Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 19:51:26 -0500 From: "Bethany K. Dumas" Subject: redneck, nigger, good ole boy, kicker, etc. I truly did not think that I would live to see another McCarthy era in this country, but I now believe I am going to. When we say "free speech be damned," we are treading on very dangerous ground, IMNSHO. When we insist that social reality not be reflected in our dictionaries, we are all im trouble, I think. When we insist that all dictionaries carry usage labels and detailed information about context-specific connotations, we have made dictionary-making impossible, I think. Life without dictionaries would be very sad. I surveyed my favorite good ole boys (some of whom are women) at a party last night. (The average person in the group has about 2.3 academic degrees.) Every one of them grew up as a redneck, learned that redneck is not a compliment when applied by someone outside the South, and now claims the word as a symbol of respect for her/his humble origins in the rural South. It is more comforable for men to do this than women, says the group. Bethany, born into a Texas kicker family