Calling Scottish people 'Jocks' is fine, rules TV watchdog - but 'Taff' IS offensive( so Jeremy Clarkson's definitely in trouble)
- Ofcom has ranked offensive terms on scale from 'mild' to 'strongest'
- 'Jock' was deemed of 'limited concern' and on par with 'Nazi' or 'Hun'
- They were viewed as less shocking then calling a Welsh person a 'Taff'
- Jeremy Clarkson would have been in trouble over use of word 'slope'
It is a term that has divided Scotland for centuries - with some viewing it as a friendly nickname and other condemning it as an insult.
But the word 'Jock' has been deemed of 'limited concern' and on par with calling someone a 'Nazi' or 'Hun' by the communications watchdog Ofcom.
They were all viewed as less shocking than referring to a Welsh person as a 'Taff' - a slang term which derives from the River Taff which runs through Cardiff.
The regulator has published a document that ranks offensive terms on a scale from 'mild' to 'strongest'.
Jeremy Clarkson was caught up in a racism row in May 2014 when he was accused of saying the word 'n*****' in unaired footage (shown) - a claim which he has denied
And Jeremy Clarkson would certainly have been in trouble if his previous gaffes on Top Gear are anything to go by.
He was caught up in racism row in May 2014 when he was heard reciting the rhyme 'eeny, meeny, miny, mo' before apparently muttering 'catch a n***** by his toe'.
The presenter denied claims he used the word - which was classed as 'highly unacceptable' by Ofcom.
Just months later Clarkson was forced to apologise when he used a 'racial term' in the show's Burma special.
After watching an Asian man walking on a makeshift bridge over the River Kwai, Clarkson declared: 'That is a proud moment - but there is a slope on it.'
The word 'slope' was found to be 'generally unacceptable' by the watchdog.
Ofcom's rankings have raised eyebrows, especially concerning how the word 'Jock' is no more or less offensive than the word 'Nazi', which Ofcom also deemed 'mild'.
'Hun', which Rangers fans have lobbied to make a hate crime when used in a footballing context, was also deemed 'mild'.
The report, Attitudes to Potentially Offensive Language and Gestures on TV and Radio, was based on a survey of 248 people in the UK.
It states that 'Jock' is 'seen as an informal and humorous term…' which did not offend Scots who took part in the survey.
After watching an Asian man walking on a bridge over the River Kwai, Clarkson declared: 'That is a proud moment - but there is a slope on it'. This found found to be 'generally unacceptable'
The report authors judge 'Nazi' in identical terms, saying it is: 'Acceptable as a factual description when discussing Germany under Hitler and subsequent extreme Right-wing groups.
'[It is] potentially offensive if used in a modern context to insult German people.'
'Ginger' is deemed funny and described as 'mild language, generally of little concern… typically viewed as a humorous insult, however, more aggression or specific intent to hurt heightens impact'.
The term 'Hun', sometimes used as a derogatory term for Rangers fans, is described as 'mild language, generally of little concern… however, seen as less acceptable by those familiar with the history and use of the term as a sectarian insult'.
The report states that some interviewees who were unaware of its use as an insult assumed it was an abbreviation of 'Honey'.
'Taff', a derogatory term for a Welsh person, is considered more offensive than 'Jock' and is described as 'medium language, potentially unacceptable... uncertainty outside Wales about how offensive it is to Welsh people'.
Scots took to social media to react angrily to the findings.
One Reddit user said of the word 'Jock': 'I don't think I've seen it used in a jovial, joking way… not by the public anyway.'
Another said: 'It's all about the context. When I'm working in London and one of my colleagues makes a smiling comment about 'you Jocks', I don't find that offensive. When someone in a pub in London has a go at me for being a 'dirty Jock b*****d', I find the term offensive.'
A third user wrote: 'Thanks Ofcom for telling us Jocks that we've not to be offended by that term.'
The Ofcom report states: 'Participants in the research found it hard to make overall judgments about individual words or gestures without taking into account the specific context.
'In some cases, they gave their views on the acceptability of words without being provided with detail about how a specific word might have been used.'
Last week, the BBC was accused of racism after 'Jock' appeared in a headline in a story about the Scottish economy.
Nationalist MP Carol Monaghan ignited a debate on Twitter after criticising the 'unacceptable' headline and comparing it to 'any other racist slur'.
Do you find the term 'Jock' offensive? Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
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