Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 13:15:09 -0500
From: Beverly Flanigan FLANIGAN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Subject: Re: PC Dictionaries?
I'm much less worried about dictionaries' inadequate or inexact
definitions of words (though M-W's defs of the n-word seem exemplary)
than I am about everyday use of them--witness the boy on the playground
first labeling and then shunning another child. I'm also concerned
about people who do not seem to realize that "nigger" is "perhaps the
most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English" (M-W, 10th
ed.). A non-American T.A. in our introductory linguistics program may
(perhaps) be excused for not knowing the word's cultural history
("After all, it's just a word"); the rest of us cannot.