Son't say oriental

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Washington state in the northwest US has passed a law banning the use of the word Oriental. "There is a need to make clear that the term 'Asian' is preferred terminology, and that this more modern and nonpejorative term must be used to replace outdated terminology," the law says.

Yes, 'oriental' is outdated when referring to people from Japan, China, Korea and the scads of other Asian countries. Most people who keep up with these things use Asian instead. But is it necessary to pass a law to ban an unfashionable word? What words are next in line for being outlawed? Dude. Hottie. 'Rents.

If you really want to change vocabulary, you must manipulate the media or infiltrate popular culture. Make the use of 'oriental' embarrassing, painful, or otherwise personally disadvantageous and it will slowly disappear. Introduce Asian as the latest buzzword and it will spring to everyone's lips. "That cafe is so Asian; I could spend hours relaxing there!"

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