[Tagging] religious bias - Re: Feature Proposal - Voting - (Chapel of rest)

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 4 22:27:48 UTC 2020

On Wed, 4 Nov 2020 at 20:50, Tom Pfeifer <t.pfeifer at computer.org> wrote:

> I was surprised that this tag is rushed into voting despite the arguments
> against it even here in the tagging list discussions.

The proposal itself contains paragraphs indicating it is a work in progress
rather than a finished proposal.  I would have commented but the wiki
is using a black-hole service that has blocked a large chunk of
addresses belonging to my mobile network because some open
proxies were detected.  This is not really ideal for a mobile
service where IP addresses are very volatile.

> Let's summarize the criticism first, and look into the alternative
> "mourning room"

Not in current use in British English.  And even when it was used, it
generally referred to the room in a house that we now call the
"living room."  See
Also not really suited to a large, dedicated building with more than one
for this purpose.  It's that "room" bit that is the problem.

* Vollis (the proposer) 18 Sep: ""chapel" will be opposed by some for being
> religiously connotated"

He was correct.  But it's rare for a proposal to get unanimous approval.

> * Peter Elderson 21 Sep: "I have heard mourning chapel, mourning room,
> funeral chapel, funeral room.
> Chapel of rest does not seem right to me"

As I understand it, English (British, American or any other variety) is not
Peter's first language.

> * Clifford Snow 24 Sep: "Chapel of Rest" sounds to me more like a
> marketing term not something we should be using in OSM.

What something "sounds like" to an individual is not a strong determinant of
its propriety.

> * Michael Patrick 24 Sep: 'Chapel of Rest' seems to be a dated UK specific
> term.

It's what they're known as in my part of the UK.  So still contemporary in
at least
parts of the UK.

> ... The euphemistic 'Chapel of Rest' is more generically known as 'Viewing
> /Visitation Service',

"amenity=visitatation_service" makes even less semantic sense than
"amenity=mourning_room."  It's not a term I've encountered, anyway.

> * 27 Sep: 'Chapel of Rest' seems to be one of those terms like 'Take the
> goat to the butcher...

That sentence no sense makes.

> * 28 Sep: since OSM is an international project, my practice is to make it
> as easy as possible for non-native English users.

That is why editors have translations of their presets.

> Indeed, the proposed value contains 'chapel' which is biased to christian
> religion.

It might be used in British English, however that is biased itself for
> having
Christianity as a cultural background.

Congratulations.  You have successfully argued that we must change from
using British English to the language of a country which has no
religious cultural background whatsoever.  Offhand, I can't think of
such a country but why should that stop us?

"Chapel of rest" is an euphemism that avoids death-related terminology,
> butmight be mistaken for a chapel where somebody could rest along a hiking
> or pilgrim route.

Except that the correct name for such a chapel is "chapel of ease" not
"chapel of rest."

> OSM is a map for the whole world, and it does not improve acceptance when
a bunch of old white males (such as myself) chose a biased term for a
> feature
that naturally exists in other cultural/religious contexts as well.

Do other religions have such places?  If so, what do they call them?  And
can we then abstract a neutral name from that?

> To close with an alternative, "mourning room" would be a neutral
> alternative from my perspective, reflecting the process of mourning which I
> suppose exists in all cultures.

I object to room being applied to a building which may have many such rooms.
I'd have less of a problem with amenity=mourning.

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