You can keep on changing names and words in galaxies and scripting/coding, people won't change their habits. Of prejudice, bias and general arsehole-ness.
So I am pro-change, but anti-human, lol.
NASA has decided to "re-examine" how it refers to cosmic objects. Last week the agency pointed out that it currently uses nicknames such as "Eskimo Nebula" or "Siamese Twins Galaxy", but thinks the time has come to change. "As the scientific community works to identify and address systemic discrimination and inequality in all …
The prejudice and bias is purely in the minds of people who assign those values to certain words, especially where no prejudice or bias is intended on the part of the users of those words. Why these people want to assume the worst in others is most likely nothing more than projection.
Correct. This mindset of seeing racially or sexually based issues in every single thing is a disease in the minds of the people who are wanting the change. That or just that everyone is scared silly of a very small vocal minority who like to control others through fear of being labelled as a racist of a 'phobe.
See also the recent (and, in my opinion, frankly irrational) resignation of a presenter from my and your favourite
urban hip-hop/RNB station, Radio 1Xtra, for the BBC reporting the use of an offensive racial slur in context, preceded by a warning, and with the approval of the family involved. Some people seem to just be looking for ways to be offended. He said he could not work with the BBC allowing “the N-word being said on national television by a white person”. So, there are some words that people with certain heritage are allowed to say, but people of other heritage are not? He seems to be implying that it would have been fine if the reporter were black. Sounds a bit racist to me... I'm frankly offended and will be resigning.
Some people seem to just be looking for ways to be offended.,
Bingo. It's called Tw@ter.
Best recent example I can think of was Alistair Stewart. He replied to an ignorant troll with the beautifully worded Shakespearian quote that means "You are an ignorant troll".
Ignorant troll then parses said quote word by word, finds the one it's looking for and promptly waves it on Tw@ter as obvious evidence of a deliberate racist insult, gaining kudos and troll points for doing so.
Mr Stewart resigns from public life rather than attempting to explain Shakespeare to the baying hordes of the terminally stupid.
If only I could up vote more than once.
However as Trigun says there is more going on and I think it is far more dangerous than people merely projecting their own fears onto other peoples behavior. It is a sort of race to the moral high ground while at the same time castigation those that are not pious enough. I think it is a form of mass hysteria (hum, can we continue using that sexist term? :) amplified via the always on, connected and uncritical population at large. A race to find ever more things that might offend and ever more righteous ways of signaling your superiority to the majority by your awareness of these so call offenses. No matter there might not be any actual offense, that is of no consequence. It is the act of signalling to the uninitiated, the ignorant but most importantly to your fellow acolytes, that matters. Quite literally, that act of being holier than thou. This is the object of the exercise. Quite sickening.
As ever, a name has been coined for this, the purity spiral, and the chattering classes are all a chattering about it. How long I wonder before that term becomes persona non gratis. There is an ok'ish BCC radio shown exploring the phenomenon.
It isn't a matter of them projecting FEARS...
Do you remember the old saw/aphorism, back when you were a kid... that "the first to smell the fart (and point the finger), was probably the one who farted?"
Did you ever wonder why the first people to cry out "Sexism!" are the extreme feminists, aka feminazis?
What do you want to bet that most of the people complaining about how this or that is racist... are, themselves, quite racist?
It's simply a witch hunt. And there are always people who recognize that there is power to be had by spearheading any movement the zeitgeist happens to be favouring; if you say the things people want to hear you get to manipulate them. The power other people lend you when they rally behind you can always be focused and used to get done the things you want done, and do in the people you want done in...
But you can raise the next generation without having them surrounded by casual reminders of past racism.
In terms of black hole and white dwarf - I don't see an issue with either, they are literally describing the colour of the objects in question (although white dwarves will eventually cool to become black dwarves).
In the same way that a red giant isn't a slur on those with red hair.
This post has been deleted by its author
As just one current, real-world example, a language which is strongly gender-based resists the idea of non-binary identity. The language literally holds back acceptance of non-gendered pronouns because it seems clumsy to use them, compared to a language which is less focused on the gender of the person.
Language informs behaviour and culture. It's pretty widely known.
