We can all remember a more innocent time, driving through the country-side and spying a copse of 'black boys' -- how they cheered our hearts as we imagined them to be a clutch of aboriginal youths, waving at us merrily from some delightful patch of dirt.
Of course, it was not so long ago that the bureaucrats, wowsers and pointyheads got together and deemed that it was unacceptable to call this happy plant a 'black boy' -- for reasons that remain beyond me to to this day. But this band of black-hearted killjoys did not stop with this humble plant in their bid to cast a dark pall upon the human spirit by way of sucking the poetry from our noble language. Alas not!
Therefore, more in sadness than anything else, I present two further kingly representatives of the plant kingdom whose true names were torn from the bosom of our English tongue:
The money-grasping, hook-nosed Jew bush
Alas this shrub, first named by Joseph Banks in 1785 in respectful homage to his wife's Hebraic physician, no longer wears this name. Today it goes by the rather more soulless sobriquet of the 'Eastern Sunrise Tree.' Hardly rolls off the tongue, does it? Chalk up another victory to the spineless technocrats in Canberra.
The get-your-tahini-and-dirt-encrusted-toes-off-of-our-golden beaches, you monobrow-sporting, bath-and-bacon-dodging lebbo thug bush
Another piece of our history seemingly gone forever, this plant is now called the 'Levantine Banksia'. These new words, which taste to me of urban decay and corrupt centralised government, stiffen and rot in my very mouth. And this is progress?
I weep sometimes as I look back on this earlier less suspicious time when we knew where we stood as a nation, did not have to lock our doors at night and knew that words could be relied on with the solidity of housing bricks. Today, negotiating the shifting sands of our 'politically correct' but poetically stagnant 'culture' surely means giving up another tiny piece of our soul that we will never get back...