I read this article:
Governor Romney Apologizes for 'Tar Baby' Comment
Which set me wondering: Is it really something to apologize for? Have we really become so sensitive that common terms can no longer be used because someone has misappropriated their meaning along the way, making them now taboo? 'Tar Baby' is a perfectly acceptable term to apply to a sticky situation, at least it was when I was growing up. It has been used as a derogatory term by some, but Governor Romney used it in clear context, and there was no way it could be suggested that he was using it to define anything else. Tony Snow ran into a similar situation a while back, and was forced to apologize. But I have to ask, to apologize to who, and for what? Is it Governor Romney's fault or Tony Snow's fault that some people are overly sensitive?
A Washington D.C. official resigned a few years back for using the term 'niggardly' when refering to budgetary items, and someone took offense. The term again, was used clearly in context. The word has never been associated with racism, it merely has the misfortune of sounding similar to word that is. Does that make it wrong to use the word?
Should the country 'Niger' be stricken from maps and globes? I recall many children giggling over the name when I was in school. I recall them mispronouncing it when reading it from a list of African nations, resulting in embarrassment by the teacher and giggles from the classmates. Should we make that nation rename itself as well as the river that it draws its name from? And maybe lean on Nigeria, too, while we're at it. I've heard it mispronouned a couple of times, usually intentionally, by school kids in order to raise a giggle.
I just think we've reached a point where we're bending over backward to avoid offending people who seem to go out of their way to find offense. Shouldn't we be standing up for our language. Where does it end?