Please do not take your seats and fasten the seat belts. We will not be taking off shortly. This is not your captain speaking.
And there we go – Japan Airlines has officially ceased referring to their English-speaking passengers as ladies and gentlemen. The gender-unfriendly language adjusters have called round the head office in Shinagawa and put the arm on the company.
This is particularly ironic for an airline from a country that is notably polite and well-mannered. It is almost as if they wish the passengers to behave like ladies and gentlemen but are too shy to say it…
Of course it is just the modern culture of political pressure by ” sanitising ” language. Make people say what you command them to say and then they can be made to do what you wish. If you can impose guilt or shame or sorrow or cringing fear while doing so – so much the better. It’s not a whip if it doesn’t snap, eh?
I think we should push this language thing further. Stop referring to people as people. That is very specific and excludes other animals. Be careful that you do not fall into the trap of referring to the former ladies or gentlemen as “creatures” as this implies a concept of creation. Do not call them “individuals ” as this runs totally counter to the political philosophies that depend upon masses and classes.
” Hey You ” and ” You People ” are also out, for obvious reasons. there may be a chance to address the people in the cheap seats down the back as ” Organisms “, but we’re running it past the lawyers on Monday.
I think it was a lot easier when Sessue Hayakawa just shouted out ” Arr men will worku! ” and left it at that.