RE: Re-branding "Honour Killings"
(23-01-2011 02:20 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Arvind's idea seems highly plausible, and I do not think that speakers of English universally see 'shame' and 'honour' the same way. In fact, I see them as opposing values, as I noted earlier.
Since I personally read all reports of this form of murder almost exclusively from the English media, I would imagine that 'honour-' and 'shame-' killings would evoke in me very different allusions, and to this extent, this rebranding is efficacious. However I do not know what terminology was used to report these events in the Hindi media and other vernacular media. It will be great if someone who reads Indian-language newspapers on a regular basis could fill us in on that. Anyone out there who can give examples of how Dainik Jaagran or Dinathandi or Anandabazar Patrika or Loksatta reports these events?
Quote:Finally, I also disagree on finding neutral terminology (as opposed to using language to frame the argument in favor of reason and compassion). There is no such thing as neutral terminology when discussing morality.
Yes. "Exogamy execution"
. How does that sound? Descriptive all right, and neutral too. It's even alliterative. But it falls flat and fails to engage the reader emotionally because its polysyllabic ponderousness makes it sound like a surgical procedure! No wonder an anodyne term like 'medical terminated pregnancy' is shunned by the pro-life brigade in favor of a more gruesome-sounding term like 'baby-killer', which they employ to devastating effect. So I agree that when our mission is to be provocative and call for radical change, we cannot stick to anodyne formulations.
In sum, I would say that 'shame killing' still has my vote. Yes, shame is conflated with honour due to linguistic quirks sometimes, but I wouldn't sweat it too much. For every example of ambiguity like लज्जा/வெட்கம், we can think of a counterexample like मान/மானம் (honour) and अप
மானம் (dishonour), where the antonymic relation is made obvious.
As an aside, 'vernacularization' is indispensable if we aim at widespread memeing of freethought concepts in India. It was heartening to see the responses to calls for translation of the Out Campaign declaration here
, and it would be great if this success can be replicated and surpassed in other projects, like the Pale Blue Dot translation here