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Woke terminology hits woodwork

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Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby AJB Temple » 23 Jun 2022, 16:29

Today I needed a 22mm bit to fit a pair of recessed magnets. Could not find one so as I was out anyway I popped into one of the DIY sheds. Couldn't find what I was looking for so went to customer services and was served by a female. I said I want a 22mm spade bit please and can't find any single spade bits or even sets, am I looking in the wrong place?

This caused major furore with me being accused of using inappropriate and racist language. Apparently, in the sheds now, a spade bit is a flat point bit. I showed the manager who was called, and was about 11, the wikipedia and screwfix and bosch web links will all said spade bit. I asked if they sold spades for gardening and was told that was different, but they were unable to explain why. Spaten in German.

Anyway, they didn't have one. Screwfix did.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby TrimTheKing » 23 Jun 2022, 16:52

You genuinely were accused of racist language using the word 'spade' to relate to a tool that is listed on their website under that name???
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Eric the Viking » 23 Jun 2022, 16:56

So if you go into a garden centre and want a spade, what are you supposed to ask for?

Ignorance coupled with prejudice is a fearsome combination - you have to hope this incident wasn't the product of some terrible, social engineering, training course, which they are making all their staff attend.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby SamQ aka Ah! Q! » 23 Jun 2022, 17:03

"Ignorance coupled with prejudice is a fearsome combination"


Gawd, Simon, you must have a teacher in the family. Sounds like the debrief after Parents' Night.....
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Eric the Viking » 23 Jun 2022, 17:18

SamQ aka Ah! Q! wrote:
"Ignorance coupled with prejudice is a fearsome combination"


Gawd, Simon, you must have a teacher in the family. Sounds like the debrief after Parents' Night.....


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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Lurker » 23 Jun 2022, 17:30

My sons are now just reaching 40.
The youngest when he was about seven, happened to exclaim , in the classroom that he was knackered, common expression of mine.

He got told off for swearing, so the only time I ever challenged their teachers took place.
She had never heard of a knacker, ie where you take worn out animals, particularly horses at the end of their lives.
I visited and insisted on talking to her with the headmaster present.
I didn’t relent ( she wiggled for quite a while) until she admitted that it was her dirty mind and not my son’s vocabulary.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby John Brown » 23 Jun 2022, 18:33

Lurker wrote:My sons are now just reaching 40.
The youngest when he was about seven, happened to exclaim , in the classroom that he was knackered, common expression of mine.

He got told off for swearing, so the only time I ever challenged their teachers took place.
She had never heard of a knacker, ie where you take worn out animals, particularly horses at the end of their lives.
I visited and insisted on talking to her with the headmaster present.
I didn’t relent ( she wiggled for quite a while) until she admitted that it was her dirty mind and not my son’s vocabulary.

The etymology is interesting. Knackers was once used to mean castanets, from which derived its sense as slang for testicles (pause for chortle). This was used by James Joyce in Ulysses (1922): “Eh, Harry, give him a kick in the knackers.” That meaning in turn led to verb to knacker, which originated in late nineteenth century as a synonym for castrate and not until about 1970 (according to the OED) took on its current familiar (in the U.K.) meaning, knackered=exhausted.

I cannot vouch for the veracity of this, I was just searching, as I always assumed knackers was rhyming slang, and I couldn't think what the rhyming part was.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Trevanion » 23 Jun 2022, 18:38

Have I missed something? Since when was “spade” in any way offensive? Honest question :eusa-think:
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Dr.Al » 23 Jun 2022, 18:44

Trevanion wrote:Have I missed something? Since when was “spade” in any way offensive? Honest question :eusa-think:


Whatever you've missed, I've missed too :?

If spade is offensive, does that mean we have to close down all the bridge clubs? :lol:
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Blackswanwood » 23 Jun 2022, 18:45

Trevanion wrote:Have I missed something? Since when was “spade” in any way offensive? Honest question :eusa-think:


When it’s used as a slang term to refer to a black person.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Dr.Al » 23 Jun 2022, 18:45

Blackswanwood wrote:
Trevanion wrote:Have I missed something? Since when was “spade” in any way offensive? Honest question :eusa-think:


When it’s used as a slang term to refer to a black person.


Ah... learn something new every day I guess.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Andyp » 23 Jun 2022, 18:48

Trevanion wrote:Have I missed something? Since when was “spade” in any way offensive? Honest question :eusa-think:


Black as the ace of spades. Spade often used in late 60’s/ 70’s as a derogatory term for persons of afro Caribbean appearance.

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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Trevanion » 23 Jun 2022, 19:01

Blackswanwood wrote:When it’s used as a slang term to refer to a black person.


Andyp wrote:Black as the ace of spades. Spade often used in late 60’s/ 70’s as a derogatory term for persons of afro Caribbean appearance.


I have never heard of the word "spade" used in this way in my entire life, that said, I wasn't around in the '60s and '70s.

