Orientalia:"Chineseman","Chinaman" And PC
September 07, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Here`s a news story from the (U.K.) Mail Online website.  It`s something about a Chinese businessman visiting the Chinese city of Wuhan and finding the local KFC outlet not up to proper standards of hygiene . . . I don`t know, read the story for yourself:  the story`s not the VDARE.com point.

The point is the headline:  

That’ll show `em! Wealthy Chineseman buys 2,000 family buckets to blockade entrance to KFC branch in bizarre protest over hygiene standards

Say what? "Chineseman"?

For reasons baffling to me, the word "Chinaman" ? defined by the OED as "A native of China," first recorded usage 1854 ? has been ruled politically incorrect by . . . whoever makes these rulings.

That leaves us without a word for "A native of China," a word corresponding to "Frenchman," "German," "Finn," or "Spaniard."  The default in such cases is just to deploy the usual adjective as a noun: "Hungarian" or "Japanese."  So we should just say "A Chinese."

It doesn`t sound right, though, after 158 years of hearing "Chinaman," so you get oddities like this.

The solution would be to leave the damn language alone.  When this issue first came to my attention in the late 1990s I made a point of asking my Chinese relatives and friends if they minded "Chinaman."  None of them did.  The answers would probably be different nowadays: especially, I`d guess, from ABCs (that`s American-Born Chinese) who`ve received the attentions of high school and college grievance-instillers.

[The last time I tried to post a silly headline from Mail Online they changed it while my post was winging its way to the VDARE editors.  This time I`ll frustrate their knavish tricks: I took a screen shot and saved it here.]