I'd really like to design an IF but...

+1. namekuseijin, your remark would have been more on point if you’d used the term “transgender,” though, if you were trying to mock us for our gender inclusivity, I suppose it was best that you used a term that leads people to believe bad things about you!

Ok, time out, guys. Let me just say something before we go any further: I’m Portuguese, my personal experience with transgender people is nil, and I know some terms in Portuguese which are relatively derogatory, but mostly, they are pretty much interchangeable. In fact, by friends and acquaintances, I’ve heard more terms and names for transvestites and homosexuals than for actual transgenders. None of them are derogatory, but they are all in portuguese, obviously.

What’s my point? I had NO IDEA that s*****e was such an offensive word. It’s completely out of my world AND my language.

Namekusejin is Brazilian, so I find it very likely that he didn’t know it either.

He’ll be along shortly, I’m sure, but in the meantime ease up on the guy. Words like ct and fk are worldwide insults, and there are plenty of derogatory well-known terms for all races and creeds, including homosexuals, but don’t ask me why, derogatory insults for transgenders are not quite as international. Until I saw this very strong reaction, I thought it was a coloquial valid term.

My 2 cents: I didn’t know this either. (Dutch.)

Second Peter. I think it’s a great thing that this community is far more considerate and careful in these matters than the internet at large, but we can’t expect a relative newcomer (from anywhere) to necessarily have the same understanding from the off. Until you’ve been told otherwise, you might not know that an all-too commonly used word is offensive, so I think a bit of friendly advice would have been more suitable here. Don’t get me wrong, I find repeated offenses inexcusable. I find a one-off offence with an effort on the offender’s part to avoid offending going forward a positive thing, a sign that we are able to adapt and accept. And regarding locale, there’s a popular UK TV show currently running called Ladyboys, and a bunch of shows unashamedly using the word gypsy in the title and throughout the show. I’m presuming mainstream US entertainment isn’t slur-free just yet either.

I doubt he will be understanding or apologetic about it. Watch.

Well, he did edit his original post to remove the word.

Mostly_useless - hang on, surely there’s nothing wrong with the word “gypsy”?

It’s incredibly offensive - the equivalent of using “nigger” to refer to African-American people. (I would normally not even write out the n-word, but I am not sure whether it is a slur used in Portuguese or only in the US, and I don’t want to be cryptic.)

A great reference for how to talk respectfully about transgender people in English can be found at glaad.org/reference/transgender.

I’m also going to open a topic in General/General + Offtopic so that we can continue this discussion if needed without derailing this thread entirely.

I indeed didn’t know it and apologise. It was supposed to be a rant on choice of games games and choices… talk about missing the point.

Second that. Maybe a mod could move the posts around?..

Incidently, while we’re more or less on the subject, what is the proper way to call a black person? Is “black” ok? I swear I have no idea anymore and I actively avoid saying ANYTHING so as not to upset SOMEONE. “Coloured” is, in my personal view, even more bigoted. “Black” is straightfoward, and “white” is not an offense for, well, white people. “Negro” seems reasonable. “Ni**er” has awful connotations and was created as a being derogatory from the very beginning, I believe, so it’s obviously out. “African-American” is stupid because then other people will be Irish-American and Luso-French and other such nonsense, plus not all black people are from African descent or were born in America.

once upon a time I was a big burly troll

age has tamed me somewhat

From http://racerelations.about.com/od/diversitymatters/a/Five-Terms-You-Might-Not-Know-Are-Considered-Racist_2.htm

So Roma would be a better word to use generally. Again, if you don’t know, you don’t know! The real kicker for me is the way the UK press chooses its words. Recently a Roma couple were accused of kidnapping a child due to the child’s fair appearance in contrast to theirs. It was all over the front pages. A week or so later a DNA test proved that they were the parents, though of course this development was tucked away in the less kneejerk pages towards the gossip and sports sections. In the first set of stories we were terrified of “gypsies” stealing our blonde children. In the second, it transpired that the “Roma couple” were completely innocent. No apologies, of course, but suddenly a different word being used across the board.

“Gypped” isn’t the same as “gypsy”, though.

Well, no. But “gypsy” is considered offensive by many Roma people, and generally seems to be used (at least in the UK) in a derogatory or condescending context. I may not have picked a great quote there, but there’s plenty of discussion about the word elsewhere.

Edited to correct “it” to “gypsy”.

So just to be clear, it’s “gypped” that’s offensive, and not “gypsy”, right?

