Re: It did happen on a Friday...

Subject: Re: It did happen on a Friday...
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 07:44:10 -0800

I find it interesting that it's politically incorrect to use "master/slave," but it's okay, almost humorous to some, to use "chief/indian." Many of my friends are Alaskan Native or Native Americans and, before I met them, I would have probably laughed at the joke. My wife is also part Cherokee and many of my friends are also African American or at least part African American. Before I knew these people, I didn't understand the insensitivity some words have on non-German American cultures. Then I learned of the genocide, ethnic cleansing (read the book "Trail of Tears"), broken treaties and land theft that non-native Americans did to aboriginal peoples of North America. Now I do. I do agree that there are limits to political correctness, but, as writers, we also need to understand the impact of our words, unintentional or not and regardless of how long they have been the conventional way to describe things. Master/slave became the convention at a time when there were few non-white engineers. Times have changed, we need to change with them.

I like Diane's suggestion of "primary" and "secondary."
karen_otto -at- agilent -dot- com wrote:

"We have multiple master clocks," they said. "And one of them is more important than the others. There are also slave clocks, which are slaves to the masters. We call the most important master clock the Chief clock. Can we call the other master clocks Indians?"


Al Geist, Geist Associates
From Concept to Completion
Technical Writing, Online Help Applications, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award Winning Video, Professional Photography
Office: 541-471-8800

Cell: 541-218-1252
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>

"When the situation is absolutely hopeless, you have nothing to worry about."
Compliments of The Monkey Wrench Gang

It did happen on a Friday...: From: karen_otto

Previous by Author: Re: Building a documentation knowledgebase
Next by Author: Re: It did happen on a Friday...
Previous by Thread: Re: It did happen on a Friday...
Next by Thread: RE: It did happen on a Friday...

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads