This weekend someone brought to my attention that I’ve made somewhat of a faux pas in my writing, which made me thoroughly embarrassed and spurred to me to check it out further. So this blog post is somewhat of an explanation/apology/Nem face-palming.
(I have not read or looked at wherever this was mentioned online as I make a point of not reading reviews for my work unless the reviewer sends it directly to me.)
I’ve been told it’s offensive to call someone a donkey in the Middle East and some folks have pointed this out in regards to Owen referring to Maredudd as ‘Donkey Lashes’ and saying he works hard like a donkey. This is where the curiosity of language comes into play. I went onto Google and did a little searching, which perhaps I should have done in the beginning, but even if I had, I’m not sure it would have saved me. I wasn’t able to find much that would be of help, but I’m not going to discount what I’ve been told.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have referred to Maredudd in such a way if I knew it might upset someone and also if I thought someone might think I held those views myself. I love Maredudd very much and I think Owen would be upset if he knew he might have said something to offend him too. I come from a place of knowing what it’s like to be insulted on a daily basis, I would never have written something to insult another person on purpose.
I want to talk a little about the phrase ‘Donkey Lashes’ and why it’s important to me as a British person. Owen uses it in the book as a term of endearment, and it’s one that I have often used for my wife, so when I wrote it, I meant it in an entirely affectionate manner. Being vegan, I am also very fond of farm animals, in particular donkeys and ponies. I’m not the only one who has used it in a complimentary way:
Thick eyelashes are very attractive! Also, working hard as a donkey is seen to be a trait of reliability, hardiness and attentiveness to one’s work in British language.
Most of all, what I wanted to say is, my intention here is to clear up any misunderstanding by explaining how I used to the word, but also to say that it was not my intention to offend anybody and for that I apologise. In my obsession with researching Welsh and West Country dialect, I neglected to look up Middle Eastern dialect too, so I suppose this is a learning experience for me and I’ll try better next time.