Date: Sat, 29 Oct 1994 00:38:06 PDT

From: "CAVEMAN -- San Bernardino, Calif. USA" cjcoker[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CSUPOMONA.EDU

Subject: Re: offending idiot


Chuck Coker here. First of all, I would like to point out that I am not

Professor Coker (I teach occasionally, but only because I know my stuff; I am

not faculty anywhere), nor am I Dr. Coker (I don't have a Ph.D. in anything,

that is, of course, unless you use the "Piled Higher and Deeper" meaning).

However, if anybody used those terms seriously, I'm flattered; but most of the

time I took them to be sarcastic (well-deserved) jabs at my comments. I don't

want anybody to lose sleep over this, I can take it :-).

Second, I am famous (infamous?) for being politically UNcorrect. I often

speak without my brain being properly engaged, as all have witnessed (in this

case, I "keyboarded" without brain properly engaged). I often say what comes

to mind rather than filtering it to avoid hurt feelings, etc. This has caused

me many problems during my life in one way or another -- primarily at work,

when talking to the boss, for example.

Anyway, what I wanted to respond to was the question about the Boulder Dam

(aka Hoover Dam) project. All I really know, other than the dog story -- it

was a camp mascot, by the way, not my grandparents' dog -- is all about the

electrical design of the dam (my grandfather was an electrical engineer on

the project). Everytime we would pass the dam (my grandparents took their

grandkids travelling often) we'd get the whole electrical blueprints recited

again and again. I have seen WPA cards (Works Progress Administration, or

something like that -- this was during the depression) at my mothers house.

I think these were analogous to modern-day company ID cards. I don't really

know all the details like ethnic makeup of the workforce or anything. My

mother is back east right now (she lives about an hour from me), but upon her

return I'll pick her brain on anything she remembers about such things, and

get her to dig out old photos taken during construction. After which, I will

forward a summary of what I find out.

In closing, I would like to point out that since this is the American Dialect

Society (not the Politically Correct Society), I have heard the dam referred

to as "Boulder Dam" only by those who worked on the project. Everyone else

seems to refer to it by its proper name, "Hoover Dam." The nearest town to

the work camp was Boulder City, Nevada, hence the name "Boulder Dam." Has

anybody else heard of it referred to as Boulder Dam by people not affiliated

with the project? Or as in my case, their descendants?

Comments and Flames always welcome,

Prof./Dr. Chuck Coker :-)


P.S.: If you want a REALLY GOOD political correctness argument, see the one

on ANTHRO-L. Some guy named Rushton recently published a book that

"clearly demonstrates" the "racial superiority" of white people over "people

of color." Rushton claims scientific truth to his bigotry (bigotry is MY

word, not his), others claim that the level of melanin in one's skin has

absolutely zero effect on IQ, etc. (a theory I also subscribe to).

P.P.S: John Baugh: I have heard the term "white trash," but not

"peckerwood." I have three white grandparents, one Indian (oops, Native

American -- there I go again) grandmother -- so I think I qualify as a white

guy. Therefore, am I a "peckerwood?" (If it's not a noun, is it something

I do? I've been called "peckerhead" before, but that was something

different, I think.)

Also, I made the claim that I am not racist. My granddughter, who I

love dearly, has ancestors that are (forgive me here) white, black, indian,

mexican, and oriental (I don't know her father's complete genealogy). As I

claimed to be NOT racist (which really means I am), which part of my

granddaughter should I hate? I've always been confused about that. (This is

in jest, please don't reply to it. I am, however, curious about peckerwood.)


There have been no dragons in my life, only small spiders and stepping in gum.

I could have coped with the dragons.

Anonymous (but wise)