Gypsy is… problematic. It’s an exonym, which is generally a warning-sign; it encapsulates an inaccurate origin-story (they’re not from Egypt), and it’s associated with both pejorative and romanticised uses. (I’d expect more of the former in the UK, and more of the latter in the US.) It’s certainly an uglier word than mere exonym status would suggest. The less-bad word is Roma/Romani. (No, they’re not Roman or Romanian either. Different root.)

(Preferences vary, of course, and words evolve. I’ve known people who prefer ‘Injun’ to the more-polite ‘Native American’, on the grounds that they don’t regard themselves as properly subjects of the USA. This should not be taken as license to use the terms interchangeably.)

‘Black’ is fine as an adjective, a bad idea as a noun. ‘Black people’ is fine, ‘blacks’ sounds bad. ‘Negro’ is pretty bad, in large part because (especially in American English) it’s extremely old-fashioned - using it as a white person will make you seem as though you want to go back to the 1950s. ‘Coloured’ is weird, and my ear for it isn’t very good because I grew up next-door to South Africa, where it had a much more specific meaning - in US English it’s probably in the same camp as ‘negro’.

Americans like hyphenations, though sometimes without the actual hyphen. (See Hyphenated American.) People do, in fact, regard themselves as Irish-American or Japanese-American or Italian-American. African-American is… a term with quite a lot of cultural baggage that is not trivially unraveled. It is probably a bad idea to try to nitpick it unless armed with an extensive understanding of the History of Race in America.

Nicely-written and informative post, thanks. :slight_smile: I’ll just say that my issue with African-American is that, well, I’m not an American, I don’t know any Americans, I’m across the ocean, and I’m unlikely to have to call someone on my side of the world “African-American”. 'Cause America’s not the only place to have black people… (which is fine since it’s an adjective :wink: )

Black people don’t mind being called black people.

New thread for the trans discussion:

https://intfiction.org/t/how-to-respectfully-discuss-transgender-people-in-english/6373/1

I’m white myself, but I think “colored” is a bit worse than “Negro”; “Negro” most likely means you’re really really old, whereas “colored” always struck me as a bit more derogatory than that. (Though I’m also too young to have heard either of those words in common parlance.) For example, a member of an all-white jury that had acquitted a white police officer who beat an unarmed sober black motorist who hadn’t broken any laws to death of all charges[/url] claimed she wasn’t racist by saying "“Some of my best friends are colored,” and that was a pretty good indication that she was racist as hell. (Also that she had just acquitted a police officer who beat a black man to death and said “I hope he dies.”)

Because these terms were in wider circulation a long time ago, there are some venerable civil rights organizations that use them in their names, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the United Negro College Fund. This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use them now in other contexts. And there’s the general principle that just because a member of a group uses a word to describe themselves doesn’t mean it’s OK for someone not in the group to use it – when a black person uses a word we can at least be pretty certain that they aren’t prejudiced against black people, and if you aren’t black you don’t get that presumption. (I mean, usually you do, but if you use a word that might be considered derogatory you don’t.)

[I don’t think that Windows has ever really prioritized font display, unfortunately.] What I was referring to in changing the CoG look is not so much the typeface–Palatino is pretty readable, if also pretty dull–but the details of the design. Examples:

  • The default template (at least the one in Deathless) uses OS-native buttons combined with flat gray ones.
  • The OS-native buttons are ugly on pretty much all platforms–on Android they look like they’re from Windows 95 or something–and they’re also always three-dimensionalized, in contrast to the flat buttons.
  • All of the buttons use the same typeface as the body text, which is…icky.
  • There is a header of blue links at the top of the page (speaking again about the Android app), as well as a footer with an email address, also a blue link–why is all this taking up space on the page? Shouldn’t it be in a menu?
  • OS-native radio buttons are used, and again these are ugly on pretty much every platform I’ve ever used.
  • Vertical spacing of elements seems almost random: for example, there is almost no space between the bold-faced message at the end of the trial yet a full button’s worth of space between the “Buy it Now” button and the “Play Now for Free” button.
  • The use of bright blue and red for the stats seems really out of place in the otherwise muted design.
  • The typography is unimproved–use of straight inch and foot marks for quotation marks, for example.

Overall, there’s just a lot that I find clumsy and tossed-off-looking.

Sorry, I was asking whether authors can customize the look, not end-users. A night mode for the end-user at the least is probably a good idea.