Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/04/30

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Subject: RE: [Leica] Leica revisited & production tolerances
From: Alan Ball <>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 09:30:24 +0200

It seems evident my post contained sarcasm related to the usage of the 
words 'agent provocateur' in a previous one. That concept is loaded with 
wartime references. That is what I used in mine, as a means of derision. 
You know the word 'derision' ?

Furthermore, I do not understand  the word 'Jap'  as carrying any racist 
connotation. Not in my culture anyway, which defines 'racism' as a system 
affirming the superiority of a racial group on the others, and 'race' as a 
concept related to biology. Is 'Yankee' racist in its language ?

To my limited intellect, the word 'Jap' does have a negative connotation 
but it is particularly dated. Its usage echoes US wartime propaganda 
concepts, and, judging from archives I have been exposed to, that word was 
widely used in the written and radio press of the time as well as by a lot 
of US politicians and military of the time. Most of them were not racists 
but people who were at war with a state called Japan and who used that word 
with the pathetic bullying familiarity used today when your President calls 
the President of Irak 'Saddam', instead of 'Mr Hussein', or when your 
President Reagan regularly used the word 'commies' to define groups that 
were defying his authority in various parts of the world.

I suppose respected intellectuals such as yourself are capable of 
differenciating the contexts in which those words are used.

To be perfectly clear on a matter that could end up in provoking a tornado 
of useless posts: I of course totally disapprove of the usage of the word 
'Jap' when addressing the people from Japan, I never use it, and I 
apologise beforehand if any Japanese lugger was offended by my post in any 

So, I do not believe my clearly sarcastic post was racist in its language. 
But I thank you for attracting my attention on the risks of the sarcastic 
usage of words that are not 100 pct politically correct in this forum as 
well as on the level of density I should adapt to...

On vendredi 30 avril 1999 7:38, Eric Welch [] 
> At 06:25 AM 4/30/99 +0200, you wrote:
> >Yeah, that is a fact: all complaint posts are part of a great 
> >plot put together by the Japs via a bunch of pathetic agents
> At least most of us aren't racist in our language.
> Eric Welch
> St. Joseph, MO
> The secret of the universe is @*&^^^ NO CARRIER