It’s Black Friday. Below my mezzanine pew in a Next store coffee house at The Springs, east Leeds, I’m greeted by the sights of ‘70% off – Black Friday’ signages, along with a throng of excited customers seeking to take advantage of the franchise’s benevolence.

Even though I’m not in the market for new clothes, if I’d not inadvertently left my debit/credit cards at home, I’d have no doubt had my head swayed to join them with an impulse purchase or two.

Thankfully, while dressing I wasn’t remiss enough not to pick up my loose change from my bedside cabinet. Consequently, I’d enough funds on my person to acquire an Americano with milk – A much required caffeine infused accompaniment while penning these musings shortly after reveille.

Experience tells me I’ve greater creative wherewithal before the sun ventures over the yardarm, however, these epiphanies ordinarily require a jumpstart from a set of metaphorical caffeinated jump leads.

Seeing the ‘70% off – Black Friday’ signs is veering me down a political correctness (PC) path I ordinarily seek to avoid like the Black Plague (or Black Death as it’s sometimes know).

Although being dragged down this avenue kicking and screaming, yours truly can’t help feel intrigued what the PC edicts are for naming conventions with a prefix of ‘Black’. This fascination not manifesting from notions individuals are too easily offended these day and address their behaviour accordingly. Moreover, from filling knowledge voids at which utterances containing the adjective black are inappropriate.

For instance, from my understanding, at some juncture within the not too distant past use of the terms blackboard and the nursery rhyme ‘bah bah black sheep’ have been deemed as not appropriate for a modern cosmopolitan and inclusive society.

However, from a personal point of view, the perpetrators of these noble sentiments who deliver their advocacies from position well-meaning, bafflingly appear to lack consistency of edict. Proved by the fact Black Friday, Black Death and Black Plague are deemed acceptable sayings.


Even more confusing is blackboard describes a chalk board which is black, and the sheep in the nursery rhyme is black. In other words the colour noir is merely attempting to add to the description, without any overt hint of racial connotation.

Conversely, Black Friday, Black Death and Black Plague are all terms that have no descriptive need for the addition of the word black, ie they’re expressions which could just as easily be called Blue Friday, Great Plague or Red Death….. Hence my confusion and request for consistency.

I’m not advocating the word black should utilised, or indeed demonised as an adjective in the English language; I’ve far greater things to worry about. All I’m doing in this at times disjointed literal ramble is asking for clarity as to what’s deemed acceptable usage of the word black.

As a consequence of this bewilderment, until I get clarity I’m going to refer to the days/events referenced above as Day of Colour, Plague of Colour and Death of Colour.

As a footnote, these observations aren’t made from position pulpit***. I’m a big believer in inclusivity, and from existential experience I’m aware there’s good and bad individuals in all races, creeds, societies and colours.

As the Luxembourg philosopher Erst While once posited “Show me a society of chaste virtue and I’ll give you my internet banking sign on details!”…… In his pomp the academic While was said to be ahead of his time, an opinion backed by the fact he made the internet banking comment in 1897!

*** – Position Pulpit – An expression meaning preachy.