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Monday, August 08, 2011

Word Police battle mystery word in Romania.

The word seems to have disappeared, so what's the big deal?

From AP via Yahoo! News:

Jewish group: Romanian word is anti-Semitic

BUCHAREST, Romania — A prominent Jewish group on Monday called on the Romanian Academy to change its dictionary definition of an anti-Semitic slur to make it clear that it is a pejorative.

Maximilian Katz, director of the Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism, told the Associated Press in an interview Monday that the commonly used Romanian word is offensive, but that is not explained in the official DEX dictionary.

He says the word was "heard by the Jews when they were put on the trains of death," referring to the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Romanian Jews in WWII.

"The Romanian Academy have taken a deeply anti-Semitic expression and transformed it into a legitimate word," he told the AP. The dictionary explains it is used in a "familiar" sense but omits that it is anti-Semitic.

The two-page letter said that the slur "is racist, it shows hatred toward the Jewish race, hatred toward the Jewish religion, it defames Jews on ethnic grounds and incites violence against them."

It says that usage of the word is illegal in Romania because it falls under a law banning symbols with a fascist, racist or xenophobic character. Breaking the law is punishable by fines and prison

Katz said that the group had seen an increase in anti-Semitism in Romanian online publications. "We are seeing a drastic increase of attempts to blame the economic crisis on the Jews online," he said.

The word is the most offensive that exists in the Romanian language for a Jew, but it is also used colloquially by mainly elderly Romanians who would not consider themselves anti-Semitic.

Romania has less than 6,000 Jews, many of them elderly, and most Romanians do not come into contact with Jews, Katz said.

In recent weeks, Gypsy or Roma rights groups accused the Romanian Academy of racism for its definition of the word "Gypsy" as "people with bad habits."

The Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, Csaba Ferenc Asztalos, the director of Parliament's National Council for Combating Discrimination who also received a copy of the letter said he agreed with the Jewish group. "Their request is justified," he said in a phone interview. "The word must show the real sense, that it is pejorative, that it is racist for both Jews and Gypsies."

Some 280,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma were killed during the WWII regime of dictator Marshal Ion Antonescu.


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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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