In 2019 in Britain, former Arsenal football club winger Perry Groves apologised for saying that Socceroos star Mat Ryan “had a holocaust of a game” for Brighton against Sheffield United. Groves made the controversial comment live on radio, following Brighton’s 1-0 home defeat to the Blades in the Premier League. Angry listeners phoned in to complain after Groves made the remark.
“I lost half of my family to the Holocaust and it really upset and angered me hearing him use those comments to describe a football game of all things,” said Joseph Reiselson, 72. “I phoned up to complain immediately and the man at talkSPORT who spoke to me said that I wasn’t the only one to call up about his comments.” Groves, 54, said sorry. “I’d just like to sincerely apologise for my misuse of words earlier,” he said. “I didn’t mean to offend anybody and if I have offended anybody I’m truly, genuinely sorry and that is from my heart.”
It seems that people cannot use the common English word "holocaust" it unless it refers to the Nazi extermination of Jews and nothing else. This is complete politically correct nonsense. The definition of that word is: “Destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, caused by fire or war” or “a sacrifice consumed by fire” or “a thorough destruction”. So where is any reference to Nazis or Jews here? The truth is that there is no such reference, unless the term is “The Holocaust”, referencing an event. Fair enough. If Jews wish to refer to the genocide committed by Nazis against them by using the term “The Holocaust”, that’s just fine
But nobody has any right to hijack a common English word and complain if it is used in any other context, such as the way Perry Groves described something in a football game, or anything else for that matter. For instance, the 2019 bushfires in Australia could easily be described as a holocaust and this would be quite correct, but no reporter or commentator would dare use the the word "holocaust" in this context and that is so wrong. We should never be afrait to use common English words, just because vested interests have hijacked them for their own purposes. The word “holocaust” is not exclusive to one event in history.
In 2018, former Senator Fraser Anning gave a speech in the Australian Senate, where he used the words "final solution" in calling for an end to the wanton immigration policies of the former Australian Labor Party that saw Australia flooded with illegal immigrants. There was no mention of Nazis and Jews whatsoever, but the problem for Anning was that the term "Final Solution" was used by the Nazis in Germany to commit genocide on Jews. So since then, anybody who uses the term "final solution" is condemned, even though that term was widely used long before the Nazis came into existence.
Anning was literally driven out of the Australian Parliament for innocently using "final solution" in his speech. Yes, Anning was proposing the re-introduction of a version of the former White Australia Policy, in order to curtail the influx of Muslims that could have been quite easily described as an invasion by stealth. But Anning was not advocating the extermination of anybody - just a change of immigration policy. However, using the term "final solution" was enough for gutless politicians to use it as a means to condemn a rogue senator who would not bow to their will, so Anning was pilloried for no good reason and lost his parliamentary seat.
Once upon a time, we could be described as being gay and this would have no reference to homosexuality. The word "gay" was a very common term found in many books to describe somebody who was light-hearted and carefree. But in the mid 20th century, the word was hijacked completely by homosexuals and nobody would dare to refer to somebody as being "gay" unless they were referring to them as being homosexual, lesbian or any of the nonsensical invented genders of our current era.
Many people seem to be incapable of using the English language in a normal manner. So they have invented terms to substitute for reality, but if people use those real terms, they are accused of insensitivity, racism, bigotry and all sorts of other derogatory slights. Here is a list of typical euphemisms and politically incorrect terms, apart from the above examples:
It seems that people are mostly terrified of using common English words and expressions and are being blackmailed into political correctness or social delicacy. Fair enough with social delicacy. One doesn't want to confront a recently bereaved person and say, "Hey Mary, I heard that your husband had carked it." A sensible person would use the term "passed away". Or "I heard that you are flat broke and out on your arse". A sensible person would say, "Oh, I heard that you took early retirement" and give the respondent a graceful way of replying without embarrassment.
But what is not understandable or acceptable to me is that terms that have nothing to do with the correct usage of those terms, such as "holocaust", final solution" or "gay". People are free to capitalise those words and use them to refer to historical or social matters, but they have no right whatsoever to try and restrict those terms in their normal dictionary definitions. Unfortunately, people are intimidated by vested interests into not using those terms, but in reality, they should stare down anybody who complains about the use of words such as "holocaust" to refer to something other than Nazi matters, such as when describing catastrophic bushfires or anything else.
In August 2018, Unesco proudly announced that 2019 would be its year of indigenous languages. Unveiling a website devoted to the project, the organisation warned of the need to preserve, revitalise and promote indigenous languages around the world - including endangered alphabets. There are between 6,000 to 7,000 languages in the world. Yet 96% are spoken by just 3% of the global population. And 85% are endangered.
But apart from historical and archaeological importance, why is it important to retain and preserve languages that are literally of no use to anybody? There are languages that are vitally important, such as English. Every commercial pilot in the world has to speak English, as this is the language of Air Traffic Control. Even in the modern world of computers and technology, a knowledge of English is vital.
But what use is it to preserve an ancient language that only a handful of people speak - a language that is completely unusable in the modern world, such as all Australian Aboriginal languages? For instance, more than 250 indigenous Australian languages including 800 dialectal varieties were spoken at the time of European settlement in 1788. Only 13 traditional indigenous languages are still acquired by children. So is the world really missing those 250 indigenous languages? The truth is that hardly anybody cares about them or whether they are preserved or allowed to die out.
We live in the 21st century, the space age, the electronics age and the computer age. None of those archaic languages matter anymore. For instance, there are languages that are considered to be dead and very few people bother to learn them:
The question is - does the loss of these ancient languages make the slightest difference to us? The answer is clearly no - they don't matter a damn, except to historians and archeologists. In our modern world, there are really only a handful of languages that matter.
Here is a list of the ten most spoken modern languages in order of the number of native speakers:
If you live in Europe or Australia, there are only a few languages that you will need to get by in most nations. They are:
Of course if you are interested in communicating with Chinese, Japanese or Arabic people, then a knowledge of Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Arabic would be useful, but otherwise in western nations, English is the most important language to know, followed by French, Spanish and German.
But it is rather silly to spend a fortune and use valuable resources to try and preserve languages that are completely useless, such as all the Australian Aboriginal languages and dialects. They serve no purpose except to give a few people a "feel-good" buzz. The only thing to do with such languages is let them die a natural death and we will miss them about as much as we miss Sumerian or Akkadian.