If Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) has her way, the term "Oriental" will die with the last old folks who still use it.
Meng just successfully passed a bill by unanimous consent and with President Obama's final signature that strips from federal law the term used historically to describe Asian Americans.
Experts say the offensiveness of Oriental stems entirely from its historical context - it's associated with a time period when Asians had a subordinate status. The cultural historian Edward Said even popularized the term "Orientalism" in academia to refer to “patronizing Western attitudes towards Eastern societies that is used to justify Western imperialism.”
What images and connotations are conjured by the word? What are similar examples of words that are not slurs in and of themselves yet became offensive? How do you feel about the word and how have you heard it used?