Monday, March 22, 2004


I am a bit ambivalent about this announcement. Stereotyping Jews as having hooked noses is certainly offensive, wrong, unnecessary and has appalling precedents. But the rest seems over-zealous and disruptive to people who already labour under considerable difficulties

"Political correctness has caught up with sign language for deaf people. Gestures used to depict ethnic and religious minorities and homosexuals are being dropped because they are now deemed offensive.

The abandoned signs include "Jewish", in which a hand mimes a hooked nose; the sign for "gay", a flick of a limp wrist; and "Chinese", in which the index fingertips pull the eyes into a slant. Another dropped sign is that for "Indian", which is a finger pointing to an imaginary spot in the middle of a forehead".

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