Discussion:
Politically Incorrect Chief
(too old to reply)
Don Phillipson
2017-10-12 05:22:21 UTC
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Raw Message
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense

This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably “every Aboriginal person has been referred to as ‘chief’”
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life." The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)


This
b***@shaw.ca
2017-10-12 05:59:15 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and '70s when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tak To
2017-10-14 23:07:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and '70s when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
b***@shaw.ca
2017-10-15 00:00:12 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and '70s when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
Possibly quite a few years ago? It's definitely an out-of-date usage now. It might not raise eyebrows depending on the company you're in, but it risks giving extreme offence.

As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established in a few minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term -- Mr., Sir, etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as straightforward as "Call me Fred".
Tak To
2017-10-15 19:58:04 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and '70s when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
Possibly quite a few years ago? It's definitely an out-of-date usage now.
Yes, in the late 70's or the early 80's. It was more of an amusing
personal account. I have never encountered anyone actually using
"Chief" -- not that there have been a whole lot of social occasions
in which I witness a s-i-l addressing his f-i-l.
Post by b***@shaw.ca
It might not raise eyebrows depending on the company you're in, but
it risks giving extreme offence.
I think the PC language police has gone too far. There are many
chiefs besides Native American chieftains, police, firefighters, or
in any company of people with emphasis on authority and discipline.

Above all, shouldn't the tone of the addresser and his/her position
relative to the addressee be taken into considerations?
Post by b***@shaw.ca
As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established in a few minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term -- Mr., Sir, etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as straightforward as "Call me Fred".
Nowadays I think few (new fathers-in-law) would be offended by "Dad".
One can always consult one's wife first.

And when the kids come along, an easily solution presents itself --
calling him by what your kids would call him.
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Tony Cooper
2017-10-15 21:02:56 UTC
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Post by Tak To
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably ?very Aboriginal person has been referred to as ?hief?
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and '70s when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
I have never encountered anyone actually using
"Chief"
You never had the chance to meet my family. My nickname as a child
was "Chief". It was bestowed on me by my grandfather who, at first
sight of me as an infant, called me "Big Chief Two Noses". My face
has almost, but not quite, grown to make my nose look of normal size.

My grandfather was a collector in Indian relics, and spent
considerable time in Oklahoma in search of relics. In this photo,
he's exhibiting at one of Lightner's hobby shows in Chicago. He's on
the right, and my father is in the left in the booth. The female is
an Indian from Oklahoma that he hired for the show.
Post by Tak To
And when the kids come along, an easily solution presents itself --
calling him by what your kids would call him.
Good Lord! No! My grandsons call me "Grampa". I would not want my
daughter-in-law or son-in-law calling me "Grampa".
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Mark Brader
2017-10-15 22:59:20 UTC
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Post by Tak To
I think the PC language police has gone too far. There are many
chiefs besides Native American chieftains, police, firefighters, or
in any company of people with emphasis on authority and discipline.
I agree with all of this except the word "has", which I think (ObAUE)
must be "have".
--
Mark Brader | "Basically, what I *really* want is the USENET of the 1980s
Toronto | without the high long-distance telephone bills."
***@vex.net | --Wayne Brown
b***@shaw.ca
2017-10-16 02:45:52 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by Mark Brader
Post by Tak To
I think the PC language police has gone too far. There are many
chiefs besides Native American chieftains, police, firefighters, or
in any company of people with emphasis on authority and discipline.
I agree with all of this except the word "has", which I think (ObAUE)
must be "have".
I would add that it's not helpful to call them "PC language police". It's a term that doesn't encourage discussion that might lead to more sensible policies. If course there is nothing wrong with most uses of "chief", but labeling those people "PC language police" says you're interested in a shouting match, not a reasoned discussion.

bill
Mark Brader
2017-10-16 03:51:37 UTC
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Post by b***@shaw.ca
I would add that it's not helpful to call them "PC language police".
It's a term that doesn't encourage discussion that might lead to more
sensible policies. If course there is nothing wrong with most uses of
"chief", but labeling those people "PC language police" says you're
interested in a shouting match, not a reasoned discussion.
I was interested in neither; I was just expressing my opinion about
this particular action, without shouting.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "The language should match the users,
***@vex.net not vice versa" -- Brian W. Kernighan
HVS
2017-10-15 23:22:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established
in a few minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term
-- Mr., Sir, etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as
straightforward as "Call me Fred".
Post by Tak To
Nowadays I think few (new fathers-in-law) would be offended by
"Dad".
Post by Tak To
One can always consult one's wife first.
Easier solution: just ask them.