"Language informs behaviour and culture. It's pretty widely known."
Is it? By whom? In what context? I just hit DDG with the string "Language informs behavior and culture." and also "Language informs behavior and culture." and received the reply "No results found" for both.
So where, exactly, is this supposedly pretty widely known? The only place I have ever seen anyone string those words together is here on ElReg, in this particular batch of comments. By yourself.
Go read the fiction book "1984". The book includes an explanation of how the (fictional) totalitarian government is trying to make it impossible to think "wrong" thoughts, by changing the language so that it cannot express "wrong" things. Because it becomes harder to think "wrong" thoughts, that helps eradicate "wrong" behaviour. Their warped and simplified language is called "newspeak" and is doubleplusungood.
(For those of you who haven't read the book: "doubleplusungood" is a perfectly valid newspeak word, meaning "very very bad". And go read the book, it's short and definitely worthwhile).
It is a classic book, and there's been plenty of discussion of the issues it raises - which include "newspeak", pervasive surveillance, and totalitarian governments.
Should be ban the name Android? Android as a name is seriously discriminatory, calling your phone a robot? Calling people robot users, not robot abusers?
This is dumb, every name out there in the world can be thought to be discriminatory in one way or another - lets move to abandoning these human invented names and name everything with a GUID, at least a GUID is not going to have racist or sexist accusations.
>Really? I thought it was derived from the russian word for 'worker'.
While the Russian word for 'worker,' rabotnik (работник), does include a Slavic root related to 'labor,' the word 'robot' was coined by the brother of Czech science fiction author Karel Čapek, Josef Čapek.
> . It is derived from the Czech word "robota" - meaning something like "forced laborer" or "slave".
Sorry. Not even close. The Czech word for 'slave' is 'otrok,' and the word for 'work' is 'práce.'
Check this out, maybe it'll help you:
This post has been deleted by its author
The International Astronomical Union is reviewing the naming the largest planet of the Solar System after a serial rapist, it is being reported 
 i.e. reported here, but thoroughly inaccurately 
 I hope to some inoffensive god that I'm right about the inaccuracy.
Washington State needs to be renamed because Washington was a slave owner.
Washington DC needs to be renamed because Washington was a slave owner and Columbus was worse.
Here's a mind-boggling fact: There are school districts here in California actively working to change the names of all schools named after any US President or other historical figure who ever did anything even remotely non-modern-era-PC. Really.
There is also a movement here in California to rename everything named after Sir Francis Drake, because he was a slave trader. (If you don't know the history, look up "Drake's Bay" and then Drake himself on the usually suspect Wiki.)
These idiots are truly trying to re-write history to make it politically correct.
Currently it is deemed politically correct to denounce anything that happened in the past particularly if it affects trends on social media with all the focus on BAME and BLM. One cannot erase history and I believe that to do so actually increases the risks of similar actions being repeated. Just because the Slave Trade was acceptable and is now unacceptable does not mean it should be forgotten.
There also appears to be huge amounts of focus on particular sections of the population based on racial origin. There are equal, if not worse atrocities that have taken place based on ethnic or religious origin that have never had this focus.
What has happened that is now history is just that and we should be seeing those actions for what they are but in a modern context.
Trying to change or erase history also feeds those are in denial that these things even happened in the first place.
Should we also erase everything that took place under Hitler? That there are people who still deny the Holocaust took place is frightening.
The Ethnic cleansing that took place in Balkans has all but disappeared.
Would it be right to bury the use of the two bombs on Japan at the end of WW2?
What about the purging of indigenous Indians in America?
In this age of Social Media & instant fashion it appears to be far too easy to create & jump on a bandwagon or popular outcry that politicians, academics and businesses have no option but to align themselves with for fear of becoming a target. That in itself risks becoming just as bad as the very thing that is causing the protest in the first place.
Um, no. They are not trying to rewrite history, they simply think any perceived glorification of people now deemed bad should be erased.
They want this stuff taught more in schools, not less - children need to be educated that everyone born before about 1990 was an irredeemable bigot.
There is a valid point that celebrating someone we no longer think should be celebrated is a bit odd. It could be handled far less clumsily but to suggest anyone who holds a view you disagree with is "an idiot" is hardly putting you on the side of light and truth. If people want to rename a building, that's hardly an affront to history.
