Ridiculous Terminology

OK, how is one supposed to treat a company that refers to translators as “trannies” and editors as “eddies” with any degree of seriousness?

27 thoughts on “Ridiculous Terminology

      1. “Apart from a slur on transgender/transsexual people, I’ve only ever heard this word used to refer to a car’s transmission.”

        Not a slur at all. I know several transgendered people who refer to themselves that way in the interest of brevity. They don’t seem to mind that anyone else says it.


      1. Sorry, I know a lot of transgendered people who refer to themselves as trannies. That is where I first heard the word. There was no suggestion that it was anything but a brief descriptive word. Certainly no negative connotation.


      2. There’s also a lot of gay people who refer to themselves as fags, but that doesn’t mean all gay people will take it kindly when the word is used around them. There’s great power in reclaiming a slur aimed at you, but this doesn’t work in the third person.


  1. That is the weirdest thing I’ve read today! How long has this company been in business? And what kind of publishing do they do?

    (If someone told me to submit a manuscript to the eddies, I would probably either think it was an excessively poetic way of telling me the piece was trash*, or that their entire editorial staff is named Eddie.)

    *”Submit it to the eddies” as in, throw it up into the air and let the wind carry it off, or throw it into a creek and let it drift away.


    1. This is a translation company that claims as its guiding principle being very attentive to language. My father asked me to help with an order he got from them. I wouldn’t work with them after I saw the “trannies” and the “eddies.” I’m too weirded out and have trouble seeing them as a legitimate company.


    1. U of T is beginning to reap the fruits of its bizarre hiring practices. What a shame because it used to be such a phenomenal university. And now it is turning into a place where all the world’s weirdos go when nobody else wants them.


      1. Do you mean hiring people who don’t have PhD s to be professors? I read that interview of him on the Random House blog, and he did not sound qualified to teach. Also he sounded like a jerk.


      2. By the way, his daughter wants to be a writer. Accolades from pop?


        and from Quill & Quire, a leading Canadian writer’s magazine:

        “In today’s post, featuring David Gilmour – whose new novel, Extraordinary (HarperCollins Canada), is longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize – the University of Toronto lecturer and author boasts a disdain for women (and, for some reason, Chinese) writers. He declares, “I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.”

        The Giller Prize, of course, is named after Doris Giller, a woman journalist who Dave would probably not mention as being interesting.


      1. … and the male writers he thinks are worthy of inclusion in his syllabus are a pretty weird mixed bag. Tolstoy, Chekhov, sure, I can see those, even if I’d question the merits of reading them in translation for serious critical study (how deeply can you examine a person’s use of language if you don’t actually have the words they’ve written?), but Henry Miller and Philip Roth? Yuck!

        (He does say, not that he doesn’t think any women writers are worth teaching, but that he doesn’t feel passionately about any of them except Virginia Woolf, and he’s only going to be teaching the books he loves. Which is still weird — who writes off an entire gender’s worth of writers? — but less offensive.)


  2. I don’t like abbreviations and shortenings of words, either, so I do not use them. Thus, it does not matter to me personally. But, how can anyone possibly what shortenings are offensive and what are not?? (I am deeply offended when someone spells “through” as “thru”.)


    1. My general rule of thumb is that if there’s a silly, dismissive-sounding word that can be applied to a marginal group of people, you should be very careful when using it because the overwhelming likelihood is that it is a slur.


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