Intrepid Optimist

Intrepid Optimist is the place where I can share my stories; fact, fiction and thoughts from the past and present. It’s Written by myself for people who believe adventure knows no age

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

I received a bit of flack recently for addressing my good friend as Taff. Apparently this is now very non-PC. But Taff does come from Wales and is proud to be called Taff. I have been calling him Taff for around forty-five years and occasionally  I forget what his real name is.

However, in the ever increasingly eccentric and ridiculous world of PC I should, if I could pronounce it, call him by his real name, Uchdryd; which in Celtic means the legendary son of Erim, which is a bit weird because his father is also Erim and I would not call the five feet four and whippet thin Uchdryd legendary.

Taff 2 is his brother Wmffre (meaning friend of the Huns)  has been turfed out of every pub in  Llanfairpwllgwyngyll and now does his drinking in nearby Trewalchmai. I call him Heuvoduro (Spanish for hardboiled egg) because he is completely bald and no-one in Blaenau Ffestiniog thinks this is rude.

Truth is; Blodwyn Jones the barmaid, likes the nickname so much that she is thinking of bestowing it on the baby boy she is expecting, instead of HenBeddestyr which Brongwyn, her mother, wants to call him.

My father was Welsh and my surname is a Welsh one, so while I was in the  army I was automatically christened Taff or Taffy. I kept quiet about coming from Manchester or I could have been called Manky, which in Scottish slang means unclean or an unclean act. No one knew me as Bryan.

To close friends because of to my (then) mop of red hair, I was Ginger and neither nicknames bothered me. as there was a whole rash of Thomas’s in the battalion at that time my official military moniker was Thomas 72, the 72 being the last two digits of my army number.

What I am banging on about is; how did all this PC nonsence get to the level it has and why is it Political Correctness anyway? No one I know or have known has been offended by my calling them Taffy, Jock, Paddy. Toff, Smoky  or whatever.  It has always been a traditional, familiar and practical way of addressing those whose names you did not know, but whose accents, backgrounds or distinguishing features identified them. The zealots who are calling themselves politically correct should remember that there is only one standard of correctness to measure up to and that is good manners.

About bbryanthomas

Not so young man about town who, having witnessed and enjoyed life, is presently having fun, writing about those by-gone times and life in general.

8 comments on “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

  1. The Shining Gem
    August 29, 2017

    More than the person being called names, the people around us get offended. You can’t politically correct a racist person, because he’ll be racist regardless of his words, at the same time, it is not okay to bully someone for using an affectionate (even silly to some) name especially if the person concerned doesn’t have any qualms with it. The last line of your post is completely bang on in this regard.


    • bbryanthomas
      August 29, 2017

      Thanks SG. The whole PC business is more an American thing, although it’s getting stronger in Europe too. An American female told me that her parents don’t even describe the black coloured, dining room furniture as black, just “the dining room furniture”. Good for a laugh anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christine Goodnough
    August 29, 2017

    I agree with your point. If a nickname isn’t meant as a slur, and if the person’s okay with it, others should mind their own business. I had a friend called “Red” for her red hair. Nowadays she could take issue, as could all the Blondies and Slims in our world. It’s their choice. My niece, Barb, hated being called “barb wire.” One day she warned a classmate, who repeated the taunt and Barb (about ten) slugged her. The girl tattled and teacher just shrugged, like, “Now you get the point.”

    Political correctness is a law, both a legal one and a social pressure, that’s supposed to remind people it’s wrong to denigrate anyone. (Oh, wait! What’s the origin of that word? Maybe we should put it on the pc no-no list just in case?)

    Anyway, I have to agree with Shining Gem. No laws, legal or social, imposed from the outside can change a man’s attitudes—oops! a human being’s attitudes—toward his/her/unstated fellow human. It really is wrong to mock someone, no matter who.

    But a dear elderly friend of mine often quoted her father about issues taken to extremes. He would tell them, “There’s no moderation in the human race.” Whatever the problem, we usually over-correct. So now we have respect for various ethnic minorities, religions, etc, but are okay with other disrespect.

    I wish we’d see a little more respect given to authority: leaders, police, etc. We’ve flipped into the ditch where the media would be in deep trouble for using epithets on feminists, blacks or Muslims, but can call police “pigs” and the President an idiot and be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bbryanthomas
      August 29, 2017

      I thought my piece would attract yours and SG’s attention (possibly written with that intention). Your quote, issues taken to extremes, sums it up. What people don’t realize is that if we don’t show the deserved respect to authority – in the end authority will have to force us to do so. Not a pretty picture. Let’s preach good old fashioned manners

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ben W
    August 29, 2017

    I remember ages ago, Jamie – a Scottish shipbroker friend here in Singapore – was telling me about a time he was discussing a ship with an HR person at his companies head office in the US. At one point he stated to the HR lady that the ship’s crew were all Indians. The HR person got upset and said “you can’t call them Indians – they’re Native Americans”. Jamie tried to explain that they really were from India, but the message wasn’t getting through. So he gave in by saying “ok, ok, so this crew of native Americans from Chennai…”!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bridgesburning Chris
    August 29, 2017

    Hear hear! I used the word Orient the other day and was almost physically attacked. And I was talking about the bloody train. Who sets these rules?

    Liked by 1 person

    • bbryanthomas
      August 30, 2017

      On PC it’s the most vocal and generally the most wierd who set the rules

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 29, 2017 by in Opinion, Stories and tagged , , , .
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