LINK: Gonna have to diagree with Eugene Volokh about this one:

"What's with those Jewish people?

Why do some people think that it's more polite to say "Jewish people" than "Jews"? I've heard some people say that "Jews" is somehow considered rude, and "Jewish people" is better, but I just don't see why.

Does anyone know the story here? People don't generally say "black people," "Catholic people," or "female people." Why should they call us "Jewish people" rather than just "Jews"? I don't quite get it.

(I'm not saying that "Jewish people" is wrong -- if you want to say that, it's fine with me, though it will sound affected to me and people who think like me, at least until we're persuaded that "Jews" is somehow bad.)"

I generally don't say "Jews," because I'm pretty clear on which people call Jews 'Jews,' and they're not the sort of people I like being associated with. But it also seems to me that Eugene's wrong about "black people," because you'd presumably not refer to, say, a family of 'blacks,' or (another possibility) a group of 'gays.'

Now, I'm just sort of arguing usage here, and not what things prescriptively ought to be (that's a first, isn't it, Dara?), but it seems pretty clear to me that some people could take serious offense to 'Jews,' 'blacks,' or 'gays,' and no one will be particularly offended if you use the longer terms, so, rules of civility being what they are, you alter your speech patterns to make them as (reasonably) inoffensive as possible.

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