Now, if you were someone who witnessed this scene, wouldn't it sound a bit odd to describe it like this:
"I was laughing to myself because it was the first time I have seen people naked."Why say there were naked people, when there was only one? Why would an adult not have ever seen a person or people naked before, as the quote implies?
The answer lies in that the term people used here is a euphemism for Aboriginal person/people. What the above quote really means is "...it was the first time I have seen an Aboriginal person naked". In this usage, 'people' is a euphemism resulting from political correctness and the anxiety that many non-Indigenous people feel regarding the way we refer to Aboriginal people. So even though the article that reported on this incident doesn't mention that they naked guy was Aboriginal, my forensic linguistic skills allow me to pretty confidently deduce that he was. (And no, not because I'm adhering to stereotypes of Aboriginal people that relate to high incarceration rates and their over-representation in the justice system).
It's not at all uncommon for non-Aboriginal people in the NT, who are (self)-conscious about how they talk about Aboriginal people, to use a generic word like 'people' in this odd way when they are actually referring specifically to Aboriginal people. I remember talking to a friend recently who said something like:
"People don't like to work in the afternoon".Which 'people' was she talking about? Why not just say 'we'? From the context of the conversation it was clear that what was really meant was 'they', as in "they (people in remote community X) don't like to work in the afternoon (they prefer to work in the morning)". But without context, the utterance sounds rather bizarre.
|'Otherness' is kinda funny when you |
use it to take the piss out of yourself
Which is kind of a good thing I suppose. Except that we sometimes end up sounding dumb. As in the examples above.