Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Hal7300 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:23 pm

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craggy wrote:I'd share the words I find more accurate to describe them, but I know I'd offend more people.


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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Hal7300 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:38 pm

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Oxford English Dictionary definition of spastic:

''Pronunciation:/ˈspastɪk/
adjective
1 relating to or affected by muscle spasm
relating to or denoting a form of muscular weakness (spastic paralysis) typical of cerebral palsy, caused by damage to the brain or spinal cord and involving reflex resistance to passive movement of the limbs and difficulty in initiating and controlling muscular movement
(of a person) having cerebral palsy
2 informal , offensive incompetent or uncoordinated
noun
1 a person with cerebral palsy
2 informal , offensive an incompetent or uncoordinated person

Derivatives
spastically
adverb
spasticity
noun

Origin:
mid 18th century: via Latin from Greek spastikos 'pulling', from span 'pull'


Usage
The word spastic has been used in medical senses since the 18th century.
In the 1970s and 1980s it became a term of abuse, used mainly by schoolchildren, directed towards any person regarded as incompetent or physically uncoordinated. Nowadays, the use of the word spastic, whether as a noun or as an adjective, is likely to cause offence, and it is preferable to use phrasing such as 'a person with cerebral palsy' instead.''
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Counterpunch » Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:52 pm

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Mykltron wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:
Neurie wrote:Erm actually its probably more the rest of the world where English is the spoken language(IE ex-common wealth) as they all have the same dictionary used in England as a basic tool to describe the menaing of a word.


Isn't it the result of a British TV show that the word took on this meaning?

This is a localization of a word's use, nothing more.


Neurie wrote:I dont think so Counterpunch, but if it was when it would have aired it would probably have been braodcast to all the English speaking counties in the Common Wealth at that time, so would have have been very wide spread trough out English speaking countries.


I'm not following this. Is what the result of a British TV show that the word took on this meaning? Are you asking if 'spastic' has been associated with a handicap? Cos that word and meaning dates back to 1896.


The term spastic came to be viewed as a general insult (perversely, in part due to the Blue Peter programmes following the life story of Joey Deacon, during the International Year of Disabled Persons, in an attempt to show disability in a positive light) and the society changed to its current name on 26 March 1994.[1][2]


Of course the word "spastic" was used previously in medical terms because it accurate describes the movement in a dictionary sense for those suffering from seizures. As an offensive word, the history seems to have evolved due to the above referenced show.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Jazz-1982 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:22 pm

I'm from Scotland and whilst Spastic was an incredibly stupid choice for a toy name, I think they should just let it go.
It's not like it's a major character who's going to be on tv every week for kids to see and therefore start using the word more is it?

Basically, it's the exact same for people in the Uk as a toy in the States being called Retard. That's why it's pushed buttons.

Surely they could have come up with something else that wouldn't offend anyone, just use a dictionary, the amount of vocabulary available to choose from in the English language means there is no excuse for such an idiotic choice. #-o
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby kirbenvost » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:58 pm

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Mykltron wrote:
kirbenvost wrote:
Where the Wikipedia article is unclear is when the word evolved from the neutral 'Negro' to the N-word as we know it. It evolved from a simple word used to refer to a group of people, to a derogatory term. In essence, the process is the same as the current topic at hand, but the big difference is that as it evolved it became a new word, one which is completely derogatory, whereas this transformer name is still used in some areas without any derogatory meaning.


You seem to be saying that the N word was invented as an insult. Do I understand you correctly?

Wiki says:
'Nigger is a noun ... The word originated as a term used in a neutral context to refer to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger,'
and to me this suggests that niger and negro evolved into nigger, which later became used as an insult.


However, etymonline says:
'From the earliest usage it was "the term that carries with it all the obloquy and contempt and rejection which whites have inflicted on blacks" [cited in Gowers, 1965]'
but goes on to say:
'But as black inferiority was at one time a near universal assumption in English-speaking lands, the word in some cases could be used without deliberate insult.'


I'm saying that it took on the derogatory meaning as it became the n-word as we know it, thus in its current form it was always derogatory. In its original form 'negro', it was a neutral term which could be used with or without insult depending on context or tone of voice, however the current word always carries negative meaning.

