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  1. Nicklexoxo's Avatar
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    #1

    More polite way.

    Hello everyone.


    I am really confused about: How I should call the person with black skin?
    I find the black colour of skin very cool, but how I should note about it? or How I should call him?


    I think that:
    ***words deleted by moderator***, black man, they sound very offensive, so I ask.


    It's not trolling or something else, I'm afraid of be in a stupid situation through ignorance it.

    Sorry if this topic is looking like a propaganda of racism.
    And sorry for bad English, now is 4 A.M.

    Nickle.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 13-Jul-2013 at 08:39. Reason: Removal of extremely offensive terms.
    If I have made any mistakes, please tell me about them. I need to improve my English anyway and I hope you'll help me.

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    #2

    Re: More polite way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicklexoxo View Post
    Hello everyone.


    I am really confused about: How I should call the person with black skin?
    I find the black colour of skin very cool, but how I should note about it? or How I should call him?


    I think that:
    ***Words deleted by moderator***, black man, they sound very offensive, so I ask.


    It's not trolling or something else, I'm afraid of be in a stupid situation through ignorance it.

    Sorry if this topic is looking like a propaganda of racism.
    And sorry for bad English, now is 4 A.M.

    Nickle.
    During my life the following terms have been used in the US: Negro, Black, and Afro-American. These are the polite terms. There are a number of others that have been used that were not so polite. I expect that every country has their own terms. I tend to discard color as being important and call someone by their given name.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 13-Jul-2013 at 08:44.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: More polite way.

    I have deleted two of the words from your original post. I'm afraid that even with your apology in advance and in arrears, those words should not be used, written etc. There are some instances where some people use them but it's usually within the black community (frequently in music). You know what those two words were, so now you know not to use them.

    I agree entirely with the message above - try to overlook skin colour and just call people by their name. Even if you think someone's skin colour is "very cool", it is entirely possible that that person is not going to thank you for drawing attention to it or commenting on it. We live in very "politically correct" times and we all have to be careful what we say in case of giving offence. It may have gone too far but that's how it is.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: More polite way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    During my life the following terms have been used in the US: Negro, Black, and Afro-American. These are the polite terms.
    Is "Negro" really considered a polite term? The Concise Oxford English Dictionary has this to say about "Negro":

    The word Negro was adopted from Spanish and Portuguese and first recorded from the mid 16th century. It remained the standard term throughout the 17th-19th centuries and was used by prominent black American campaigners such as W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington in the early 20th century. Since the Black Power movement of the 1960s, however, when the term black was favoured as the term to express racial pride, Negro (together with related words such as Negress) has dropped out of favour and now seems out of date or even offensive in both British and US English.
    http://oxforddictionaries.com/defini.../Negro?q=negro

    And it's not just this dictionary:

    Ne‧gro / ˈniːɡrəʊ $ -ɡroʊ / noun ( plural Negroes ) [ countable ] old-fashioned
    a word for a black person, usually considered offensive
    Negro adjective
    http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/Negro
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Nicklexoxo's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: More polite way.

    My pen-pal from Spain told me it too, that "Negro" is polite in Spanish, but it sounds offensive too in AmE or BrE.
    Thanks for answers and I really find this question very important.
    If I have made any mistakes, please tell me about them. I need to improve my English anyway and I hope you'll help me.

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    #6

    Re: More polite way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Is "Negro" really considered a polite term? The Concise Oxford English Dictionary has this to say about "Negro":

    The word Negro was adopted from Spanish and Portuguese and first recorded from the mid 16th century. It remained the standard term throughout the 17th-19th centuries and was used by prominent black American campaigners such as W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington in the early 20th century. Since the Black Power movement of the 1960s, however, when the term black was favoured as the term to express racial pride, Negro (together with related words such as Negress) has dropped out of favour and now seems out of date or even offensive in both British and US English.
    Negro: definition of Negro in Oxford dictionary (British & World English)

    And it's not just this dictionary:

    Ne‧gro / ˈniːɡrəʊ $ -ɡroʊ / noun ( plural Negroes ) [ countable ] old-fashioned
    a word for a black person, usually considered offensive
    Negro adjective
    Negro - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online
    As I noted in my first post this term was considered polite at one time. The key to the definition above is to be found in "dropped out of favor". Even today in the American south one will hear such terms as "That Negro gentleman". Another term which was used in the American south was "colored". "colored" was used both in offical documents ("coloreds only", "colorered entrance in the rear") and by the more gentile people. Acceptable terms change over time. For example, I no longer can use "gay" to indicate a happy time.

  5. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: More polite way.

    Thank you for the clarification. Well, in that case I must have misread your post. You said, "These are the polite terms."

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    During my life the following terms have been used in the US: Negro, Black, and Afro-American. These are the polite terms.
    I thought that you were referring to the present day situation.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: More polite way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Thank you for the clarification. Well, in that case I must have misread your post. You said, "These are the polite terms."



    I thought that you were referring to the present day situation.
    Actually, all of these terms are still in use in the US. To make a simple case - If a person is older and grew up in the South they might use "Negro". If a person is somewhat younger they might use "Black"; think "Black Power", a phrase from the 1960s. Younger people would most likely use "Afro-American" in writing, but "Black" in everyday speech.

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: More polite way.

    Pardon me, Gil, but "Afro-" is quite dated as well. "African-American" is the current term.

    Political correctness is a confusing area for many who have grown up with this language. I can only have sympathy for how hard it is for those learning the language.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #10

    Re: More polite way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicklexoxo View Post


    I am really confused about: How I should call the person with black skin?
    I find the black colour of skin very cool, but how I should note about it? or How I should call him?

    Nickle.
    Now that you have read the above replies, Nickle, I hope you have concluded that the safest way to avoid giving offence is to avoid mentioning a person's skin colour at all.

    It's a veritable minefield.

    In some countries, including the UK, a wrong word can lead to a police prosecution.

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 14-Jul-2013 at 08:25.

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