Blogs > Liberty and Power > Tempest in a Waffle Cone

Aug 18, 2004 8:50 am

Tempest in a Waffle Cone

Call me insensitive, but this seems to me just plain silly. Timothy Noah has a piece at Slate taking Dairy Queen to task for insensitive product naming - he claims they made a colossal blunder naming their coffee+ice-cream+crushed-ice drink the"MooLatte" because that"sounds like""mulatto," and that's offensive. Part of the reason he claims it's offensive is that the drink is light-brown. Of course, it's only light brown if you order the Mocha - the French Vanilla and Cappucino are different colors. So let me see if I get this: not only are there offensive words we ought to avoid, but sensitivity also requires us to avoid words that sound like offensive words? Please. (BTW, I've had their Mocha MooLatte. It's a silly name, but a very tasty concoction, if you've got a caffeine jones and a sweet tooth.)

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Irfan Khawaja - 8/4/2006

Aeon, you've obviously forgotten the "niggardly" controversy.

I'm surprised no one has seen the obvious homophobia in the name "Dairy Queen." (Actually, I myself have not figured out where the homophobia would be; I just noticed the word "queen" and figured that the combination of words "dairy" and "queen" must be homophobic in some way. If anyone figures out how, tell me.)

As a Pakistani American, I was always deeply offended by the video game Pac Man, where the main character was depicted as a sort marauding, all-consuming, faceless entity. Wow. That's just a really hurtful stereotype that perpetuates the idea that we Pakistanis all unwashed "hordes" (incidentally "horde" is itself derived from the word "Urdu," which is what Pakistanis speak).

Why didn't I start a controversy over that when people actually knew what Pac Man was?