Debunking myths and nonsense (was RE: Pet Peeves)

Subject: Debunking myths and nonsense (was RE: Pet Peeves)
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 10:05:18 -0600

TW lesson: Don't repeat as fact all the spurious information that you've
picked up from some not-very-reliable "experts" without verifying its

> The story goes that a man could not beat his wife with any
> stick larger than the thickness of his thumb....

Christina Hoff Sommers set the record straight on this in her 1994 book,
_Who Stole Feminism?_ See
for the complete story of how the false explanation was created out of
whole cloth.

> D&PS in the 50s referred to shows put on in the border towns of
> Mexico. I don't need to go into any more detail, do I? I'm always
> amazed when I hear the term used in a business meeting or -
> horrors - on TV.

As a couple of people have mentioned, this term too has completely
innocuous (and originally non-sarcastic or critical) origins. As Lin
Sims suggested, has a fine

> It's the recipient who determines whether or not the message
> is clear -- or hurtful. When we have been informed that
> certain words and phrases are hurtful, we need to stop using them.

OK, let's play by that rule. I find your accusation that some phrases I
like are "racist" and "sexist" quite hurtful. Please don't do it again.


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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RE: Pet Peeves: From: Flood, Donna

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