I was 30 years old when my wife and I got married (35 years next
spring - yay! )

I was raised to call my parents' generation and friends "Mr/Mrs X",
but addressing my MIL that way seemed overly formal. Equally, calling
her by her given name was outside my comfort zone, so for some years
I addressed her with a throat clearing "ahem". (">ahem< Sue and I
thought we might visit the arboretum on Saturday - what do you
think?")

My brother addressed his in-laws as" Mum" and "Dad", but he married
in his early 20s (45 years next August - double "yay"!) That was
never going to work for me, though: my mum and dad died in a car
crash 6 months before our wedding, and I simply couldn't bring myself
to start calling some other person "Mum".

I fretted about this for some years, and then realised I should just
come out and ask her. She was well aware of the "ahem" thing, and was
entirely happy for me to use her first name.

She was also very pleased that I consulted her on the issue.

Conclusion: just ask them.
--
Cheers, Harvey
CanE (30 years) & BrE (34 years),
indiscriminately mixed
Ken Blake
2017-10-16 00:55:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established
in a few minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term
-- Mr., Sir, etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as
straightforward as "Call me Fred".
Post by Tak To
Nowadays I think few (new fathers-in-law) would be offended by
"Dad".
Post by Tak To
One can always consult one's wife first.
Easier solution: just ask them.
I was 30 years old when my wife and I got married (35 years next
spring - yay! )
I was raised to call my parents' generation and friends "Mr/Mrs X",
but addressing my MIL that way seemed overly formal. Equally, calling
her by her given name was outside my comfort zone, so for some years
I addressed her with a throat clearing "ahem". (">ahem< Sue and I
thought we might visit the arboretum on Saturday - what do you
think?")
My brother addressed his in-laws as" Mum" and "Dad", but he married
in his early 20s (45 years next August - double "yay"!) That was
never going to work for me, though: my mum and dad died in a car
crash 6 months before our wedding, and I simply couldn't bring myself
to start calling some other person "Mum".
I fretted about this for some years, and then realised I should just
come out and ask her. She was well aware of the "ahem" thing, and was
entirely happy for me to use her first name.
She was also very pleased that I consulted her on the issue.
Conclusion: just ask them.
The problem with asking is that you may get an answer you're very
unhappy with. If I had asked my in-laws and they had told me to call
them "Mom" and "Dad," I don't know what I would have done.
HVS
2017-10-16 10:27:54 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ken Blake
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established
in a few minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term
-- Mr., Sir, etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as
straightforward as "Call me Fred".
Post by Tak To
Nowadays I think few (new fathers-in-law) would be offended by
"Dad".
Post by Tak To
One can always consult one's wife first.
Easier solution: just ask them.
I was 30 years old when my wife and I got married (35 years next
spring - yay! )
I was raised to call my parents' generation and friends "Mr/Mrs X",
but addressing my MIL that way seemed overly formal. Equally, calling
her by her given name was outside my comfort zone, so for some years
I addressed her with a throat clearing "ahem". (">ahem< Sue and I
thought we might visit the arboretum on Saturday - what do you
think?")
My brother addressed his in-laws as" Mum" and "Dad", but he married
in his early 20s (45 years next August - double "yay"!) That was
never going to work for me, though: my mum and dad died in a car
crash 6 months before our wedding, and I simply couldn't bring myself
to start calling some other person "Mum".
I fretted about this for some years, and then realised I should just
come out and ask her. She was well aware of the "ahem" thing, and was
entirely happy for me to use her first name.
She was also very pleased that I consulted her on the issue.
Conclusion: just ask them.
The problem with asking is that you may get an answer you're very
unhappy with. If I had asked my in-laws and they had told me to call
them "Mom" and "Dad," I don't know what I would have done.
Oh, indeed - but I didn't mean to ask it as an entirely open-ended
question.

