The Awkward Mock Word


I’m always puzzled by the terms ” mock duck ” and ” mock chicken “. I’ve encountered them on menus in Canada and Australia and I’ve seen cans of something that calls itself ” mock duck ” in Asian grocery stores. As there are so many good things that you can do with real duck and chicken I have never felt the need to eat artificial stuff.

But past the culinary stage, the idea of mocking anything is generally frowned upon. We’ve always been told it is sinful to mock the afflicted, or downright dangerous to do so to some of the world’s snippier religions. And anyone who wants to mock their spouse does so at their own peril…

But you can still get away with it if you pick your target. A popular one right now is the United States of America. If you are British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealander, or any other variety of English-speaker you can use the mocking term ” ‘murica ” to refer to the country. It is an instant hit with the meme-takers of the world and presumably counts towards the kewl number within your Facebook circle or down the pub with the other second-year university students. It is derived, of course, from what the scornful imagine to be mumbled hillbilly slang. Fabulously kewl.

Well, fun comes in many shapes and sizes, and you can find it everywhere. If this sort of mocking is acceptable, I am sure that there are any number of sexual, racial, religious, and national slurs that can be resurrected and put into daily use on Facebook for a similar kewl effect. International readers of this column do not need a list of these – they can make one of their own.

If they happen upon someone using a term that targets their own ethnicity, religion, age, or some other aspect of their lives and seems to be both offensive and unnecessary, they can do what hypocrites have always done:

Blame the ‘muricans.



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