Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 19:51:26 -0500

From: "Bethany K. Dumas" dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UTK.EDU

Subject: redneck, nigger, good ole boy, kicker, etc.

I truly did not think that I would live to see another McCarthy era in

this country, but I now believe I am going to. When we say "free speech be

damned," we are treading on very dangerous ground, IMNSHO. When we insist

that social reality not be reflected in our dictionaries, we are all im

trouble, I think. When we insist that all dictionaries carry usage labels

and detailed information about context-specific connotations, we have made

dictionary-making impossible, I think. Life without dictionaries would be

very sad.

I surveyed my favorite good ole boys (some of whom are women) at a party

last night. (The average person in the group has about 2.3 academic

degrees.) Every one of them grew up as a redneck, learned that redneck is

not a compliment when applied by someone outside the South, and now

claims the word as a symbol of respect for her/his humble origins in

the rural South. It is more comforable for men to do this than women, says

the group.

Bethany, born into a Texas kicker family