In the case of my mother-in-law, the first part of our chat removed the
"mum" option from the discussion.
--
Cheers, Harvey
CanEng (30yrs) and BrEng (34yrs), indiscriminately mixed
LFS
2017-10-16 11:01:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established
in a few minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term --
Mr., Sir, etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as
straightforward as "Call me Fred".
Post by Tak To
Nowadays I think few (new fathers-in-law) would be offended by
"Dad".
Post by Tak To
One can always consult one's wife first.
Easier solution: just ask them.
I was 30 years old when my wife and I got married (35 years next spring
- yay! )
I was raised to call my parents' generation and friends "Mr/Mrs X", but
addressing my MIL that way seemed overly formal. Equally, calling her by
her given name was outside my comfort zone, so for some years I
addressed her with a throat clearing "ahem".  (">ahem<  Sue and I
thought we might visit the arboretum on Saturday - what do you think?")
My brother addressed his in-laws as" Mum" and "Dad", but he married in
his early 20s (45 years next August - double "yay"!)  That was never
going to work for me, though: my mum and dad died in a car crash 6
months before our wedding, and I simply couldn't bring myself to start
calling some other person "Mum".
I fretted about this for some years, and then realised I should just
come out and ask her. She was well aware of the "ahem" thing, and was
entirely happy for me to use her first name.
She was also very pleased that I consulted her on the issue.
Conclusion: just ask them.
Husband managed to avoid addressing my mother directly for many years,
which she found highly amusing. She signed his birthday cards with a
question mark and it became a family joke.

The day came when we were all at an event which Husband was chairing and
it became clear that he would have to call on Mum at some point in the
proceedings. She and I began to speculate about how he would deal with
this and had to stifle our giggles. When the moment came, he used her
first name quite nonchalantly and all the other people there were
completely baffled as to why the three of us found this so funny.

My son-in-law always greets me as Mother-in-law which we find amusing:
it reminds me of Mrs Dale's Diary. I think I once told him to call me
Professor.
--
Laura (emulate St George for email)
RH Draney
2017-10-16 14:16:51 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by LFS
Husband managed to avoid addressing my mother directly for many years,
which she found highly amusing. She signed his birthday cards with a
question mark and it became a family joke.
It does open you to the risk of living out the old joke:

Husband: "Shouldn't your mother find a place of her own instead of
living with us these past twenty years?"
Wife: "*My* mother? I thought she was *your* mother!"

....r
LFS
2017-10-16 14:31:45 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by LFS
Husband managed to avoid addressing my mother directly for many years,
which she found highly amusing. She signed his birthday cards with a
question mark and it became a family joke.
  Husband:  "Shouldn't your mother find a place of her own instead of
living with us these past twenty years?"
  Wife:  "*My* mother?  I thought she was *your* mother!"
True story: back in the 1930s a man arrived at door of my grandparents'
house one Friday evening just as the family were sitting down to dinner.
Grandpa welcomed him in, Grandma diluted the chicken soup a bit to make
it go further, everyone had a great dinner, the guest was charming and
very good company. After he left Grandpa asked Grandma who he was. Her
reply: "I don't know, you let him in!" They never did discover who he was.
--
Laura (emulate St George for email)
Snidely
2017-10-16 06:44:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and '70s
when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or
Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
Possibly quite a few years ago? It's definitely an out-of-date usage now. It
might not raise eyebrows depending on the company you're in, but it risks
giving extreme offence.
As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established in a few
minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term -- Mr., Sir,
etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as straightforward as "Call me
Fred".
I haven't yet solved this issue. My in-laws are in their mid-90s, so
the problem may be limited in scope.