"They want this stuff taught more in schools, not less"
Actually, no. They don't. I've seen several "experts" on childhood learning on DearOldTelly recently stating outright that we must completely erase our history (or at least hide it from the children and other non-researchers), because teaching kids what their Great Grandparents were up to is actively promoting institutional racism, and thus a form of child abuse.
 Most with letters after their names, and promoted by one school of higher learning or another.
"There is a valid point that celebrating someone we no longer think should be celebrated is a bit odd."
Who is celebrating anyone in these cases? They are a point of history, good or bad. If they were good, teach why. If they were bad, similarly teach why. Whitewashing over the bad dishono(u)rs the good, some of whom were working against almost unimaginable odds ...
The statues, place names, etc. already exist. Use them as tools. Instead of pouring millions of dollars into eradicating all traces of them, put half that money into schools to teach the kids why, exactly, we don't act like that today, in the modern so-called "civilized" world.
Ive been called "racist" for suggesting the above. The mind boggles.
The only way of stopping this madness is to ban all uses of the same word to mean more than one thing. If everything is described by a different word then nobody will get into trouble for accidentally making someone feel uncomfortable.
I wish that it were only this simple.
With this new Woke crowd the words change their meaning on a daily basis. Everything has become a means of entrapment..
That will continue until the people get absolutely sick of it all and then the push back will begin.
If the SJWs/Woke Crowd don't like society then they are certainly free to create their own...
Go Woke, go broke..
Ancient Hebrew was written without vowels, so I am told (philologists please advise), which led to some interesting confusions. For example I understand that the words for "camel" and "rope" have the same consonants, and the statement that 'it is as easy for a rich man to enter the gates of Heaven as it is for a camel to pass through he eye of a needle' should actually refer to rope. All those contortions of language explaining that the 'eye of a needle' referred to a very small gate in a city wall disappear.
In a passage in the Old Testament about King Solomon causing a pool to be built for the priests to wash in, the pool is described as being 10 cubits across and 30 cubits round. However, in the Hebrew text the two uses of the word "cubit" are spelled differently. As, in Hebrew letters are numbers, if you then do the maths on these two spellings, with the ratio of the circumference fo a circle to the diameter, you get Pi correct to 7 decimal places.
The "eye of a needle" passage (Luke 18:25) was written in Koine Greek, not Hebrew, although parts of the other Gospels might have originally been set down in Hebrew ... "Luke" (whoever that was) probably wrote a few other Acts of the play, as well.
There is absolutely no historical evidence whatsoever that Hebrew letters were assigned numerical values during the time period that 1 Kings 7:23 was written. Anybody suggesting otherwise is a charlatan, probably looking to separate fools from their money.
That's what astronomical catalogue numbers are for. Sometimes you can even choose which one to use! M13 and NGC 6205 both refer to the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules.
Incidentally, "Perseus" should be changed because "perse" is a vulgar word for 'rear end' in Finnish.
"Incidentally, "Perseus" should be changed because "perse" is a vulgar word for 'rear end' in Finnish."
By Hercules' Great Globular Clusters! I'm shocked to hear that. Shocked, I say. We must immediately ban Finnish, it's for the greater good of us all! Will no one think of the children?
(Deity or non deity of your choice) it's much worse than that! Have you looked at Pi or any other irrational numbers - they go on for ever, don't stop and have lots of sequences in them.... So converting them to ASCII or similar code will lead to all sorts of unacceptable statements - not just "Brown Bears Bugger Badgers" (it is late at night so forgive me) but who knows what!!!!!!!!!!!!
We need an immediate government funded committee to immediately produce an initial report of the potential danger sequences in Pi and other irrational numbers. Then we must remove this outrageous sexist (oh bugger it I can't be arsed to cover all the irrational descriptions here) bits. If this causes minor inconveniences then the human race (is that racist?) or merely specist, must reprogram all of our systems to cope with it.
Owning a slide rule or a book of log tables with this in must now become a capital offence, subsequent convictions must become a severe repeat offence and treated appropriately (did Jesus own a slide rule?).
