10 MARCH 1928, Page 39


{To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR.—If the people of China prefer to be called Chinese rather than Chinamen, their wish is to be respected, but there is • nothing inelegant—or even, as I have heard suggested, insulting—in the word Chinaman.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the sub- stantive China was regularly used as an adjective. - Witness the phrases which are still current in our own day : China seas, ports, trade ; China rose, crape, orange. Therefore, it was as natural to write Chinaman as Frenchman or English- man. A like tendency is seen in the fortis India gauze and Tsdisinsli, bitt hare theisiriciehieht word Naga was at h'a'iid to use; whereas nci. One could write Chincin, • We are now. asked to reverse the original process, and use ttie-adjeetlire as iubitantilie! The eiihteerith century was feeling after something of the kind, for I have come across the form " certain. Chineses " in a letter.—I am, Sir, &c.,