Turmoil! A cricketer "of Pakistani Cultural Heritage" has caused mayhem at Yorkshire County Cricket Club ... for whom he once played ... by revealing how upset he had been, some years ago, when his cricketing associates "used the P-word".
Little does he appear to understand the Culture of Yorkshire: until quite recently they would not allow anyone to play cricket for the County who had not been born therein. Yorkshire men and women have since time immemorial, if we are to believe the reputation they have among their fellow Brits, felt the need to prop up their self-esteem by adopting an attitude of rough hostility towards all outsiders, whether we be from Essex or from Waziristan. Personally, I only risk travelling through that county if I am in a heavily armed convoy.
Amusingly, it transpired that the player concerned had himself once used on "personal media" some extremely derogatory tropes about Jews.
Er ... 'greenhouses', you murmur to me ... indeed ... but he did such a rapid formulaic grovel that now everybody seems completely happy about him. Except me.
The "P-word" is, I presume, not "pope" but "Paki", which, like "Nigger", is not supposed to be uttered or written nowadays, even in academic papers or discussions condemning the usage. So it is written "P***". (How would that look in Egyptian hieroglyphs or Linear B ideograms?)
Doing that makes it perfectly All Right. Yes, Mr Man From Mars, that is how mad this planet has become!!
But demeaning expressions about other distinct groups, cultural or racial, are part of our rich heritage in this sceptred isle; "weaved into it", as the Beeb bimbos would say. Some of the earliest texts to survive in our country come from the Roman military establishments along Hadrian's Wall. Excavation of the CO's archive at Vindolanda yielded a new word (in Vindolanda tablet 164) for the Latin lexicon: Brittunculi. " ... gladis non utuntur equites nec residunt Brittunculi ut iaculos mittant ..." [their cavalry do not use swords nor do the B********** mount in order to throw javelins ...".] 'Brittunculus' is, of course, a diminutive. (Just possibly, an indelicacy may lurk in its two final syllables.)
Latin uses diminutives to express endearment or, more usually, disdain. The Officer who wrote that memorandum had clearly not received adequate Staff College training about cultural sensitivity (or Latin grammar). Perhaps, even now, it is not too late for him to be posthumously named, held up to ridicule, and cashiered.
Yeah ... lets go for it!
Another early English example of this phenomenon comes in the Historia Ecclesiastica of S Bede the Venerable. He records an 'Anglo-Saxon' King of East Anglia who had received Christian initiation in Kent but who, after his return home, was persuaded by his wife to set up an inter-faith complex ("fanum") containing "altare ad sacrificium Christi" combined with an "arula ad victimas daemoniorum". "Arula" is a contemptuous diminutive of "ara", altar.
YES!!!!! S Bede, sadly, was very Rigid ... he would not have gone far in a Bergoglian Church. But King Reduald (and a fortiori his wife) was a fully paid-up protoBergoglian, convinced that God willed ('permissively', of course) a diversity of religions.
Homunculus ... latrunculus ... tirunculus ... muliercula ... Latin abounds in such jolly and demeaning diminutives, although I anticipate that someone may soon issue a Latin Dictionary excluding all such invidious and unprintable terms. Or sanitising them by the Wokeish magic of asteriscification.
Occasionally, a Latin Contemptuous Diminutive has crept from Latin across into the English Language. Beerbohm wrote of Oxford that "There are the virguncules of Somerville and Lady Margaret Hall, but beauty and the lust for learning have yet to be allied".
Personally, I have an invariable rule, that the certainly Incomparable and probably Divine Max is, like a member of the Junta (the Myrmidons?), never wrong. Were I not in the grip of this inflexible certainty, I would say that in this passage he has strayed much too far into the a priori; even, possibly, that he, as his enormous American Rhodes Scholar Oover would put it, "is not a white man".
Moi, I am, like you, dear reader, an empiricist.
Post Scriptum: Would EBORACELLI be a suitable Latin diminutive for Yorkshiremen?