Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 13:34:48 -0400


Subject: Re: Is "conservative" a slander word?

On Tue, 25 Oct 1994, Bethany Dumas, UTK wrote:

In response to my post about the use of "that word" in KNoxville, Roger

Vanderveen asked whether I use it [the word "conservative"] "in general

to slander conservatives." ?!? I find it astonishing that one might be

taken to be "slandering" conservatives by calling them conservatives. Can

one slander someone by calling by the label that rightfully belongs to

them? Or has the word "conservative" become non-PC without my noticing that

that has happened?

I am reminded of the 1988 American presidental campaign, when the George

Bush team tried, and succeed, to turn "liberal" into a tabboo word.

Micheal Dukakis was compelled to avoid its use and its label; in fact it

was a major news story the day that Dukakis finally decided to adopt it

and call himself a liberal. His attemps to detabboo it failed; it is of

course still being used now in this election season to bash the democrats.

To address an earlier post, I do believe that a single word can become a

euphonism. Once people agree on a context, almost any word or phrase

will do I remember a company I worked for that used the word

"opportunity" instead of the word "problem". This eventually carried

over to all forms of conversation and the word "opportunity" expanded and

became a joke.

Tom McClive

University of North Carolina