Why 'hold the fort' 'going Dutch' and 'handicap' can be 'offensive' terms in common parlance
London, Sep 1 (ANI): A US official who has penned a column in a monthly US State Department magazine, has warned against the use of the phrase 'hold the fort' among Americans, deeming it to be offensive for the native people in the United States.
U.S. State Department's Chief Diversity Officer John Robinson in his column in the 'State Magazine', explains that 'hold the fort' derives from defending homesteads and seeking refuge from raging Native Americans in the 19th century, while offering advice on how Americans can watch what they say.
"To 'hold down the fort' originally meant to watch and protect against the vicious Native American intruders. In the territories of the West, Army soldiers or settlers saw the 'fort' as their refuge from their perceived 'enemy,' the stereotypical 'savage' Native American tribes," the Daily Mail quoted Robinson, as writing.
Robinson also termed 'dutch in' or 'going dutch' as offensive, which is primarily used as a fair way of dividing a restaurant bill among friends or means to 'contribute equally'.
He deemed the phrase as a "negative stereotype," as it "portrays the Dutch as cheap."
Robinson also highlighted the use of the word 'handicap' because, according to him, some in the disabled community "believe this term is rooted in a coorelation between a disabled individual and a beggar, who had to beg with a cap in his or her hand because of the inability to maintain employment."
"Choose your words thoughtfully," he wrote, while enlisting many other phrases that Americans use int heir day-to-day life. (ANI)
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