Just a couple of weeks ago, we learned about 19 Singaporean expressions that had been newly added to the OED:
"New Singaporean and Hong Kong terms in the OED" (5/12/16)
Among these expressions was "Chinese helicopter", which was characterized as "derogatory" and defined as "a Singaporean whose schooling was conducted in Mandarin Chinese and who has limited knowledge of English".
No sooner did that post go up than I started to receive notes from Singaporean friends and acquaintances telling me that they had never heard of this term and doubted its authenticity. I reported on their skepticism two days later here (last comment to the above-mentioned post) and at the end of this post:
"Singlish: alive and well " (5/14/16)
However, since the OED provides quotations from 1981, 1985, 1997, and 2008, I hazarded the guess that perhaps "Chinese helicopter" had simply already gone out of common use. Looking further, though, I discovered that the superb online A Dictionary of Singlish and Singapore English, launched in 2004, has an even more extensive entry for "Chinese helicopter".
Nonetheless, the doubts about "Chinese helicopter" have now escalated to outright opposition. See "Petition to remove 'Chinese helicopter' from Oxford English Dictionary " (The Straits Times, 5/28/16):
Freelance writer and translator Goh Beng Choo has launched an online petition to have the term "Chinese helicopter" removed from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
She and the 185 other like-minded Singaporeans who had signed the petition as of 10pm yesterday say that the term – used in the 1970s and 1980s to describe a Chinese-educated person who spoke and pronounced English poorly – is degrading and insulting.
I can think of countless degrading and insulting terms that are included in the OED as a matter of record. Should they all be removed?
[h.t. Ben Zimmer]
I am going to be a cockeyed optimist and believe, for the moment anyway, that Bernie Sanders "accepted" He, Trump's invitation to a debate prior to the California presidential primaries on June 7 purely as a shrewd political maneuver. I will believe, for the moment anyway, that Sanders "accepted" knowing full well that He, Trump has the roar of a lion and the heart of a chicken, and that He, Trump will find some convoluted reason to back out of the confrontation. Perhaps it might even be right before the debate goes on the air, thereby making He, Trump look evermore the fool, and giving Sanders a couple of hours of free airtime to state his case. Great move there, Spassky!Today, Trump backed out:
Donald Trump will not participate in a debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said Friday.To me it looks like a success for Sanders. Trump's bluff called. People should do that more often.
In a statement, Trump slammed Sanders, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and the Democratic nominating process, and said that debating the Vermont senator would be "inappropriate." Sanders' camp, in turn, accused Trump of flip-flopping on a "clash of ideas."
Both Trump and Sanders are unpredictable, inconsistent debaters. It could have been a snooze, or it could have been a fracas. It would have been loud, and the Queens-Brooklyn accent showdown would have been tremendous.What it would have sounded like is a debate in an old-time New York City mayoral race. Like the one they had when this song came out:
Yes, really, as I walked down State Street this evening, somewhere further along there was a bagpiper.
Am at Wiscon, which has started and I have done my first panel on Waves of Feminism (as I confide my dearios know, hedjog skorn utterly the wave theory of feminism, and may have mentioned that It's Orl Moar Complyk8ed).
Have remet with various auld acquaintance tho' there seem several of the old familiar faces not here this year - most of which I anticipated in view of health stuff, job changes, house moves, etc.
Have acquired from the soap shop some vetiver soap, which has been peculiarly unobtainable in my native land - Roger and Gallet stopped doing it, and so did L'Occitane de Provence, Y O Y do they do these things?
There is a poncey new place that sells, along with wine and other spirituous liquors, various culinary oils and fancy vinegars. I am so in the market for some fancy vinegars - one has great difficulty in finding fruit vinegars or lavender vinegar these days for some reason - but I nearly ran out of the place when surged up to by the owner or manager or sales person saying it was a tasting shop and let her know if I wanted to taste anything. (No, really, Just Looking.)
Dept of Lewd Smirking, at a book in a shop (no, no, it was a respectable knickknackery shop) window all about Pocket Billiards - is that like Pocket Pool? Get those 'ands out of yer pockets!