Paki in princ William

Pred časom je v Angliji izbruhnila afera “paki”. Ko se je princ William odpravljal na vojaško misijo, je v letališki avli snemal svoje vojaške kamerade in jih poimenoval z njihovimi vzdevki. Enemu med njimi je tako rekel “paki” . To je beseda o kateri slovar slenga pravi takole:

paki Noun. 1. A Pakistani, but also used as a general and particularly offensive term for any person/immigrant from the Indian sub-continent, such as Pakistan, India, Bengal, Sri Lanka etc. Offens.
2. A shop or delicatessen run by asians. Offens.

Mediji so seveda začeli govoriti o prikritem rasizmu princa in kraljeve družine, vendar pa je diskurzivni pomen besede “paki” težje določiti, kot bi se to zdelo na prvi pogled. David Crystal o tem kako bi določili semantično valenco besede paki v konkretnem primeru, pravi:

“With potentially sensitive words, everything depends on the phonology and the pragmatics – in other words, how they’re said and what the intentions are. A word said in a friendly tone is worlds away from the same word said in a belligerent one.

Establishing the intentions behind the usage is crucial. If everyone in the group uses the nickname, including the recipient of it, and everyone is comfortable with it, then anyone who peers in from outside and criticizes it must have their own agenda. Usually that agenda is pretty obvious (eg anti-monarchy), but the criticism is likely to be unpersuasive if it ignores linguistic realities. And certainly, judging by the opinions I’ve read in the various newspaper forums, most people haven’t been persuaded.

Everything in language depends on the circumstances. Words are the messengers of intentions, and we should never shoot the messenger. Equally, we should always be alert to the possible impact our words might have on our listeners, and choose them well. Especially if we suspect there could be a newspaper reporter listening round the corner.

We know from the theoreticians of pragmatics that there’s a useful distinction to be drawn between intended and actual perlocutionary effects, but this is usually discussed with reference to the effect of an utterance on the person(s) we are talking to. I’m not sure how the theory handles newspaper eavesdroppers, let alone the reactions of the readers of their reports. If there are people who, for whatever reason, hate a particular word, then this might influence our readiness to use the word in public situations, but should we allow them to have any influence on the way we talk in private? I’ve seen the argument this week that we should, on the grounds that to use a term like Paki even in private shows that the user has an undesirable mindset. This strikes me as being overly simplistic, but I’d be interested to hear some views.”

Vir: http://david-crystal.blogspot.com/