/dps
--
"I am not given to exaggeration, and when I say a thing I mean it"
_Roughing It_, Mark Twain
b***@shaw.ca
2017-10-16 06:59:46 UTC
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Post by Snidely
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and '70s
when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or
Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
Possibly quite a few years ago? It's definitely an out-of-date usage now. It
might not raise eyebrows depending on the company you're in, but it risks
giving extreme offence.
As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established in a few
minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term -- Mr., Sir,
etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as straightforward as "Call me
Fred".
I haven't yet solved this issue. My in-laws are in their mid-90s, so
the problem may be limited in scope.
So what are you calling them in the meantime?

bill
Snidely
2017-10-16 08:28:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Snidely
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and
'70s when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or
Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
Possibly quite a few years ago? It's definitely an out-of-date usage now.
It might not raise eyebrows depending on the company you're in, but it
risks giving extreme offence.
As to fathers in law, what to call them can easily be established in a few
minutes of conversation. Start out with a formal/polite term -- Mr., Sir,
etc. -- and listen for clues, which might be as straightforward as "Call me
Fred".
I haven't yet solved this issue. My in-laws are in their mid-90s, so
the problem may be limited in scope.
So what are you calling them in the meantime?
That, indeed, is the question. I usually dodge the issue, relying on
eye contact and pronouns.

/dps
--
Maybe C282Y is simply one of the hangers-on, a groupie following a
future guitar god of the human genome: an allele with undiscovered
virtuosity, currently soloing in obscurity in Mom's garage.
Bradley Wertheim, theAtlantic.com, Jan 10 2013
Don P
2017-10-15 15:57:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak To
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the article.
(Also years ago) if at all a real question it was strictly American.
If in doubt, middle and upper-class Brits simply called their fathers
Sir, the way they addressed all adult men (as documented in literature
of the 17th-19th centuries too.)

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ontario, Canada)
Tak To
2017-10-16 00:09:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Don P
Post by Tak To
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the article.
(Also years ago) if at all a real question it was strictly American.
Yes, the Esquire is a US magazine; although there may be a UK
edition.
Post by Don P
If in doubt, middle and upper-class Brits simply called their fathers
Sir, the way they addressed all adult men (as documented in literature
of the 17th-19th centuries too.)
--
Tak
----------------------------------------------------------------+-----
Tak To ***@alum.mit.eduxx
--------------------------------------------------------------------^^
[taode takto ~{LU5B~}] NB: trim the xx to get my real email addr
Ken Blake
2017-10-15 17:31:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak To
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
My father-in-law is no longer alive, but when he was, I never knew
what to call him. I solved the problem by never addressing him
directly. To this day, I don't whether he ever noticed.

My father had a somewhat similar problem. I have no memory of having
ever lived with him, since my parents were divorced when I was 2, and
I lived with my stepfather, who I called my father, for all of my
childhood. My biological father didn't know what to call himself when
he called me on the telephone, so he usually said something like, "Mr
Blake, this is Mr Blake."

When my son got married, I anticipated that his wife would have a
similar problem, so I sat down with her one day and told her to call
me and my wife by our first names (as far as I'm concerned, we didn't
need any more respect from her than from anyone else). She was
apparently a little uncomfortable with that at first, but she got used
to it, and that's what she now calls us.
Tony Cooper
2017-10-15 19:05:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Tak To
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
My father-in-law is no longer alive, but when he was, I never knew
what to call him. I solved the problem by never addressing him
directly. To this day, I don't whether he ever noticed.
My father had a somewhat similar problem. I have no memory of having
ever lived with him, since my parents were divorced when I was 2, and
I lived with my stepfather, who I called my father, for all of my
childhood. My biological father didn't know what to call himself when
he called me on the telephone, so he usually said something like, "Mr
Blake, this is Mr Blake."
When my son got married, I anticipated that his wife would have a
similar problem, so I sat down with her one day and told her to call
me and my wife by our first names (as far as I'm concerned, we didn't
need any more respect from her than from anyone else). She was
apparently a little uncomfortable with that at first, but she got used
to it, and that's what she now calls us.
My father-in-law was a Timothy, called "Timmy" by all adults. I could
never bring myself to call him "Timmy", though, so he was "Mr Cleary".
My wife is the youngest of eight, and her father was considerably
older than I was.

My wife, at his suggestion, always referred to my father by his first
name.

I am called "Tony" by my daughter-in-law and son-in-law.

