I am not here condoning Prince Harry (as I suppose I must add, wearily) but pointing out that the triumph of the Left in ingraining Marxist PC in everyday discourse has spread even to institutions (eg right wing newspapers) who used to be implacably opposed to it (and still pretend they are, sort of), all because of the pursuit of profit.
I believe the word's current status stems from a campaign by the NUT in the late 1980s to render it taboo and give Britain's Asians a "Victim" name - after all, it is in the left's interest to make victims of ethnic minorities. But choosing "Paki" was ridiculous - you say it in the process of saying "Pakistani".
It is a geographical term which has been declared racist by the PC brigade & they have thus decreed that Asian is the "correct" term. Thus the BBC can, with a straight face report that "Asian & Chinese youths clashed today in ...." which I would consider insulting if I was Chinese.
There may well be some truth in the assertion that the PC brigade has hyped up the interpretation of this word, but we should not lose sight of the fact that the National Front and the BNP were at the forefront in turning it into a term of hate. It wasn't that way in the mid 1970s when it was quite acceptable for it to be used in sitcoms like MIND YOUR LANGUAGE or LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR.
It's a term I would never use and one which nowadays causes most people to squirm whenever they hear it. Indeed, just typing the word 'paki' in this blogpost makes me somehow feel uneasy. Yet, if I were in Pakistan, I would have no such worries. A commenter (Curbishlyauto) points out the website Paki.com, which claims itself to be Pakistan's biggest online portal.
Perhaps British Pakistanis should reclaim the word 'Paki', just as gay people have done with the word 'queer' and African Americans have done with the word 'nigger'. The trouble is, it's only acceptable for members of those groups to use the words to each other. The next stage will be when everyone, no matter what their colour or background feels able to use any of those three words without the group they refer to being in any way offended. I suspect we are a long way from that happening.
Language is a funny thing, isn't it? In many ways it is completely illogical that we find the word 'bonk' acceptable to use in polite company, yet the word 'f***' isn't. Why do some people from Manchester object to being called 'Mancs' when Australian's are quite happy to be called 'Aussies'? No logic at all, is there? But that's why the English language is such a wonderful, vibrant, living entity.