Anything is better than the inherent injustice in irrational numbers.
Delete and rejoice.
At least some of them, of the "Race Studies" variety, have redefined the word "privilege".
According to them, it now means "an ABSENCE of IMPEDIMENT"... instead of the ADDITION of something special.
Of course, it's just a mere coincidence that the change of definition yields the result of making far more White people "privileged"... and yes, he was referring to White privilege initially, but paused and changed it to "all privilege really...".
Likewise, they defined the word "microaggression" so that ONLY the dominant cultural group COULD commit a microaggression, thus giving all other groups a "free pass"..
They are also trying to redefine "racist"/"racism"/"prejudice" so that minorities are somehow unable, by definition, to be "racists" or "prejudiced".
"They are also trying to redefine "racist"/"racism"/"prejudice" so that minorities are somehow unable, by definition, to be "racists" or "prejudiced"."
Yeah, that one has been going on for a while. Racism now includes a "power" element, so only white people can be racist, even when the most powerful man in the world was previously a black man... MLK must be spinning in his grave at the modern black person, fighting for segregation and special privileges.
I can give most of these people the benefit of the doubt... believe that they just have good intentions.
(Innocent until proven guilty, as SOME have already confessed to being racists.)
At the same time, these people are a good example of why we have that old saying...
"The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."
No matter what their INTENT might be, SOME of the RESULTS of this crap are going to be...
Very Bad Indeed.
MLK's RPM is increasing daily ... Last time I read it, his most famous speech didn't contain the line "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will judge white people by the color of their skin, instead of the content of their character."
Sadly, however, that is exactly what is happening / has happened. I am a racist merely because of the color of my skin, regardless of anything I may have said or done (or not said or done).
The truly daft thing is that even though my skin is white, I am not a Caucasian ... and in fact, I am more of a minority than all the so-called minorities calling me a racist. Such is the logic of the uneducated, ignorant world we live in.
I've started to hear the phrase "irredeemably racist" to describe white people, with some now claiming we have to be taught how not to be racist. Reecently a city in the US even sent all it's politicians to a bootcamp to teach them how to "renounce their whiteness".
What fresh racism is this when an entire group is treated as inferior by people based on skin colour, and that's somehow not racist? Madness.
There are real actual problems of discrimination in the world.
Scientific nomenclature is not one of them.
Has any group of people actually suffered as a result of this nomenclature?
In some parts of the world people are imprisoned, beaten, murdered because of their race or religious beliefs.
Solve that actual problem instead.
The people at NASA can't solve that problem and I'm pretty sure they aren't suggesting that their policy will solve that problem.
A problem they CAN solve is that they feel some names are inappropriate. You might disagree, but what they name things is up to them, surely? You aren't getting harmed in any way, so why not just let them use names they are more comfortable with rather than going all gammon about PC gone mad?
The origin of "Gammon" comes from a BBC political discussion programme called "Question Time". A newspaper columnist observed that enraged audience members would become angry and red-faced, stating that they looked like gammons. Whilst I can see the funny side of that, the woke playground bullies that latched onto it have taken the joke a tad too far.
I'll write "OK Boomer" so nobody else has to bother.
It's strange that some
people lefties see it acceptable to use the term "gammon" as an insult, and a way to discredit what people say, merely by insulting their skin colour. Especially since it's blatantly racist. If "Uncle Tom" and "Coconut" are racist, then stop calling middle aged white people Gammon.
Agreed. Would we persist is referring to a co-worker by a derogatory nickname that that person had asked us to stop using? For most I hope the answer would be "no". Would stopping solve the problem of workplace harassment? No, of course not. But every bit helps. If I, for pretty much no cost or effort, could be less of an asshole to someone, why should I chose *not* to?
And I doubt anyone is expected to reprint textbooks (as suggested below), but the next edition is easily fixed, and so is the website.
"Would we persist is referring to a co-worker by a derogatory nickname that that person had asked us to stop using?"
Of course not. But that's misdirection, and you know it. We are talking about technical terminology, and the way we have named inanimate objects. This is a completely different subject. Thread hijack attempt noted and ignored.
