What's in a name? The naming of Native Americans and everyone else *spawn

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BRiT, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    The Indians?
     
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  2. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    I loled
     
  3. dobwal

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    Someone somewhere

    (A single tear slides down his face)

    “Hey Vishnu, they are still mixing us up...goddamit!!!”
     
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  4. Shifty Geezer

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    Not at all. From context it's apparent which type of 'Indian' is being referred to.
     
  5. Shortbread

    Shortbread Island Hopper
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    Sure. I'm pretty sure most knew what BRiT was inferring, and meant no harm.

    But for future purposes, the majority of Native Americans will never call themselves Indians. Something ignorantly bestowed upon them by the original European settlers. If anything, Native Americans would rather be called by their tribal name and/or affiliation. That being said, certain groups mostly linked to gambling and casino ownership, aren't that concern (with titles) because certain federal laws governing tribal gambling and ownership still has old language referencing them as Indians.
     
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  6. Shifty Geezer

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    Sure, but nationalities are rarely called by their own name in other tongues, by and large. People from Deutschland are the Deutsche, but the English call them Germans from Germany, while the French call the English the Anglais from Anglettere. There are various peoples whose own name is impossible to transcribe into English and other languages so they go by English (or other language) friendly forms. Same for place names, and indeed all sorts of names. About the only thing that is preserved are personal names where we don't translate Juan into John, but these do get butchered and sometimes when hard to pronounce, people with unusual names just learn to live with people saying the wrong one.

    'Indians' is just a name used to refer to those people indigenous to the Americas when the Europeans settled. Just as 'Indians' was a name taken to talk about the people of the Indus river, then extended well beyond that to encompass a whole load of people who didn't call themselves Indians. By the Greeks, who come from Elláda (Ελλάδα) and not Greece and call themselves Éllines (Έλληνες).

    Unless we are going to enforce a worldwide change that everyone uses national names as chosen by those nations, so English speakers need to start referring to the Chinese as Zhōngwén and the Chinese need to start referring to the 英语 as the English, etc., with us all learning the correct pronunciation out of respect, I see little reason to make anything of it.

    * (All translations provided by Google)
     
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  7. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    The "Indians" in North America aren't from India (well, we're all from Erf, but I digress).

    Seems like a false equivalency there, Shifty, with translated names.

    Should the humans that settle Mars and rise up to become the Adeptus Mechanicus be called Martians or Terrans? thinking-face-apple-icon.png


    And OT. :runaway:
     
    #7 AlBran, Sep 12, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  8. Shifty Geezer

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    It's not quite the same as they were mistakenly named, unlike the Indians of India being sensibly named for the Indus river. But the Indians from India also encompasses a whole lot of people not from the Indus basin, but they were called Indians anyway.

    Let's say Mr. Columbus found the new land, realised it wasn't India, and called it something like Eden or Meripotamia. Would the current Cherokee and Navajo and Iroquois be as disgruntled being called Edonians or Meripotamians as they are being called Indians?
     
  9. Mariner

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    What about the West Indies, then?

    It's a difficult one, this. I can understand the native Americans (not that it was America back when they had the run of the continent) don't want to be called Indians, but I can't see why there should be too much offence taken when foreigners call them such when no insult is intended. It's not seen as a pejorative term, is it?
     
  10. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    Just imagine if I said Aliens instead of Indians.
     
  11. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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  12. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    Right, right. Someone said "alien", thought they said illegal alien and signed up!
     
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  13. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Ok, a local-ish dilemma on the issue. I live in Indiana, shouldn't we be Indianians? I know we can't be Indians, but the "hoosier" thing is just stupid as fuck.
     
  14. AlBran

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    Indian-ans?

    Indi-anana

    na-na-na-na
     
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  15. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    Indies? Indianams? Indianatians? Indianapolans?

    Naive Indians? That sort of fits.
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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    I presume that's because of the racism shown them. If they had been called something else, that name would be the racist one. The indigenous people of the North-American continent are a peoples who will be talked about, so need a reference. Calling them by their tribes doesn't work as a collective term for all of them.

    Maybe we can derive a suitable short-hand form of 'indigenous' to create a name? Indigeans? Ingeans? :wink:
     
  17. tongue_of_colicab

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  18. Shifty Geezer

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    What's the point of that link? This isn't a matter of discrimination.
     
  19. Shortbread

    Shortbread Island Hopper
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    Um, this really depends on perspective. Perspective from one's group.

    For many African-Americans racism and discrimination are joined at the hip dealing with the history of America. America has a long history of categorizing people just by skin color alone. The historical history of going from "nigger," to "negro," to "colored's," to "Afro-American," to "African-American," and every other racially motivated distinction in-between, has been used throughout flyers, newspapers, books, television, radio, news, films and even special bibles printed for slaves. And the indigenous or natives of America were treated as bad. Terms like redskins, red-niggers, trail-niggers, featherheads, Indian-givers, and so-on and so-on, were used throughout America's "colorful" media history on creating racial distinctions. And yes, calling certain native tribes of America "Indians," is considered to be a sign of disrespect and ill-will, which has a history of being wrapped in bigotry and discrimination.
     
    #19 Shortbread, Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  20. Shifty Geezer

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    I get that, but I'm not talking about wanting to call them Indians so I can maintain old-fashioned bigotry in conversation as Tot's links implies. The implied racism of the name comes from the American immigrants and how they treated the...indigenous tribes (wanted to write Indians because it's quick and easy as language is supposed to be...) and the name, which wasn't coined to be racist or derogatory any more than calling the people of the Indus Valley 'Indians' was.

    To all the peoples of the world who aren't bigoted American's clinging to a hate-filled history (which includes non-racist Americans), what are we supposed to call the people's of North America who predate the European colonies? The term Indians is as benign as the other examples I've used (Germans, etc). It goes against the principles of language to use long-winded terms like 'indigenous people' or 'native americans' where when something is used often enough, a short, convenient name is created.

    This conversation is independent of the politics of race in the US. This isn't about representation and tribes not wanting to be classed as 'Indian' in demographics and branded via prejudice. That's and RSPCA forum topic. This thread comes from the third post, Dobwal's 'they're mixing us up again', and how the names came about and whether there's anything untoward about the name; unless it can be shown by referring to them as Indian's helps reinforce US discrimination by somehow legitimising it, at which point a decent, natural alternative should be presented that people will ordinarily adopt. As a Briton, and Englishman, I don't share the same history and word-values as other English speakers form over the Atlantic, and a word that might be laced with hostility over there can be completely harmless over here and when used by other people not associated with that history.
     
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