[ExI] sturgis - washington post

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 22 23:51:52 UTC 2020

On Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 1:47 PM spike jones via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Thanks BillK.  I had always heard that limes were better because the sailors
> could drink it in higher concentrations, being a bit less acidic than lemon
> juice.  In any case, I am one who adheres to the notion that nations can
> perfectly legitimately be nicknamed by a favorite food or an oddball choice.
> Brits eat like everyone else of course, but that whole lime juice with the
> sailors business just calls out for a gentle non-insulting nickname.

I'm not sure it was intended as non-insulting at the time it arose.
After all, the people using it could've just called them Brits -- if
they wanted to underscore their nation of origin (which in many
contexts already seems vaguely insulting) -- or used their personal

> I see nothing at all insulting about using food to identify people.

Well, usually you have to ask the person being so identified rather
than just ask yourself if you don't find it insulting to label them
that way.

> Food is
> obviously a choice, and there is nothing at all there referencing race, our
> super-sensitive hot button of modern times.  So why not?  Brits can be
> limeys,

Another problem: the term originally arose to refer (probably
intentionally to insult) to British sailors and not Britons in

> Swedes can be meatballs, Swiss can be chocolate bars, Germans
> krauts, French can be frogs,

The terms you're using for Germans and for French were originated as
slurs against those people.

> Italians can be pastas or pizzas.  Yanks I
> suppose can be hamburgers (I don't know this firsthand, but I have heard
> USian travelers abroad have a hard time finding McDonalds and Burger King,
> two of our staple diet favorites.)

I've never wanted to eat fast food burgers abroad, but McDonald's are
in many nations. They're probably in any nation most here are likely
to visit -- over 119 in total. Their menu does vary by nation. See:


Burger King is in far fewer, but still impressive:


My guess is if you want a burger outside the US, you'll probably have
little problem finding one. Also, major cities around the world tend
to have international cuisine. For a foreign city, US-American food
would be included under 'international.' (This is similar to how major
US cities tend to have cuisine from other nations. Of course, whether
it's authentic in any of these cases depends.)

> The international team Chess Olympics are an example of an occasion where
> national teams need a nickname.  The British are the easiest: everyone
> always called them the limeys, and they were not bothered by that.  The
> nicknames do not need to be food, but that seems most innocuous to me.

They might not have been bothered or shown they were bothered. One
should be careful not to confuse merely being polite or civil with not
really being bothered. And, sure, name-calling probably rolls off many
people's backs -- or does so depending on context.

And there are Brits who don't like being called by the term. I
wouldn't just throw it around because somehow you don't think it
offends anyone. And, sure, some of this might be seen by some as
gentle humor and good fun, but one has to be careful knowing one's
audience. I have British friends and family. I never use the term
around them and I don't recall any of them calling me a 'Yank.' (Not
that I'd take offense.)

> Aside not having to do with food: at the Chess Olympics, the strongest two
> teams, or rather among the strongest teams in the world (nearly always in
> the world top 5) are from Armenia and Azerbaijan.  Considering current
> events, naturally this leads to tension.

Are chess participants more nationalistic than average? It'd be nice
to think that many of them don't simply hate other people because
they're from another nation. Maybe hate is too strong a term.


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