If "the next addition" is easily fixed (as is the Web site), are you volunteering your services to do that job until that job is complete? Willing to put your time and labo(u)r where your mouth is?
The question is, who was beating down NASA's door saying their life was being ruined by the racism/sexism/whatever-ism inherent in the names of *astronomical objects*???
The answer is: nobody. Or at least nobody that isn't a serial offendee of everything, everywhere, all the time. This is virtue signalling, nothing more. And it's just as pointless and stupid as all virtue signalling. It's NASA's stab at "hey, we're woke! Come look at how woke we are!"
What's next? Brown dwarfs may offend height-challenged people *and* people of color! Blue giant is offensive to plus-sized people and those suffering from argyria! Oh the humanity! Won't someone please think of these tortured souls whose lives have been ruined but such vicious, evil slurs??? I'm sure if you try hard enough, someone somewhere will be offended by "globular cluster" or some other innocuous term *if they really want to be offended*.
These people should not be celebrated for claiming to be victims of things that are clearly not offensive. We should not change the definition of "offensive" to mean "anything that anyone, anywhere says is offensive." It's idiotic and it needs to stop.
"Solve that actual problem instead."
Whilst your post is undoubtably true, it also suffers a bit from 'whataboutism' (Google is your friend). There will *always* be a more serious issue to contend with, in any walk of life, by any reasonably sensible measure. What should you do? What should everyone do? What should society do?
In this case, what should NASA do? Should send all their employees to work as rescue teams to far flung corners or volunteers in food kitchens and stop sending stuff out of the atmosphere? At what point do you say 'no, you go do that, but different you go and do a a different that'? If NASA are tasked with being NASA and watching the stars and occasionally throwing big fireworks around, maybe we should just let them crack on with their naming issues and just appreciate that they are at least thinking about it?
ah, but this minor issue has been around for a few millennia, kinda hard to crack, this one. WHEREAS decreeing certain words discriminatory, etc. - quick and easy. Done! Instant success! Eat shit - thousands of fb "likes" cannot be wrong!
Because 'Siamese' is an historical accident (the first conjoined twins who became famous were paraded around the USA as attractions) and simply lazy to use. And as anything Asiatic was deemed weird and lesser, it could never be nice. We don't use the word 'Mongoloid' for Down's Syndrome people any more. That turned out to be a very easy shift, so why people are getting their knickers in a twist over a phrase that nobody much uses any more is a mystery to me. Hell, even cities change their names (e.g. Thunder Bay in Canada) and yes, it took a while for text books, maps, etc. to catch up, but someone we managed. Are all the huffers and puffers really going to man the barricades over words that are now, at best, quaint?
Changing your own (town, country, personal) name is fine carry on. A little over a hundred years ago a chap named George decided that he'd rather be called Windsor that Saxe Coberg Gotha.
The article is about changing the currently descriptively accurate name for every object of that type in existence.
Are we eventually going to remove the word 'Black' from dictionaries altogether? It won't change the physics of light interacting with a surface.
Out of curiosity, I just checked whether https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Arabic_star_names might offend modern sensibilities.
Amazingly, it looks like they ancient Arabs had the foresight to choose names that wouldn't offend anybody past, present or future.
So the Arabic star names ARE offensive to you, Hollerithevo? Shall we change them all immediately, lest your virgin ears accidentally hear them again someday?
Or are the words only offensive in certain contexts, none of which have anything to do with astronomy, thus making changing the names utterly pointless?
"Goodnews! The new dictionary is out!"
It wont end with the "correction" of nicknames etc. Once that is cleared up the void it creates will force those who wish to correct everything will start looking for new words.
This is just like a language based version of what I saw growing up in the 90's and early 2000's. Where Nativity plays in schools were banned "because it would offend minority groups". Interview after interview, debate after debate. All majority groups, attacking themselves live on TV and radio as they tried to capitulate to the minority groups who were demanding the censoring of the "dominant" culture of the country. Occasionally one of the minorities managed to sneak into the discussion and with a bewildered look on their faces ask where the fuck this censoring crap all came from?
When looked at, this NASA thing, the cancelling of cultural expression to save the minorities who literally have no idea what we are talking about, the editing of the dictionary to delete words that certain people (profiled by their racial attributes no less) can not use, they just seem insignificant by themselves. ANy argument against them is an overreaction etc.
