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Hello,

I've read on the internet about English natives who'd use the expresion " Confucius say... " before telling an unfunny joke, or a short vulgar adage... Possibly aping a heavy Chinese accent, which is I guess strengthened by the tense mistake.

Is it frequently used by some people (and what type of people ?), and is the goal to make fun about Chinese immigrants who don't speak English very well ?
Is it not considered as a racist expression ?
New Member03
Stein-OlbaumIs it not considered as a racist expression ?

Certainly not! - why are you trying to use a harmless expression and turn it into some sort of racist comment. Get a life!

BillJ
Contributing Member1,474
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I am not trying to turn anything into racist stuff, or to warp the meaning of that expression.
Though, I am not an English native, and I am therefore asking an innocent question about an expression that sounds strange to me.
If you consider it harmless, could develop a bit ?
Would you use in spoken language ? Why, in which circumstances ?

And please, do not be aggressive with me, I'm trying to be polite Emotion: smile

Have a nice day.
It's not a common joke in America anymore.

Though using the accent can be considered racist (though someone using non-Asian accents never seems to be considered racist), the jokes I've heard didn't have anything to do with immigrants.
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Hi,

Yes, I certainly wouldn't say the phrase was or is used with malice intended.

Neverthless, it's not a phrase I would be likely to use today in the presence of my Chinese friends.

Clive
Veteran Member69,521
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It's also an incorrect assumption to say it comes before a vulgar adage or an unfunny joke.

I don't recall hearing it with the incorrect grammar either. Maybe that was more common elsewhere.

As Confucius says... and then you say something that he would never have said.

As Confucius says, children who don't use good table manners should not expect dessert.
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Well, there is plenty of vulgarity and humor of various quality on the internet:

http://www.angelfire.com/ok/ssplasher/xconfucious.html

http://www.jokesnjokes.net/funny.jokes.amusing.humor.laughs/Wisdom/confucius001.htm

http://www.mustsharejokes.com/page/Confucius+Say+Jokes

http://www.let.uu.nl/~ora.matushansky/personal/confucius.html

et cetera, et cetera. None of them seem racist; it is a fixed phrase, but an unfortunate relic of times when political correctness was not a concern.
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Confucius says (with an s) is a translation of 子曰 (apology to anyone who can't read Chinese). It is a phrase used repeated in the Analects of Confucius (論語). Confucianism has had tremendous influence on the culture of China and East Asia.

I am Chinese and such jokes do sound a bit racist to me, especially with the wrong grammar and accent.
Regular Member584
Confucius says (with an s) is...a phrase used repeated in the Analects of Confucius (論語). -- Interesting! I didn't know that, Pter.
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