"Polya" vs."poly"

Evie

Active member
Thanks Leetah.

Again, down here, right next to Polynesia (and Melanesia) Pacific Peoples do NOT refer to themselves as Polynesian or "Poly." They haven't for many years, although I did go to an after school club when I was in very early primary school called Poly Club where we learned the performing arts of the region.

But it's so outdated most gen y or below wouldn't even realise what it meant outside the brand name of Polyfest, a performing arts festival.

The new umbrella term is Pasifika or Pacific Peoples, but individuals will say where they are from specifically. Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Tokelau, Rarotonga, Niue and so on. Poly would be nigh on a slur.

I understand that there may be United States based Pacific Peoples who have retained the term Poly to self identify in a country where they are an extreme minority, but I am quite confident in stating that down here, it's just not done.

So polyamorous people down here don't even think twice about saying poly because it's simply contextual and the Polynesian context no longer exists.
 
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vinsanity0

Active member
Given that the original post this author quoted contained a racial epithet, I have to assume the whole thing was a troll job. Either that or ironic.
 

FallenAngelina

Active member
That author might have consulted more than just "a Polynesian person on Tumblr." As Evie explains, the terms Polynesian and Poly aren't even used by actual people in the region.
 
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FallenAngelina

Active member
The posted article is four years old and it's full of conjecture about what the Polynesian diaspora might be feeling. Does anyone have links to any current comments from Pacific Peoples because according to Evie, "the Polynesian context no longer exists."
 

Magdlyn

Active member
To save others from having to actually type in the search terms, here is an explanation. I don't know if it is still a thing or not, didn't look any further.

http://aidamanduley.com/2015/09/01/stop-saying-poly-when-you-mean-polyamorous/

Note at end of article:

Update 09/05/15: Unsurprisingly, I’ve heard from Polynesian folks on both sides of the issue. Some use “poly,” while others don’t. Some think it’s useful, while others don’t. Some use the ‘net regularly, while others don’t.

I dated a half Fijian guy earlier this year for several months. Not once did I hear him refer to himself as Polynesian. He used Fijian or "South Pacific guy" to describe his ethnicity on his mom's side.

Fiji isn't in Polynesia anyway. Maybe some South Pacific Islanders or Oceanic people use Polynesia as a lump term, despite the fact that the region consists of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia, as named by white explorers and colonialists.

I think the trend is towards naming the actual country you live in, and calling the entire region Oceania.

wiki:
Oceania is a region made up of thousands of islands throughout the Central and South Pacific Ocean. It includes Australia [as well as] three island regions: Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia (including the U.S. state of Hawaii).

I think we are fine, on a polyamory board, to use the term "poly" as shorthand for polyamory, and then to refer to polysexuality or polyromantic when being more specific.
 

MeeraReed

Member
Thanks for starting this separate thread. The abbreviate "polya" grates on me because it's so unpleasant. I have also seen "polyam," which is even worse, aesthetically. They look odd and are not pronounceable.

I think people's hearts were in the right place when they decided to take the internet complaint seriously and stop using "poly" as the abbreviation for polyamory. I get that they were trying to be supportive of what they thought was a real issue with cultural appropriation. But maybe just type out the full word "polyamory" instead of making an aesthetically grating and non-intuitive construction?

In addition, of course, the cultural appropriation issue turned out to be a false alarm. Actual Polynesian people weren't complaining about it. Across the globe, most Polynesian peoples don't refer to themselves as "Poly" except in a few regions (I think the UK was where they were having the "Poly Day" celebration for Polynesians).

And furthermore (this is the crux of the issue for me), a coincidentally identical abbreviation is NOT cultural appropriation. It's not as if the people who first coined the term polyamory were deliberately trying to refer to Polynesians.

Sometimes abbreviations are just the same, and it can be awkward and annoying. My brother is an engineer, and I do a double take every time he refers to "poly materials" or something.

I work in a Political Science department at a university. One of our adjunct professors abbreviates his class as "Poly Sci" (whereas everyone else writes Poli Sci). When that professor gives me materials to print and copy that have "Poly Sci" written on them, I correct it to eliminate this vile abomination. (And that's not because I'm poly, but because this abbreviation is flat-out wrong and terrible).

But, in general, sometimes you just have to accept that short forms and subgroup-specific terms can have other meanings in other contexts. When my mom, a retired teacher, says she's "subbing" for Mr. Brown next week...she's talking about substitute teaching. When my friend cheerfully says she just came from a CBT session...she means Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, not the kink also abbreviated CBT :)
 

Evie

Active member
Given that the original post this author quoted contained a racial epithet, I have to assume the whole thing was a troll job. Either that or ironic.

If you're referring to palagi, that's actually in common usage, just as pakeha is in Te Reo (Maori language) and they effectively mean the same thing.

(I can't actually spell them correctly with the dashes over the "a"s since I'm on my phone.)
 
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vinsanity0

Active member
If you're referring to palagi, that's actually in common usage, just as pakeha is in Te Reo (Maori language) and they effectively mean the same thing.

(I can't actually spell them correctly with the dashes over the "a"s since I'm on my phone.)

Lots of racial epiphets are in common usage.
 

Evie

Active member

Vicki82

Member
In my area at least, people who use this term are generally using it as a method of virtue signaling, so I find that it really grinds my gears.

I'm not saying it was the OP (I think it was Mango?) doing that- but I get irked when I see it because I think of the people who come to my local Facebook groups spoiling for a fight about terminology.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hmmm, good information, I feel like I now know something about both sides of the issue. I hope I'm not being uppity or colonial when I say that my personal issue about it is that the five extra letters (in "polyamory") do constitute a minor inconvenience, both in reading and in writing the word. Also I feel like if everyone understands the context, I mean it's not like someone is going to search for Polynesian discussion in a polyamorous forum. That and the fact that it's apparently not an issue even *in* Polynesia. Insisting on spelling the word out (in this forum) then unnecessarily complicates things. Although I agree I like the full spelling ("polyamory") a lot better than I do the abbreviations "polya" and "polyam." For me, that is. I wouldn't use the five/six-letter abbreviations myself when writing, just for stylistic reasons, but I don't mind if others do. As long as I know what the other person is trying to tell me, that's good enough.
 

ElMango

New member
Honestly I didn't really know about the whole slur thing.

I just switch between both because I like both :p
 

ref2018

Member
"Polyamory" is wrong anyway. It should be multiamory or polyphilia. They can use "multia" and "polyph" for short, just to avoid offending the millenials.
 

ElMango

New member
"Polyamory" is wrong anyway. It should be multiamory or polyphilia. They can use "multia" and "polyph" for short, just to avoid offending the millenials.


:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

Vicki82

Member
"Polyamory" is wrong anyway. It should be multiamory or polyphilia. They can use "multia" and "polyph" for short, just to avoid offending the millenials.

While I agree with you regarding language roots... I think it's a pretty lousy thing to work in trashing millennials.

I am not a millennial but the amount of negative crap that seems shoveled their way is a bit much, and this was pretty gratuitous.
 

ref2018

Member
While I agree with you regarding language roots... I think it's a pretty lousy thing to work in trashing millennials.

I am not a millennial but the amount of negative crap that seems shoveled their way is a bit much, and this was pretty gratuitous.


I am sorry you're offended on their behalf.
 

MeeraReed

Member
The Greek-Latin mashup of "polyamory" used to bother me too...until I figured out that a lot of English words combine Greek & Latin roots. (Heterosexual & homosexual, for example). It's how English works now.
 
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