Some people can stand back and see all of it at once and its very very dangerous. Especially if you consider that there are two types of people seeing all of it at once, those who wish to resist it and those who wish to enable it. The enablers are winning right now, if they gain enough ground there will be a Newspeak of sorts. The children of the future will use it and Oldspeak may even get you in trouble. Bit by bit, inch by inch moving slowly towards the new dictionary that is different depending in what colour you are, religion you follow if any, perhaps even what genitals you posessed at birth. Go slowly enough and only the old luddite fogies will remember a time when everything was equal and debatable and applicable to various situations that actually need it to describe history or even a concept, from both sides of history.
When you watch that video, actually understand it, it is alluring isnt it. By defining language and controlling it, we can begin to control thought.
How long till we start on Shakespeare? Why shouldn't we? I bet there is plenty there to correct.
If you tried to turn Shakespeare politically correct, there wouldn't be anything left!
When I was in school, we did Shakespeare in English classes and drama classes, independently, but roughly at the same time.
Whilst the English classes were stuffy, our drama teacher always highlighted and explained all the rude jokes, and double entendres, which made the class much more interesting.
There are some northern native american people who object to being called Inuits because they are not of the Inuit tribes. Eskimo is less offensive to them as it is at least a generic term. I've also heard that some native americans prefer to be called indians so it seems to me that you can't avoid offending somebody no matter what you do. Perhaps we should just call them all people from wherever they chose to live.
We should also ban all languages that routinely assign genders to objects. Just endemic and mass produced discrimination of the worst kind. Not very common in English, or even American, but there are a few blatant and utterly disgusting uses of this. Dor example, referring to a ship as "she" or "her"? Just disgusting and wretched and incredibly, deeply sexist and discriminatory... I haven't been so disgusted and appallled for at least two days.
(Native German here)
Door = "Die Tür" -> Female
Gate = "Das Tor" -> Neither
House = "Das Haus" -> Neither
Chair = "Der Stuhl" -> Male
Couch = "Die Couch" -> Female
Sofa = "Das Sofa" -> Neither
German is really, really weird. When a wagon ("Wagen" also used as a generic term for anything that drives) is used as a synonym for "car", it is "Der Wagen"; if you use "car" it is "Das Auto"; but then a brake is female (die Bremse).
Even worse is if you belittle something, regardless of whether it was male, female or neither - it automatically becomes neither: "Der Junge" (the boy) -> "Das Jungchen"
Did I mention that German is really weird?
But the language police is woke here, too. And in German it is a really large battle as we have, e.g., for all job-titles a male and a female variant. But there is also the "neutral male noun".
If you are talking about "doctors" (plural), you would use the neutral noun 'Ärzte" - but since this is derived from the male form (Arzt) and the female form is "Ärztin" (singluar), the war starts about whether we should use "ÄrztInnen" (uppercase I), "Ärzt_innen", "Ärzt*innen" or, within a single body of text, keep changing from female to male and back when using nouns.
Welcome to "... we really don't have any other problems over here in Germany ..."
Depends on your definition of "pretty much all" and "European" and whether you count number of languages or speakers. You need to look away from Indo-European languages: Basque (as far as I can determine), Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Karelian, Veps, Ingrian, Ludic, the nine Saami languages with speakers left, Nenets; Turkish, Azerbaijani, Gagauz, Tatar, Chuvash; Maltese; Kalmyk; Chechen, Ingush, and several I can't recall.
Then again, re number of languages, linguists deem there are more languages in eg. the Romance group than commonly thought. Don't forget eg. Mirandese, Extremaduran, Aragonese, Sardinian, Friulian...
This post has been deleted by its author
I was thinking mostly of the...
Romance - French, Spanish, Italian, Rumanian... (Portuguese?)
Germanic - German, Dutch, Scandinavian, (but not, of course, English)
Slavic - Russian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Bulgarian (?), etc...
Finnish... well... I know almost nothing about Finnish, including even which group it might belong to, other than (probably) Indo-European... other than that it has so many damned CASES that it seems rather improbable that they could possibly have overlooked the added complication of genders. <grin>
And I overlooked Celtic, Gaelic, and Welsh...
