Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 10:44:23 -0600
From: Tom Head tlh[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]NETDOOR.COM
Subject: Re: What does the "n" word mean? (was PC dictionaries)
On Thu, 30 Oct 1997, Dennis R. Preston wrote:
Ethnic slurs are not like most other expletives, which sound nasty only
because they sound nasty; ethnic slurs also have specific targets.
Would you expand on the meaning of 'sound nasty'?
It's, ah, technical jargon. That's the ticket!
Seriously, the "F" word is offensive in almost any context. The word
itself has connotations that are not necessarily deragatory towards
specific individuals, but remain nontheless offensive.
Ethnic slurs, on the other hand, gain their offensiveness because they
have a target. To describe a similar phenomenon, look at Meredith
Brooks's song "Bitch". The chorus begins "I'm a bitch, I'm a lover...".
If a male vocalist recorded a song called "Bitch" beginning "She's a
bitch, she's a lover...", it would be insulting. Why? Because the male
vocalist falls outside of the group the slur insults, and the female
vocalist does not. In my opinion, the same principle applies to ethnic
tlh[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]netdoor.com
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-- Oscar Wilde