In short, yes. But it came from another word, so it wasn't exactly just invented.

Counterpunch wrote:
Is the mold that is in question the best PCC figure to date? Absolutely.


Always getting straight to the heart of the matter. :lol:
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby angelababy » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:15 pm

I'm just hoping the thing gets renamed as Dragstrip.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Droptested Thrice » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:13 am

See, this is why the colonies should never have been allowed their independence. Otherwise, this whole toy naming hullaballoo would never have happened.



MightyMagnus78 wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:
MightyMagnus78 wrote:My brother is disabled and for the majority of his education that word was a constant source of torment.

Although I do appreciate there are colloquial differences, a little bit of sensitivity goes a long way. In my opinion, Hasbro could have easily avoided this whole drama by simply adopting a little diligence and care.


That's the thing, it's not a sensitivity issue.

If American's are using the word "Retard" or "Crip" or "Slowmo", then they're being purposely offensive.

Actually, Americans or anyone not in the UK.

"Spastic" or "Spaz" has a legitimate and frequently used meaning in most of the rest of the world that is so far from being offensive to the group of people in question that the rest of the non-UK world is just like, "Really?".

Now, I think the figure should be altered in name for the UK release, that makes sense.


Agreed, however, in essence we now live in a global community. Surely it is prudent for a multi-national company such as Hasbro, to ensure every precaution is taken to avoid these types of misunderstandings, thus reducing the risk of potentially causing any unintentional offense.



Depends on the context. It wasn't that long ago that the Nigerian government signed a deal with Russia's Gazprom to do oil exploration. The name of this oil venture? Nigaz.

C'mon guys, this is Transformers we're talking about. Way back when, they cooked up the name Banzaitron, just because the character is a martial artist, and is thus presumed to have some sorta Japanese styling to him. Never mind that some people may find the name too ethnic, or that the term banzai is associated with World War 2, when the Japanese were torching and massacring large parts of Asia.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Seibertron » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:16 am

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Counterpunch wrote:Comparing the n-word to "spaz" is a poor comparison. One was created with the intent to be demeaning the other was created with a non-offensive intent.

A more appropriate comparison would be with the word "fag".

Also, I have no intent to clarify the nature in which we discuss these words. Clearly this is a matter of simple discourse and not an opportunity to use ugly words in glib fashion.


"Fag" is a perfect example of this situation with the word "spastic" -- but in reverse. Are cigarettes still referred to as "fags" in the UK or is use of "fag" dwindling as a common word for cigarettes?
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Hasbro's statement about the Transformer product named "Spastic"

Postby Seibertron » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:30 am

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Last week it was revealed that an upcoming Transformers product would bear the name "Spastic". As many of us learned shortly thereafter, the word "spastic" has different meanings depending on your regional location.

This past weekend, Seibertron.com contacted Hasbro to find out if they had an official statement regarding the use of this word as a Transformers product. Here is their official response that they sent earlier on Monday:

Hasbro wrote:Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and for the opportunity to respond. The TRANSFORMERS brand intended no offense by use of the name "SPASTIC" for one of its products which has not and will not be available via traditional retail channels in Europe, including the the UK. Thank you once again for notifying us about your concern. As a marketer of children’s products, input from parents, families and fans regarding their experiences with our brands is extremely important to us. Our goal is to have all families who enjoy our brands feel good about their purchases and experiences.


We are waiting a response from Hasbro to find out if the figure will retain the name "Spastic" in North America after finding out from the message above that the item will not be available in Europe. Stay tuned to Seibertron.com for additional information.

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The "controversy" over this name usage was covered in the "weird news" section of DailyRecord.co.uk. You can view the article by clicking here.

Here is some additional information about the regional differences of the word "spastic" from Wikipedia.org:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spastic

US usage of the word "spastic"
Wikipedia.org wrote:In American slang, the term "spaz" is largely inoffensive, and is generally understood as a casual word for clumsiness, sometimes associated with over excitement, excessive energy, or hyperactivity. Its usage has been documented as far back as the mid 1950s


UK usage of the word "spastic"
This medical term "spastic" became used to describe cerebral palsy. The Spastics Society, a UK charity for people with cerebral palsy, was founded in 1951.

