Malta has come a long way in everything from civil liberties to integration…ish. But for some reason, our vocabulary still lags behind a bit.
Many people complain that political correctness has gone too far, and that’s problematic, because certain non-issues are used as examples to knock down legitimate concerns with certain phrases. Here are a few local examples.
1. “My maid”
How is the whole country trapped in a Victorian-era novel, complete with Downton Abbey vocabulary?
2. “My Filippina”
Yes, we’re aware that a lot of live-in carers are from the Philippines, but how many times have you heard: “You know, my nanna has a Filippina“.
3. “Coloured people”
Unless you’re permanently living in a black and white Insta filter, everyone is technically coloured. Please stop referring to black people as ‘coloured’.
“The word “coloured” is offensive because it removes an element of humanity from people. Ribena is coloured, walls are coloured, people may be of colour but they are not coloured.”
4. “Dak/dik disabled”
A person may have a disability, but they’re not gonna be thrilled at being labeled as ‘disabled’. They’re more than just their disability, they’re a person, and one aspect of their life is said disability.
5. “Jidher imxaqleb”
The equivalent of saying bent, this one is usually an umbrella term for feminine men, gay people, trans people or anyone not conforming to the generic male image.
6. “S/he’s a miskin/a ta”
This one really shouldn’t need explaining. A “poor dear” is not an official diagnosis.
7. “Dak parking tal-handicaps”
Please see point four above.