Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 12:29:05 -0500


Subject: Re: PC Dictionaries?

At 11:37 AM 10/28/97 -0500, Steve Nolden wrote:

I am a Black man, not African-American, and the use of the word


or shall I say the definition of the word, in the Merriam


greatly offends me. Who gave them the right to define any one

person or

race. Is the publisher of Merriam God. Nope. So what gives him


right to call me a "Nigger." If he called all white people


then all white people would most likely be offended. Being labeled


not a good thing. I cant see how someone can support Merriam's

definition. Personally, since the dictionary wants to define black

people as "Niggers" then the dictionary should include all


statements about all races.

From Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, p. 19a

(Explanatory Notes), Order of Senses: "The order of senses within an

entry is historical: the sense known to have been first used in

English is entered first."

From the definition of "nigger": "1: a black person -- usu. taken to

be offensive 2: a member of any dark-skinned race -- usu. taken to

be offensive 3: a member of a socially disadvantaged class of

persons it's time for somebody to lead all of American's ~s ... all

the people who feel left out of the political process -- Ron Dellums

_usage_ _Nigger_ in senses 1 and 2 can be found in the works of such

writers of the past as Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, and Charles

Dickens, but it now ranks as perhaps the most offensive and

inflammatory racial slur in English. Its use by and among blacks is

not always intended or taken as offensive, but, except in sense 3, it

is otherwise a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry."

Don't you get the impression that whoever wrote the NAACP press

release didn't actually look in the dictionary he or she was



David Johns

Waycross College

Waycross, GA 31501