The American Caliban (substitute) wrote,
The American Caliban

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The following is a fatwa or blogular bull about the word "tribal."

The word may still be used. However, the following rules apply:
  • It may not be used as a noun ("Justin has a tribal on his left thigh.")

  • When used as an adjective, the word must refer to specific tribes or groups of tribes, as in: "Each of the chiefs heads his own tribal council" or "It is a tribal custom here to leave a little grain outside thet door for the spirits." Useage of the form "I guess they're really tribal there" or "I saw a show about some tribal people who ate yams" is forbidden. The word does not refer to brown-skinned people with insufficient pants who live in rural areas.

  • There is no style of art or music that can or should be called "tribal." Each tribe within each culture has particular styles in the arts and they are all different from each other. The word does not refer to vaguely African or Native American patterns in art or rhythmic music. The music of the Israelite tribes, for example, is notably different from that of the Zulu. Useage such as "These tribal beat loops are gonna be great in my epic techno song" or "They're having a sale at Target on those tribal pattern shower curtains" is forbidden.
Those who break these rules will be forced to pronounce the word as "tribble" for one year and live on fufu.
Tags: language
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