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.
gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]umr.edu