...and even if it hasn't been perjoratively used but someone, somewhere *thinks* it may have been - or might someday be -- used perjoratively against anyone, anywhere, regardless of whether they do exist, have existed, or may ever exist.
This is just ludicrous idiocy.
I thought naming astronomical objects was the job of the International Astronomical Union.
I appreciate that most, probably all, of the people reading this thread would say they are not racist, but I'd be interested if any Inuit have been consulted about the naming of the nebula in question. If an astronomical object were named with a highly derogatory name for your ethnic group, how happy would you be about it? Might it put you off astronomy as a career or hobby?
And according to Wikipedia, it isn't derogatory (just political correctness gone wild):
Etymologically speaking, there exists a scientific consensus that the word Eskimo comes from the Innu-aimun (Montagnais) word ayas̆kimew meaning "a person who laces a snowshoe" and is related to "husky" (a breed of dog), and it does not have a pejorative meaning in origin.
In Canada and Greenland, the term "Eskimo" is predominantly seen as offensive or "non-preferred", and has been widely replaced by the term "Inuit" or terms specific to a particular group or community. This has resulted in a trend whereby some Canadians and Americans believe that they should not use the word "Eskimo", and use the classifier and typical Canadian word "Inuit" instead, even for Yupik (non-Inuit) people.
No, not at all.
Yupik and Aleut people are armed and well trained in the use of rifles, but sit quietly and smile slightly at the idiot furriners trying to figure out how to address them.
Scots are not armed at all, and get extremely violent at the mere thought of being compared to the English.
This post has been deleted by its author
@Eclectic Man: Let me reframe your question. If a number of people of the relevant groups were asked about the name of a galaxy, and they all said "It doesn't matter" or "I don't care", or "That's really nice!", do you think the do-gooders would think twice about this project? I don't.
I guess "Black hole" is likely to be ok since it is factually accurate. It is a gravity well which emits no light. The term is not used in a negative sense as I would understand it. However I accept as a white person (Scottish to technically blue according to Billy Connolly) I do not have the ideal personal perspective on this.
White dwarf, again the colour is a factual term similar to Red Giant, blue stars etc etc. The Dwarf bit might cause some problems but again to my understanding the acceptable term for people with a genetic condition which results in medically abnormally lack of height changes rather regularly. So "Dwarf" has been ok, has also not been ok, might be ok right now and may or may not be ok in the future.
Slate1 was the original writing surface of choice in many Welsh & northern UK schools (& pubs), depending on its size 2 or 4 slates gave a decent area to use chalk on.
The name stuck as a temporary writing surface well after 'black (painted) boards' arrived and that new fangled paper stuff was being used by pupils2. Everyone knew what 'A Slate' was by then, why change it.
1 A thin smooth stone roofing slab to keep the rain out, this IS the UK after all.
2 Small offcuts from roofing slate were basically free and provided pupils with a reuseable writing surface.
This post has been deleted by its author
Speaking as someone who at least has some eyesight even although it could never be described by the spivviest of salesmen in the worst-fitting polyester suit as HD, I would rather a hundred people forgot to say "stopped hole", than one person left something on the pavement and created a tripping hazard.
Words aren't the real problem. If people think it's OK to use certain words, that is invariably because they are in an environment where people's actions suggest that words are the least of anyone's problems.
Like the words politician and truth? I mean un-truths, definitely not lies. No, not lies at all, just un-truths. Which for almost everyone else would involve copious jail time or fines. And being rightly called a liar.
We already have experts and policy that seem to be horrifyingly mutually exclusive - at least until the correct "experts" are found, preferably those with no shame or just with no expertise really.
I thought that there is only one human race so if the other tribal members of the human race claim racial discrimination are they not admitting that they are from another race or species other than the human race?. This reminds one of the Organic food lobby who will not eat or are unable to work out all plant food is organic?
Are the racial correctors unschooled in the genetics or unable to understand that English is an evolving which has purloined works from other languages and tribal groups? It is the same as people who glibly talk about 200% ask them to explain how there can be more than 100 part per hundred?