However, the word began to be used as an insult and became a term of abuse used to imply stupidity or physical ineptness; one who is uncoordinated or incompetent, or a fool.[3] The mental connotation derived from a common misconception that those with any physical disability resulting in spasticity would necessarily also have a mental or developmental disability. It was often colloquially abbreviated to shorter forms such as "spaz".

Its derogatory use grew considerably in the 1980s.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Dai_Ceefax » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:57 am

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So now we don't get it at all in the UK?
Just because Hasbro's research dept. dropped a bollock?

#-o

Good job Kapow Toys'll blatently ship some over...
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby MINDVVIPE » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:59 am

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Uhh, i'm gonna have to agree with the first few comments on here. Spastic isn't that bad, even for the UK take, but even if it is, whoever called it in is a real tool. Give me a break, this is what people spend their time doing? Not to mention, what if the kid gets the toy and loves it. The next day kids are making fun of some other kid by calling him spastic (i guess, pretty unrealistic phrasing imo. but say they do), that kid who loves his spastic figure is gonna have less motivation to side with the other kids reasoning for hate. And all of you comparing 'spastic' to 'n*gger' and 'fag', .... sorry, that isn't a fair comparison at all, spastic is nowhere near any of those.

But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool

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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Seibertron » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:01 am

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MINDVVIPE wrote:But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool :CON:


What do you mean by "whoever called that in"?
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:01 am

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Oh for the love of god using the word Spaz or spastic is just a term for clumsy...its not like the product is named Rapist and the Stunticons.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Seibertron » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:03 am

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NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE wrote:Oh for the love of god using the word Spaz or spastic is just a term for clumsy...its not like the product is named Rapist and the Stunticons.


In the US that's what the word means after it split from its original meanings back in the 1950s. In the 1980s, the word took on an offensive usage in the UK. Kind of like how "fag" means something different in the UK from the US.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby MINDVVIPE » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:03 am

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Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool :CON:


What do you mean by "whoever called that in"?


Whoever brought Hasbro's attention to the name being insulting.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Seibertron » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:04 am

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NOBODY LOVES WHEELIE wrote:Oh for the love of god using the word Spaz or spastic is just a term for clumsy...its not like the product is named Rapist and the Stunticons.


In the US that's what the word means after it split from its original meanings back in the 1950s. In the 1980s, the word took on an offensive usage in the UK. Kind of like how "fag" means something different in the UK from the US.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Seibertron » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:05 am

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MINDVVIPE wrote:
Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool :CON:


What do you mean by "whoever called that in"?


Whoever brought Hasbro's attention to the name being insulting.


I contacted Hasbro to see if they had an official statement regarding this after seeing how strongly some UK fans in this topic felt, especially after it made it's way to a British newspaper/news website.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby MINDVVIPE » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:11 am

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Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:
Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:But all that aside, whoever called that in is a real tool :CON:


What do you mean by "whoever called that in"?


Whoever brought Hasbro's attention to the name being insulting.


I contacted Hasbro to see if they had an official statement regarding this because I felt it was newsworthy due to how strongly some fans in this topic felt, especially after it made it's way to a British newspaper/news website.


Okay well, then it was a side effect of your search for information, your not a tool then.
And chances are if it was in british newspapers, its already been made aware to hasbro by the tools writing the newspaper articles.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Seibertron » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:25 am

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MINDVVIPE wrote:its already been made aware to hasbro by the tools writing the newspaper articles.


Probably not. People love to make news instead of going to the source to find out their thoughts on the matter. I decided to contact Hasbro first before we covered the article that was published last week. I felt that was more responsible than just reporting on DailyRecord.co.uk's article.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby MINDVVIPE » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:27 am

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Seibertron wrote:
MINDVVIPE wrote:its already been made aware to hasbro by the tools writing the newspaper articles.


Probably not. People love to make news instead of going to the source to find out their thoughts on the matter. I decided to contact Hasbro first before we covered the article that was published last week. I felt that was more responsible than just reporting on DailyRecord.co.uk's article.


