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New language regulation in Australia – shark attacks are now called “negative encounters”

A surfer lost her left arm in a “negative encounter” with a shark.

Shark attacks should be talked about in the future – at least if the Australian authorities have their way. You want to name the attacks differently, namely as “negative encounter” or “interaction”. In the worst case, there should be talk of a “bite”.

The declared goal: to correct the image of animals as “voracious, mindless and man-eating monsters”, formulates the shark researcher Leonardo Guida of the Australian Marine Conservation Society

The states of New South Wales and Queensland plan to start. There is currently no formal, nationwide regulation.

Terms like “attack” or “attack” are a relatively new invention, said shark expert Christopher Pepin-Neff to the “Sydney Morning Herald”. Before the 1930s there was talk of “shark accidents”. Only then did the language change.

“Sharks don’t have hands. So when you want to research something, put it in your mouth, ”says Nathan Hart, associate professor at Macquarie University.

“Jaws 5: Interaction”

On the Internet, the “rebranding” campaign tends to generate derisive comments: “Where is your leg? Oh, I had a little interaction with a shark, ”said a user on Twitter. “Negative encounter? Tell that to the seal! ”Says another. A new Hollywood film is also being considered: “Jaws 5: Interaction.”

Some also associate the renaming with woke activism: while allegedly insensitive formulations, for example on gender issues, would nowadays be regarded as “literal violence”, a violent shark attack is redefined as “interaction”.

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