Results of our fourth poll: Do you think the word “gaijin” should be avoided (in favor of other words, like, say, gaikokujin)?
Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on September 1st, 2008
Do you think the word "gaijin" should be avoided (in favor of other words, like, say, gaikokujin)?
- Yes. "Gaijin" has undesirable connotations. Period. (42%, 149 Votes)
- Maybe, but it depends on whether the speaker is being derisive. (26%, 92 Votes)
- No. The word "gaijin" is harmless. (25%, 90 Votes)
- Maybe, but it depends on whether the listener finds it distasteful. (6%, 21 Votes)
- Not sure/Can't answer/Wot's "gaijin"? (1%, 6 Votes)
Total Voters: 358
One thing I tried to do in this poll was 1) make options that everyone could answer, no exception, and 2) make them “bounded”, i.e. mutually exclusive so that people could only vote for one.
(What I mean: A Japan Times poll on the subject, in contrast, doesn’t do that as well:
|The results of a Japan Times Online poll conducted August 6-12.
For example, you could choose all of questions one, two, and three if you felt, “Yes, I am offended, I prefer ‘gaikokujin’, but it depends on who is saying it and how.” Not mutually exclusive.)
I also tried to show a clearer spectrum from top to bottom–avoid under all circumstances, it depends, don’t avoid, not sure.
The result was still that most people (but not an absolute majority) thought the word “gaijin” should be avoided, due to unwelcome connotations. Perhaps par for the course for Debito.org types of readers.
It was an interesting poll to follow in real time. For the first few days, the first choice, “Yes”, had an absolute majority of over 50%. But as more voted, the “maybe, if derisive” and “no” responses whittled that down. I was surprised at how few chose “maybe, depends on listener”. Also interesting was how almost everyone had a clear opinion–almost nobody was neutral or unknowledgeable about the subject.
Again, as disclaimers keep pointing out, this is hardly anything scientifically “significant”–just a survey of readers who wished to vote. Still, ten days and 358 respondents later, it’s a pretty good number. Let’s see if we can keep the numbers growing in future polls with interesting questions.
Next poll: Let’s try something less controversial. Just got back from the US (coastal California), where the sun sets around 8PM or later most summer days. Loved it. And wish Japan would do the same (especially since Hokkaido is on the far east of our time zone, and we get sunrises at 4AM or so in June). So what do you think about instituting Summer Time (DST) in Japan?