It is fascinating how seemingly innocuous words actually are not. Especially those that sound neutral, even ethically positive. That is why the sage never thinks in haste, because he knows the words that bear his thoughts cannot be trusted and his listener’s ability to understand him the way he wishes to be understood must always be doubted.
Take “multi-ethnic” for example. We often consider that term to be a practical synonym for “pluralism” or “multicultural”. And so, we move on from that concept to begin dreaming about celebrating diversity based on multiethnicity. And we are then exasperated by how impossible that seems to be.
To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for
RM150 a year.