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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 16:37 GMT
Police outlaw 'fenians and huns'
Life on Mars
Terms used by DCI Gene Hunt in Life on Mars are outlawed
Fenian, hun, taig and jaffa are among the terms outlawed for police officers in a pamphlet which outlines to them how to avoid causing offence.

The Guide to Appropriate Language has various categories of words and suggests acceptable alternatives.

Religion, minority ethnic communities, gay people, women and transsexuals are among the linguistic issues covered.

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde says in his foreword that using the right language "sends an important message".

"It is essential that we take a lead in using language that does not exclude colleagues or members of the community, does not stereotype and always shows a wholehearted commitment to supporting our Equal Opportunities Policy," said Sir Hugh.

Catholics should not be called fenians, taigs, chucks or spongers, while Protestants should not be referred to as huns, black, prods or jaffas, the booklet says.

It is intended to help avoid the unintentional offence caused by unthinking use of language and to improve relationships between officers, staff and across the whole community
PSNI Guide to Appropriate Language
There is one exception to the use of fenian, but it is probably rarely used.

"It may be perfectly acceptable to use it in an appropriate historical context, for example, if referring to the Fenian Brotherhood," it says.

Officers are advised that if a witness uses language which is not politically correct, they should use speech marks to attribute this when taking a statement.

Terms which could be used by Life on Mars' 1970s old-school cop DCI Gene Hunt are also banned when referring to the gay community.

When it comes to older members of the population, police should not call them geriatric, old codgers or say someone is "just like an aul' woman".

"Old can carry connotations of being worn-out and of little further use. It can also be used as a term of abuse," says the booklet.

The booklet is "intended to help avoid the unintentional offence caused by unthinking use of language and to improve relationships between officers, staff and across the whole community".

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