Offensive terms: Oriental

July 21, 2005: Issue 97

In general, the term Asian is preferred over Oriental, which Web 11 says is “sometimes offensive.” The exceptions are fixed expressions, such as Oriental rug or Oriental poppy. When possible, avoid the issue by being more specific about a country or region of origin or influence.

incorrect: an Oriental-style screen
acceptable: an Asian-style screen
preferred: a Japanese-style screen

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