My son addresses his in-laws by first name, but as they are seldom in
this country the occasion doesn't come up very often.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Mack A. Damia
2017-10-15 18:14:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tak To
Post by b***@shaw.ca
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably ?very Aboriginal person has been referred to as ?hief?
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
Not that old-fashioned. I used to hear it as recently as the 1960s and '70s when I lived in Calgary. I don't recall it from either Toronto or Vancouver, the other cities where I spent at least five years.
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
Can't leave out the Kansas City Chiefs.
Years ago I read an article on Esquire that pondered the question
of what to call one's father-in-law (from the view point of a
son-in-law). That is, if one thinks first names lack respect;
"Mr X" is too formal; and and "Dad/Pop" usurps the uniqueness of
the relation with one's own father. The solution recommended by
the author was to call him "Chief". Neither too familiar nor
too formal, "Chief" also conveys respect -- so explained the
article.
In that case, "Captain" would be just as appropriate.

Best idea? Ask them what they want to be called.
Tony Cooper
2017-10-12 06:11:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 01:22:21 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably “every Aboriginal person has been referred to as ‘chief’”
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission
Whoever named that group must have been a George Orwell fan with a
sense of irony. All that's needed is for the Thought Police to redact
every derogatory usage of "Chief".
Post by Don Phillipson
to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter T. Daniels
2017-10-12 11:31:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 01:22:21 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission
Whoever named that group must have been a George Orwell fan with a
sense of irony. All that's needed is for the Thought Police to redact
every derogatory usage of "Chief".
That would be Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2017-10-12 14:36:59 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 04:31:26 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 01:22:21 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission
Whoever named that group must have been a George Orwell fan with a
sense of irony. All that's needed is for the Thought Police to redact
every derogatory usage of "Chief".
That would be Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
That was in South Africa.

This one is the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada":
http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=3
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Peter T. Daniels
2017-10-12 15:14:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 04:31:26 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 01:22:21 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission
Whoever named that group must have been a George Orwell fan with a
sense of irony. All that's needed is for the Thought Police to redact
every derogatory usage of "Chief".
That would be Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
That was in South Africa.
http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=3
I do, though, detect a certain similarity in the names.

I was answering the indirect question "Whoever named that group."
Quinn C
2017-10-12 17:01:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Duncanson [BrE]
On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 04:31:26 -0700 (PDT), "Peter T. Daniels"
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Tony Cooper
On Thu, 12 Oct 2017 01:22:21 -0400, "Don Phillipson"
Post by Don Phillipson
The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission
Whoever named that group must have been a George Orwell fan with a
sense of irony. All that's needed is for the Thought Police to redact
every derogatory usage of "Chief".
That would be Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.
That was in South Africa.
http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=3
I think PTD answered the most important part of the question, viz.
"Who came up with that name (for that kind of institution)."

The name has been generalized, sometimes simply as "truth
commission", which sounds even more ominous to me. Germany did not
use this name, or a translation of it, but it held commissions -
before the one in South Africa - that are now being categorized as
being of the kind:

<https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_and_Reconciliation_Commission_(Germany)>
--
Who would know aught of art must learn and then take his ease.
CDB
2017-10-12 11:42:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tony Cooper
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited the
word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word as
a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian,
as narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
Post by Tony Cooper
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably “every Aboriginal person has been referred to as
‘chief’” in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life."
The decision is prompted by recommendations of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission
Whoever named that group must have been a George Orwell fan with a
sense of irony. All that's needed is for the Thought Police to
redact every derogatory usage of "Chief".
It was named after the South African commission, although it didn't work
the same way at all. The original encouraged truth-telling by offering
amnesty in exchange; anyone who confessed to the Canadian version was a
fool, since there was no amnesty on offer, and police in the audience
were taking notes.

