Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 21:41:36 -0500

From: Gerald Cohen gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UMR.EDU

Subject: Re: "dis"

The discussion of the verb"dis" should include mention that it arose in

the speech of African-Americans. Evidently the word is emotionally charged

for many young African-Americans; "disrespecting" or, for short, "dissing"

someone can be regarded with great seriousness and provoke a violent

response. The example given by Clarence Major's _Juba to Jive_ (under

"dissing") is: "Man, they were dissing us, so we jumped them."

On a general note, the contribution of African-Americans to American

speech has been considerable. A comprehensive treatment of this topic is

still waiting to be written.

--Gerald Cohen