When thought about in that context "I'd like to buy a spade" has a totally different meaning :shock:
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby AJB Temple » 23 Jun 2022, 19:47

Yes, Mark it was a real incident. The shop assistant who took offence at the 100% innocent usage was a person of colour. She had a very thick accent. I have no discernible accent. This kind of thing can be a factor at times, or she was having a bad day. It was ridiculous though I am well aware of the racial slur usage as it was common in the Coventry area when I was a child, I have never heard the racial slur usage in all of the years I have lived in London, Surrey or Kent.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Mike Jordan » 23 Jun 2022, 19:52

I think that’s a term used in the US as an insulting term rather than in the UK. It’s very like the change in understanding of the N word, a term of abuse in the states but a descriptive noun here in the UK. I remember it being in tins of mid brown “Valspar” paint.
Things have got much worse since the more lunatic local authorities appointed equal opportunities officers and racial diversity supervisors.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Richard » 23 Jun 2022, 20:44

Talking of upsetting people, I recall when I lived in America twenty plus years ago someone, probably on nationwide broadcast media, said something along the lines of, "These * government spending plans won't solve the problem."

There was uproar in certain sections of the population about this racial slur (sic). I don't recall how it all panned out in the end, but the controversy raged on for days or weeks, and all this before ubiquitous online communications where rage and pile-ons now seem to be amplified to the nth degree. Slainte.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Phil Pascoe » 23 Jun 2022, 21:07

Adrian - it could be worse. You could have asked for a hoe.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby SamQ aka Ah! Q! » 23 Jun 2022, 21:23

Adrian - it could be worse. You could have asked for a hoe.


:text-bravo: Excellent riposte Sir!!
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby AJB Temple » 23 Jun 2022, 21:33

:lol: :text-lol:
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Andy Kev. » Yesterday, 06:34

Richard wrote:Talking of upsetting people, I recall when I lived in America twenty plus years ago someone, probably on nationwide broadcast media, said something along the lines of, "These * government spending plans won't solve the problem."

There was uproar in certain sections of the population about this racial slur (sic). I don't recall how it all panned out in the end, but the controversy raged on for days or weeks, and all this before ubiquitous online communications where rage and pile-ons now seem to be amplified to the nth degree. Slainte.


I think you might be referring to the entirely acceptable phrase of, "These n i g g a r d l y government spending plans won't solve the problem". I had to put the spacing in the word because the linguisticly ignorant software replaced it with an asterix.

Note the spelling. It has got nothing to do with what has now become known as the "n" word. The chap in question was hauled up before somebody and pointed out the etymology of the word. That was accepted. If I remember aright, a black academic pointed out that it was perfectly acceptable. That was accepted too. He was still forced to resign which IMO was scandalous.

Eric's quote hits the nail squarely on the head. This sort of linguistic totalitarianism driven by ignorant fanatics should be fought at every turn. The problem is that you need to understand enough about the language to be able to do that.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby Richard » Yesterday, 07:20

Andy Kev. wrote: I think you might be referring to the entirely acceptable phrase of, "These n i g g a r d l y government spending plans won't solve the problem".

That's exactly the word which I typed without the additional spaces you've employed, and it showed in that form when I posted, that is without being replaced by an asterisk. I happened to look at this thread some hours later last night to read two or three new contributions, and the apparently offensive word remained as I'd typed it with no spaces. It looks like it was mysteriously edited overnight to an asterisk.

You evidently recall more details about the stooshie than I. All I do remember about it really was that my wife (an American) and I were astonished to learn there was a heated debate about the subject including one at a fairly high level wherein it was obvious some of the protagonists had no idea of the word's etymology or meaning, and also couldn't be convinced of their misunderstanding. I guess they thought looking up the word in a decent dictionary wasn't necessary. Slainte.
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Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby TrimTheKing » Yesterday, 07:29

Andy Kev. wrote:
Richard wrote:Talking of upsetting people, I recall when I lived in America twenty plus years ago someone, probably on nationwide broadcast media, said something along the lines of, "These * government spending plans won't solve the problem."

There was uproar in certain sections of the population about this racial slur (sic). I don't recall how it all panned out in the end, but the controversy raged on for days or weeks, and all this before ubiquitous online communications where rage and pile-ons now seem to be amplified to the nth degree. Slainte.


I think you might be referring to the entirely acceptable phrase of, "These n i g g a r d l y government spending plans won't solve the problem". I had to put the spacing in the word because the linguisticly ignorant software replaced it with an asterix.

Note the spelling. It has got nothing to do with what has now become known as the "n" word. The chap in question was hauled up before somebody and pointed out the etymology of the word. That was accepted. If I remember aright, a black academic pointed out that it was perfectly acceptable. That was accepted too. He was still forced to resign which IMO was scandalous.

Eric's quote hits the nail squarely on the head. This sort of linguistic totalitarianism driven by ignorant fanatics should be fought at every turn. The problem is that you need to understand enough about the language to be able to do that.


I think you need to be very careful how you use the word ‘ignorant’ here. I adore language and am a stickler for grammar and believe that we should all write ‘proper’ sentences, and despise ‘txt spk’.