I think the usage came out of ignorance, not irony. There was an
inquiry along similar lines by a parliamentary committee years ago that
included "ex officio" Aboriginal members who were not MPs. The
understanding was that the phrase meant "unofficial".
Post by Tony Cooper
to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal Canadians.
Another similar movement is to rename sports teams such as the
Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing that these names
are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team names as Wildcats,
Raptors and Penguins are not.
GordonD
2017-10-12 17:13:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
No wonder Perry White got so annoyed when Jimmy Olsen addressed him that
way.
--
Gordon Davie
Edinburgh, Scotland
CDB
2017-10-12 17:58:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited the word
Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of Maintenance
etc.) because American speech has long used the word as a cheerfully
racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as narrated
Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him that
probably “every Aboriginal person has been referred to as ‘chief’” in
a derogatory way at some point in his or her life." The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams such as
the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing that these
names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team names as
Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
They would be better to concentrate their demands on infrastructure and
legislation, and deal with their own feelings when they have time. The
Trudeau Government won't last forever.

The use of references to Indians in team names is part of a general
"othering" of Indians, though. It classifies them with the wild
animals, and is probably part of what led to the infamous* "starlight
tours" in which police would pick up an Indian, possibly for public
drunkenness, and leave him in the bush miles away from town to make his
way back, often barefoot and sometimes in winter.
______________________________________________
*(some of them died of it)
Jerry Friedman
2017-10-12 21:37:41 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
(I fixed the quotation marks below that showed up on GG as Chinese
characters.)
Post by Don Phillipson
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 'every Aboriginal person has been referred to as "Chief"
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life.'"
...

I perpetrated that once. There was a Navajo welding student who I
was friendly with who liked to be called "Chief". In fact, he
eventually got it instead of his first name on his Los Alamos National
Laboratory ID badge, which I'd have thought was impossible.

He had long hair, which he wore loose. One day in the Metal Trades
building, I saw someone with long loose black hair drinking from a
water fountain. I said "Hi, Chief!" The person stood up, and he
looked Navajo, but definitely not like my friend. He glared at me,
and I was so surprised and embarrassed that I didn't manage to
apologize or explain.
--
Jerry Friedman
RH Draney
2017-10-12 22:19:07 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Don Phillipson
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 'every Aboriginal person has been referred to as "Chief"
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life.'"
...
I perpetrated that once. There was a Navajo welding student who I
was friendly with who liked to be called "Chief". In fact, he
eventually got it instead of his first name on his Los Alamos National
Laboratory ID badge, which I'd have thought was impossible.
He had long hair, which he wore loose. One day in the Metal Trades
building, I saw someone with long loose black hair drinking from a
water fountain. I said "Hi, Chief!" The person stood up, and he
looked Navajo, but definitely not like my friend. He glared at me,
and I was so surprised and embarrassed that I didn't manage to
apologize or explain.
Perhaps he had read "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" in which the
narrator, "Chief" Bromden, is a deaf-mute Native American confined to a
mental institution....r
Dingbat
2017-10-16 02:56:03 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life." The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
--
"The Chief" was William Randolph Hearst:
https://www.amazon.com/Chief-Life-William-Randolph-Hearst/dp/0618154469
b***@shaw.ca
2017-10-16 03:12:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Dingbat
Post by Don Phillipson
The Toronto and District Public School board has prohibited
the word Chief from its nomenclature (Chief Librarian, Chief of
Maintenance etc.) because American speech has long used the word
as a cheerfully racist form of oral address to any native Amerindian, as
narrated Oct. 11 in the National Post by Christie Blatchford at
http://nationalpost.com/opinion/christie-blatchford-toronto-school-board-declares-war-on-chief-and-all-sense
This usage is indeed well-known, if a touch old fashioned. The school
board spokesman said he had consulted a "TDSB elder who told him
that probably 兎very Aboriginal person has been referred to as 祖hief樗
in a derogatory way at some point in his or her life." The decision is
prompted by recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission to re-engineer popular attitudes toward aboriginal
Canadians. Another similar movement is to rename sports teams
such as the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves, supposing
that these names are ipso factory derogatory in ways such team
names as Wildcats, Raptors and Penguins are not.
--
https://www.amazon.com/Chief-Life-William-Randolph-Hearst/dp/0618154469
There have been any number of people who were known as "the chief", for one reason or another. I rode on the funeral train of one of them, former Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker, a.k.a. "Dief the Chief".
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