Monday, November 19, 2007

Ho, Ho, Hokum

In case you missed this over the weekend: Shopping center Santa Clauses in Adelaide, Austraila were instructed to no longer use the phrase "Ho, Ho, Ho" anymore:
THERE'LL be no ho, ho, ho this Christmas. Aspiring Santas have been told not to use the term "ho" because it could be seen as derogatory to women.

Thirty trainees at a Santa course in Adelaide last month, held by recruitment company Westaff, were urged to replace the traditional festive greeting with "ha, ha, ha".

A Santa veteran of 11 years who attended the course told the Sunday Mail the trainer was very clear in spelling out no to "ho".

Two Santa hopefuls reportedly left the course after the trainer's edict.

The term "ho" is also American slang for a prostitute. "We were told it (ho) was a derogatory term for females and can upset people," said the Santa, who did not want to be identified publicly.

"As far as I'm concerned, a hoe is something you dig the ground with.

"I don't think you'll hear too many Santas saying `ha, ha, ha'."

Critics have branded the instruction for Santas to use "Ha! ha! ha! Merry Christmas" as nonsense and madness.
I totally agree. As someone pointed out in the linked story, it's not like we're going to stop using our garden hoes (or even our garden hose, since it's the spoken word we're talking about here). And Westaff also argues that the traditional greeting is scary to little children...but it seems like "Ha, Ha, Ha" would be even more so.

This wouldn't be the first time that political correctness and Christmas have collided (since the word itself is often considered un-PC in schools, for example). In case you missed it, here are a few examples from last year's holiday season.

(On a related subject--seeing as how it's summer in Australia at Christmastime, I used to wonder if that affected Santa's costume at all. My Australian blogger buddy James discusses that in the comments to this post.)

Let there be lights...already? I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'd already seen a few Christmas lights up on houses and a tree in a shopping center parking lot. Some of Lileks' commenters at also noted last week that the decorations seem to be going up earlier and earlier (including a sighting in Nebraska of someone putting up their lights this past weekend in shorts and a T-shirt). And on my way home tonight, I saw multiple lighted houses on the same block. This Thursday is the earliest possible day that Thanksgiving can be, but still Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier.

No comments: