thus, the left wing of the room was more liberal, and the right wing was more conservative."

All this leaves me pretty unsettled. For example, does our goverment expect me to see red if the level of risk of terror attack is orange?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Aren't you glad you are not colored blind? What a dilemma that would be.
By the by -- people are Asian and furniture is oriental. Anon.