BTW: “invasion”

Some conservative councillor objected to Sydney City Council documents describing the British arrival in Australia as an invasion. The documents in question have used the term for several decades now.

Media coverage casts it as lefties on the Council wanting the change the wording to invasion, not this one guy wanting the change the existing wording away from invasion.  Furore ensues.

I put up a post on LP about it yesterday. The discussion is mostly better than I feared.

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, history, language

Tags: , , ,

7 replies

  1. What the hell else was it supposed to be?

    • There are some folks who get upset at the word, and prefer only to use “settlement” or “colonisation”.
      While it is theoretically possible to begin a settlement for a colony without an invasion, that’s not what happened in this country. Native inhabitants were dispossessed of their lands without negotiation, and when they resisted they were repulsed by force. QED: invasion.

  2. My sister and I were discussing this today. I’m not sure I am able to yet articulate our thoughts on it. (They align but aren’t the same…she has a slightly different opinion to mine- they’re not in opposition of each other, just not quite the same)
    As Indigenous women married to non-indigenous men, sometimes these issues are hard for us to reconcile and articulate especially when we are being so careful not to be prejudicial to one side or an other.
    Nope, not articulating right…

  3. That LP thread is interesting. BTW I don’t know who ‘Wombo’ is, but his comment @137 represents the very latest in classical/archaeological research on the population of the British Isles, and accurately, too.
    He might have added that, before the Saxons, nearly all the inscriptions and documentation we have from Britain is in Latin (the colonial language, funny that). This includes lots of soldiers’ letters, many of which are variations on ‘Dear Mum, we’ve conquered Britain, why?’ from men recruited in sunnier climes like Italy or southern Gaul. Sometimes there is a followup letter to the effect that the bad weather will be compensated for by beautiful grandchildren, viz ‘my girlfriend has got red hair’ – the Romans preferring redheads to blondes.
    Consistent with this, even today there is a big strap of southern Mediterranean DNA lurking around any English city with a ‘caster’ or ‘chester’ in the name. A corruption of the Latin ‘castrum’, it indicates the presence long ago of a Roman military base.

    • Good point on the Roman contributions, SL. I love the idea that soldier’s letters have hardly changed over the millennia.

  4. There are some folks who get upset at the word, and prefer only to use “settlement” or “colonisation”.
    But aren’t they always telling us that “language policing” is too PC and must be stopped?

  5. @SunlessNick: As I understand it, it’s only language policing if the words used acknowledge the existence and contributions of people unlike them, or involve minorities/disadvantaged groups defining their own terms.

%d bloggers like this: