'Chav' is a weapon of class hatred and should be banned
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/...59_233x555.jpg Vicky Pollard: Teen Queen of the Chavs
The word 'chav' is a weapon of class hatred and should be banned, Left-wing academics claim.
The Fabian Society believes the term, a common derogatory expression for a brash white working-class person, is offensive.
It wants to silence those who use it to describe loutish types in Burberry baseball caps, scraped-back hairdos and clanking fake gold 'bling' jewellery.
The obnoxious teenage single mother Vicky Pollard, played by Matt Lucas in the BBC comedy Little Britain, is a prime example.
Tom Hampson, The Fabian Society's editorial director, said the word chav must be banished from enlightened circles.
It should not be acceptable to anyone who believes they are 'progressive' in their politics, he said.
'You cannot consider yourself of the Left and use the word,' he added.
'It is sneering and patronising and, perhaps most dangerous, it is distancing, turning the chav into the kind of feral beast that exists only in tabloid headlines.
'This is middle-class hatred of the white working class - pure and simple.'
Mr Hampson, writing in the quarterly Fabian Review, argues that the word chav is 'way above' the threshold of acceptability. 'It is deeply offensive to a largely voiceless group and - especially when used in normal middleclass conversation or on national TV - it betrays a deep and revealing level of class hatred.'
He highlighted the word's derogatory foundations by pointing to a website called chavscum.com, in which people were ridiculed.
But he fears chav is becoming a much more widely acceptable term in general society.
'The phenomenon of the word has grown over the last five years', he said.
'Initially, it was purely a term of abuse. You only have to visit the website chavscum.com to see this - have a look at it and be appalled.
'But more recently it has become rather more insidious than that because it is so much more widely used.
'It is worse than other forms of snobbery because it so clearly links poverty and being working class to criminality and fecklessness.
'From now on - embarrassingly PC though it may seem - we shall audibly "tut tut" and wince whenever we hear the word used. You should too.'
But not everyone subscribes to the theory that the word represents a barrage of class hatred.
Experts from the Queen's English Society argue that chav is hardly more offensive than other common terms for the common.
'The word chav is no more offensive than the term yob or layabout,' said committee member Michael Gorman. 'It does not invoke class hatred.
'I am sure that it is offensive for an individual to be on the receiving end but the problem is that language is sometimes intended to convey these sentiments.'
Both 'chav' and 'bling' are in contention to be among the 'words of the century' in a list being drawn up by the Oxford English Dictionary.
'Chav' is a weapon of class hatred and should be banned, claims think tank | Mail Online