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17.7.07

A Note On Names

Just a word of advice to anyone who doesn't know a lot about Australia: every now and then I notice someone using the word "Aboriginal" as a noun when referring to the indigenous people of Australia -- e.g. "Aboriginals are discriminated against in Australian society." This is considered archaic and offensive, a bit like "colored people" in the US. "Aboriginal" is fine as an adjective, but the noun is "Aborigine" (or "Aboriginal person"). Or you could say "indigenous Australian," which has the advantage of including the Torres Strait Islanders as well as the Aborigines. (My impression, which I don't have any definite information on, is that the use of "Aboriginal" as a noun is more acceptable in Canada for referring to that country's indigenous people.)

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