Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 19:31:43 EST


Subject: Re: PC Dictionaries?

In a message dated 10/28/97 8:49:27 AM, you wrote:

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

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

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 the

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

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

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 derogatory

statements about all races.

Steve Nolden

Steve, I have never been called a peckerwood. And would have to smile if

someone called me a peckerwood. "Jim, you dumb peckerwood." I like that. No


Hasn't this M-W definition been cleared up already. Just indicate that its

usage is largely derogatory or can be or historically has been derogatory and

you have it covered, right?

Not to minimize the negative associations black people have with the term

nigger (it is the one term if used pejoratively by a white person to describe

a black person that I will literally come to blows over--it saddens and angers

me that there are still folks that use it in this old purely negative sense),

but I have always been curious about the range of black slang terms for white

people. Anyone know of a good source (especially of terms in regular use

today)? I am sure I am not hurt by these terms for the obvious reason that as

a white person I am not an oppressed racial group. It only makes sense. Still

want to know those terms....

Heck, maybe I should be upset with peckerwood....

Jim Crotty

How To Talk American

Captain of the Los Angeles Peckerwoods