The offensive ho

In the eyes of the Poorhouse, on many occasions the cry of "political correctness has gone mad" is apparently used to prefix some overt racist / sexist / homophobic or other similar statement. Now and then however a silly example does pop up showing some probably well-meaning idiot's attempt to remove offence where none was likely to be taken anyway.

For example, there's the current regulations for Santas (oops, yes kiddies, there is actually more than one Santa! But don't worry, they all love you very much) in Sydney. It seems that the traditional "ho ho ho" Father Christmas greeting is in danger of cultural removal, because it is in danger of being offensive to hos women who like to make money without even getting out of bed.

It has been reported in the Daily Telegraph (via Yahoo news) that one ex-Santa claimed that:

...a recruitment firm warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could frighten children and was too close to "ho", a US slang term for prostitute.

The Santa-training firm concerned was Westaff, and the news of this seasonal silliness caused so much raucous on the web-waves that they went on to issue a press release claiming that these stories of ho-banning were "misleading".

Nonetheless Sari Hegarty, Westaff's national Santa co-ordinator (now that is a special job title) has been quoted as saying:

We ask our Santas to try techniques such as lowering their tone of voice and using 'ha ha ha' to encourage the children to come forward and meet Santa

...which is hardly the world's best denial of said events taking place. Apparently at least 2 Santas have resigned in disgust that these new guidelines. Certain stores such as David Jones and Myers are coming out proudly proclaiming that their Santas are acting uncensored, for a kids who still like a good triple ho.


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