Yea fair enough, they probably wouldn't have known... but doesn't that show how little it would have mattered? maybe. My point, if any, was that the press just want to make any deal about anything. If they hadn't written those articles I doubt anyone would have cared, and if any did, probably not enough to do or say anything much about it.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby MYoung23 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:38 am

As an African American I can tell that the N-word has always been a demeaning and insulting term. It was never neutral even though it was a corruption of the word Negro.

The fact that people here had to go to wikipedia and didn't know this is a damn shame.
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Burn » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:50 am

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Kudos to Hasbro for addressing this particular "controversy", goes to show they do listen when they need to.

But is anyone suprised that this pack won't be available throughout Europe?
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby PrimeGestalt » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:20 am

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Augh! I only just decide to rename him 'Cascade' in my fan-fiction, and Hasbro drops the 'US-only' bomb on me! Now I have to import for the first Stunticon set in decades!

Actually, I might import most of my Transformers sets anyway...particularly if I end up joining the Transformers Fan Club. My point is what's wrong with giving characters different names in different regions if it's used sparingly? Now it's going to shift from complaints about offense to his name to complaints about a lack of release worldwide. In fact, just this once I'll make one of the first complaints just to get the ball rolling: Hasbro, why won't you just change the name for Europe and Oceania so you can release this set worldwide? Some of us outside the US might a) actually want to collect all the Power Core Combiners sets (I'm not lying about that one, trust me ;) ); b) actually LIKE the Stunticons; c) actually be creating Power Core fiction to fill the void until there's actual canonical fiction (like what happened with Beast Wars); or d) actually have alternative names for the rest of the world that you may not have considered (I'm a strong advocate for Cascade).

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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby kjeevah » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:28 am

absolutely despicable. their 'concession' to stop use of the name in europe is meaningless.

it is not a european issue, this name must not be allowed full stop.
t is an old-fashioned word that came to be used in a derogatory sense, and now has taken on that meaning, just the same as nigger. For those saying people are too easily offended and that it's fine to call a transformer 'spastic' (still waiting to see what gems the bio holds..), I assume then that you would be fine with the next toy in the line being called 'Nigger'?

Even without appreciation of the offensiveness, spastic still simply means someone with cerebral palsy, so when for example Tiger Woods said in 2006 'I played like a spaz', he was saying both 'I played in a useless and incompetent way' and 'I played like someone who had cerebral palsy', therefore attaching negative connotations and false stereotypes to people with cerbral palsy.

NOT OK.This is why Tiger Woods had to give a grovelling apology to the media over it. Look it up.

And for those of you who mistakenly believe that this is only a UK term, ADAPT is an american disability rights organisation:

When people say 'you're such a spaz' they're talking about someone with cerebral palsy," says Nancy Salandra from Philadelphia ADAPT. "People use it all the time but they are wrong. It's part of the language now, like retard, but it doesn't make it right."

"I would think that anybody in the disability community would see it as offensive," says Babs Johnson of National ADAPT. "It would be looked upon as someone having a fit or seizure or something like that. Body movements that you're not able to control."
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Re: Transformers Spastic name debate makes Scottish news papers weird section

Postby Dead Metal » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:17 am

Motto: "Don't do drugs, beer's cheaper anyway!"
Seibertron wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:Comparing the n-word to "spaz" is a poor comparison. One was created with the intent to be demeaning the other was created with a non-offensive intent.

A more appropriate comparison would be with the word "fag".

Also, I have no intent to clarify the nature in which we discuss these words. Clearly this is a matter of simple discourse and not an opportunity to use ugly words in glib fashion.


"Fag" is a perfect example of this situation with the word "spastic" -- but in reverse. Are cigarettes still referred to as "fags" in the UK or is use of "fag" dwindling as a common word for cigarettes?

Yes, at least the places I go to.


Well to the topic of Spastic, it's not just English speaking countries that use the word as a derogatory term, but also Germany, usually spelt as "Spastiker", "Spasti", with the later being even stronger.


I predict that this toy will be freaking expensive down the line, especially in box.
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Intah-wib-buls?

Blurrz wrote:10/10

Leave it to Dead Metal to have the word 'Pronz' in his signature.
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