On the other hand I am also not so ‘ignorant’ as to understand that language and meaning evolve over time, otherwise we’d surely all still be speaking and writing like we lived in a Shakespeare play, Dickens novel, or even further back in grunts and nods.

I’ve had the good fortune to meet the delightful Susie Dent in the past and had a good chat with her on etymology and language evolution, and the ‘N’ word was discussed. I’m of the same opinion as her her that while certain, actually many words, have changed their meanings over the years and it’s absolutely necessary to take current parlance into account when using a word.

In my humble opinion there are only two reasons (which are probably, in reality only one reason) to use the ‘N’ word or any of its derivatives in modern society and they are if you mean it to cause offence to a black person, or if you want to ‘get away’ with using it in modern society and using the past meaning(a) as a way to be clever or superior to those around you.

I may be wrong, I often am, but I’m also very often correct and it’s very often classically educated people who insist on perpetuating these kind of situations.

I’m far from being a ‘woke leftie’, but I also believe very much that while freedom of speech is absolutely critical to modern society, it doesn’t automatically grant freedom of consequence from that speech. It’s simple, since the enslaving of Africans became a thing n*gger, derived from the latin for black, has been an insult and you’d have to have been living in a hole in the ground to not be acutely aware of that.

Any use of that word from and English speaker nowadays, whether with that intent or otherwise, is colourblind at best and sneaky, underhand, or downright nasty at worst.

In your example above the perpetrator knew, in my opinion, EXACTLY what he was doing and paid the price. Whether the price is commensurate with the ‘crime’ is a different discussion and on that I agree the current temperature on these things has probably swayed too far, but we are where we are and to ignore the evolution of language, as much as we may dislike it, is as ignorant as some of the bastardisation of language.

There’s a balance to be found, but as with all things in human life I don’t imagine it will be found and will just continue to cause discord.

Anyway, enough ramblings from me.

PS the software isn’t “linguistically ignorant”, the profanifilter has very intentionally been populated, by myself and the rest of the Mod’s (along with the odd addiction from members here) with a list of words that we don’t want to be used on a forum where we try to uphold high standards without being draconian.

As mentioned above, I don’t give a hoot whether the ‘N’ word derives from the Latin for black, and I know the etymology of the word you spelled out above, but EVERY single person on here knows that it has become 100% associated with being a racial slur and has been for decades, and as such was added to the list.

The forward may be many things, and it’s crap in many ways, but this isn’t one of them.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby TrimTheKing » Yesterday, 07:39

Richard wrote:
Andy Kev. wrote: I think you might be referring to the entirely acceptable phrase of, "These n i g g a r d l y government spending plans won't solve the problem".

That's exactly the word which I typed without the additional spaces you've employed, and it showed in that form when I posted, that is without being replaced by an asterisk. I happened to look at this thread some hours later last night to read two or three new contributions, and the apparently offensive word remained as I'd typed it with no spaces. It looks like it was mysteriously edited overnight to an asterisk.

You evidently recall more details about the stooshie than I. All I do remember about it really was that my wife (an American) and I were astonished to learn there was a heated debate about the subject including one at a fairly high level wherein it was obvious some of the protagonists had no idea of the word's etymology or meaning, and also couldn't be convinced of their misunderstanding. I guess they thought looking up the word in a decent dictionary wasn't necessary. Slainte.


The word was not “mysteriously edited”, there is a profanifilter (swear word list) built in and that word is, and has been since the forum’s inception (and I know this because it’s I who built it).

Any words in that list will show as you type them and show in your preview of a post but as soon as the post is published the software checks the list and any words on it are replaced with a ‘*’.

I’m not going to get into an argument about the use of that word, but my sentiments are above in my reply to Andy Kev.

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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby AJB Temple » Yesterday, 08:17

You make a lot of valid points about etymology there Mark. I largely agree, though I do sometimes deplore the appropriation of words such as gay to have a radically different current meaning, thereby removing it from its earlier common usage.

However, the example I encountered of "spade" is a common word used in the UK and throughout the western world (spaten, spatha etc) to refer to a digging tool and also a type of drill with a flat part. I suspect that the pejorative use of it a) does not have a long history and b) became virtually archaic decades ago. The abstraction of such words by those determined to take offence at ordinary english usage is unfortunate.
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Re: Woke terminology hits woodwork

Postby AJB Temple » Yesterday, 08:31

Regarding the other word about which you posted Mark, following Richard's use of it, I have not heard that word in use for years. I was interested in the Etymology as many say it is unrelated to the pejorative use of the similar sounding word, so I looked it up. Interesting....

Merriam Webster repeats that it is unrelated but states that first recorded use was in 1563.

The first English slaving expedition set up for that purpose was in 1562 by Sir John Hawkins, though African slaving for export began somewhere around 1500 according to historical records.

Merriam-Webster states (as a fairly reliable source I believe) that first known use of the offensive N word that is forbidden today was in 1755, the original meaning being allegedly different, though similarity to a Spanish word meaning negro surely cannot be overlooked.

I suspect that common parlance adopted the N word much earlier than 1755, but in the 1500's we did not have the liberal elite to guide us and the Guardian and BBC were far in the future.
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