political correctness vs black people

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audiolaik

Senior Member
Polish
Hi,

What is the current (of course politically correct) term used to refer to black people in Great Britain nowadays?

Thanks!
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I believe the current BE-PC term is black people for people of African origin.
    But who knows what the vocal PC minority will 'proclaim' to be the next acceptable term?
    I don't think we've ever had person/people of colour inflicted on us. It sounds strangely familiar ... and yet not in a British accent. We did use to talk of coloured people but that term has now bitten the dust.
    These terms come and go, Audio, and often go round in circles.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    What about person of colour?
    In the US "person of colour" is an inclusive (and geneally acceptable) term that includes all "non-whites". I realize that you are asking about the UK, but I doubt that this is the term you want.

    I am curious about the "vs" in your title. Does this mean that you have decided that "black people " cannot be a currently acceptable term?
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    Of course one can never know what the 'politically correct' are going to come up with next, but 'blacks' sounds straightforward enough to me. 'Coloured' always reminds me of apartheid in South Africa and I wouldn't think it would be very acceptable. Besides, what is colour? The Chinese, Japanese and some other Asians are supposedly 'yellow'. Isn't that a colour? And what are you going to call mestizos and mulattos?They are definitely not black!
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Statistical breakdown
    Total replies to this thread: 7
    Posts from people who currently live in Great Britain: 2
    Posts from BE speakers: 2, both from the same person
    And the largest category, people who don't speak BE but who were happy to not answer the original question: 3
     
    Form a non-native, but reasonably proficient speaker of BE, who's living in the UK now:

    black is acceptable, and commonly used, for people of African and West Indian (ie historically/ancestrally African) origin.

    People form the Indian sub-continent (the largest non-white group in the UK) are referred to as Indian, or Asian; but Pakistani and Bangladeshi people are often referred to using the relevant term.

    People from the Far East don't seem to be as often referred to as Asian, and a qualification of South-East Asian would be sometimes added. Again, specific national terms (eg Chinese) are used more often.

    The only term that seems to be commonly used for non-white people is, well non-white. People of colour isn't used and sounds to my ear odd, old fashioned and patronisingly superior.

    Oddities include things like Eastern Europeans, which is at least occasionally used euphemistically for Romanian/Slovakian Roma, as well as people from the Eastern edges of what used to be Soviet Union. Cf man with an Eastern European appearance .
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi,

    What I meant by using vs was to pick a kind of discussion:). The reason being I've come across a list of phrases used when referring to various nationalities in the UK and USA. There are mostly negative ones!
    That's why I'm looking for something positive:).

    Interestingly enough, the word nigger is deemed ILLEGAL. However, when used by black people, the grounds for taking somebody to court are lost.

    So to avoid insulting anybody, let alone being sued:) I'm searching for neutral expressions.

    By the way, the list is really interesting, of course in terms of English language.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Moderator Intervention:

    Please limit replies to answers to the thread question.

    Comments about political correctness as a linguistic or socio-political or other phenomenon are off limits.

    Comments about non-UK usage are off-limits.

    Comments about words that don't meet the requirement of being current and politically correct are off-limits.
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    We refer to black people as just that. The word should not be used as a noun (e.g. "a black", or "blacks"); this sounds offensive, but any adjectival use is fine. Black people, black man, black woman, black community.

    There are plenty of authentic examples to be found on the web that confirm this - on news sites, local government sites, anti-racism sites, etc., etc.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    But, do the black people accept this term to call themselves with no problem?
    In the UK, yes, they do.
    Black, adjective, is (one) term black people use to describe themselves as a matter of routine. It is therefore the term that I use, as a matter of courtesy, when it seems necessary to refer to someone's colour.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't have anything to add to the debate (except to say that I think it's more usual, these days, to talk about ethnic origin rather than skin colour).

    I just wanted to say that I suspect the OP meant "vis-à-vis" black people, rather than "vs" black people...

    Loob
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi,

    What is meant by vs is of little consequence now on account of the fact that:

    Comments about political correctness as a linguistic or socio-political or other phenomenon are off limits.

    Anyway, thanks for your all replies:)
     
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