In an act of utter Parliamentary pusillanimity, members have declared that the traditional pudding served in the Stranger’s Dining Room would be stripped of its name, “The Spotted Dick.” For generations, ordering the Spotted Dick has been the subject of good-natured chuckles and teasing. However, the current members appear constantly on the lookout for any term or practice that can sanitized as socially or culturally offensive. So, the pudding will now be called “Spotted Richard” – a change that is entirely divorced from any connection to the original meaning of the dish. The proof is in the pudding, but Parliament does not give a wit for the historical meaning of eating a dick.
“Dick” was simply an old English term for pudding. Thus, the change to Richard is based on the false pretense that Dick as nickname for Richard.
That simply does not matter to language police. We have seen the same sanitation of terms at colleges and universities. As we previously discussed, various schools like Harvard have dropped the term “master” even though it has absolutely no connection to slavery. The term “master” was originally derived from words like “schoolmaster” and “headmaster” and have long been a tradition at such esteemed institutions as Oxford and Cambridge. Nevertheless, students and faculty have objected to possible connotations of racism and slavery.
I fail to understand why there is a refusal to simply educate people on the meaning or origins of such terms. In this case, the confusion by some can be met by the welcomed news that the term is a reference to pudding.
The Telegraph and other newspapers however report that members were discomforted by the menu item. MP Andrea Jenkyns is quoted as saying that she had “to bite on my lip to stop myself from laughing” when ordered the dish. How terribly inconvenient. So to avoid the lip biting, the Parliament changed history and ignored historical meaning – a curious move for a nation that attracts tourists with the appeal of historical sites and relics.