A comment has been left saying it is offensive to use the word "Maoris" when speaking of many people of Maori origin. The inoffensive word is "Maori". I guess that's the same for Australian Aboriginal people where the word "Aborigines" is offensive, a bit too ethnographic and loaded with colonial attitude. I just didn't think about it when I wrote it.

Language is interesting and how we use it. We can inadvertently wound someone by using the wrong word or pronounciation but I think we can also place too heavy an emphasis on 'correct' words. I guess it's about intention. I welcome the correction because I had no intention of using an old ethographic colonial word but I also am wary of the issue of policing language. Is the speaker using the wrong word or wrong pronunciation intentionally? That's the question for me.

This is particularly interesting at the moment. During and in the aftermath of war pronunciations of the country - Iraq - and the enemy - Saddam or Al Q'aida - vary wildly and I wonder how much that is to do with belittling or disrespecting the names of the enemy.

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