New meme

I’m going to start doing this. I suggest you do too. 

If I started using the term “anti-Semitic” as a general term of undifferentiated disapprobation like “lame” or “gay” (as in “god, those trainers are pretty anti-Semitic”, “The first few series of Friends were quite sharp and funny, but it got really lazy and anti-Semitic toward the end”, “I don’t know; there’s nothing specific about Shoreditch that I don’t like – it’s just a bit anti-Semitic”), how long do you think it would take to catch on? And what sort of reaction would I get in the meantime?

3 thoughts on “New meme

  1. Robert says:

    Surely in the case of ‘gay’ or ‘lame’ your using a word used to describe someone as an insult. So the analogous case would be to use ‘semite’ and ‘semitic’ as derogatory terms, no?

    But I guess the other phrases stem from the speaker considering them generally undesirable, so ‘anti-semitic’ would be the way forward.

    Since Arabs are also semites, I find the ‘anti-semitism’ turn of phrase used in a pretty disingenuous sense, most of the time.

  2. I know this is a bit of tangent, but when I was at school I had a friend from Damascus. He was always quite annoyed at the misuse of the term “semite” in the classroom to refer to the Jewish people and would always point out to the teacher that Arabs were Semites too.

    He also went nuts when we were studying “The Eagle of the Ninth” by Rosemary Sutcliff as towards the beginning, one of the main protagonists is described as having “[...] none of that Syrian softness about his face [...]“. He was a great one for putting people straight about the Arab world was old Yaroub…

    (By the way, it’s incredibly unlikely, but if you’re reading this, get in touch – last time we had a fight about Imperialism and Arab nationalism, things were a bit different. We should catch up and have a fight.)

  3. PDF says:

    “Antisemite” was a word specifically coined to refer to the hatred of Jews, not of all semitic people, so there isn’t really much to be gained from recasting its meaning to reflect its etymological roots. Judenhass would probably be a better word for the phenomenon, but any English-speaker who uses it sounds like a demented LGF fanatic…

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