Most that know me personally understand that while I don't employ politically correct terms for the sake of it. In fact I love berating the Irish too much to be called a culturally sensitive person. I have to admit I do hate the fact that 'retarded' has became a not-so-nice word. I'm rather fond of it.
Since no one has been able to answer this for me in person I'll post this to the blogsphere. When exactly did it become offensive to use the term 'oriental'? I was overhearing a conversation between two people who kept using the work Asian to describe people they knew. As one would assume most of the time one calls a person Asian it means they're very progressive and probably recycle their own feces, but it got me to thinking. Asia covers quite a bunch of races, creeds, countries, etc. If someone who's just getting familiar with the English language and hears that term I would imagine they'd be confused.
My parents still use the word oriental. I reminded them once that it was not so polite to speak such politically incorrect words. When asked why I don't use Asian to refer to Russians, Indians, Pakistanis, etc I was at a loss. I really couldn't answer that better than anyone else who always gave me the shrug of the shoulders and just followed the leader or whatever language best suits the times.
Of course anyone up to date with progressive linguistics will understand that it's all polite and such to use words that the person being described would feel comfortable with. Most Native Americans don't like being called Indians, cause they're not, and it's never good to call an African American the 'n' word. I don't mind using the term Asian. Really I'll use whatever someone likes, unless I hate them (damn Irish), but I'm kind of curious what is wrong with describing the area or it's inhabitants part of the Orient? Has 'oriental' been used in a derogatory manner that I'm not aware of? Is it a double entrede? Was it's original meaning used to belittle? Is it just a simple progression of language and I'm reading to much into it?
"The one thing that you simply have to remember all the time that you are there, is that Hollywood is an oriental city. As long as you do that you might survive. If you try to equate it with anything else you'll perish." - Olivia De Havilland