Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 11:38:53 -0400 From: Steve Harris Subject: Re: P.S. re Offending Idioms With regard to racially offensive phrases, and their place within the language, here are two more examples using "nigger". 1. "Nigger work": difficult and unpleasant work, work which one would prefer not to do (e.g., pick and shovel work on a hot and humid day). The "nigger" in "nigger work" connotes powerlessness: anyone with power would find a way to make somebody else do the work. 2. My college roommate, who grew up in Tennessee, had a childhood pal who: "attached a 'nigger knob' to his bicycle handlebar". Referring to the little hand knob that some people attach to their car steering wheel. Here, I think, there is a connotation of stupidity. Though I would never use these phrases in public, as I run them through my mind, I confess I find them (1) descriptive and (2) humorous. The phrases _are_ insensitive and demeaning; nevertheless, in a literary context, each describes in a concise and vivid way, both an activity and the mindset of the individual using the phrase. -- Steve Harris - Eaton Corp. - Beverly, MA - vsh%etnibsd[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]