Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 12:29:05 -0500 From: "David A. Johns" Subject: Re: PC Dictionaries? At 11:37 AM 10/28/97 -0500, Steve Nolden 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. >From Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, p. 19a (Explanatory Notes), Order of Senses: "The order of senses within an entry is historical: the sense known to have been first used in English is entered first." >From the definition of "nigger": "1: a black person -- usu. taken to be offensive 2: a member of any dark-skinned race -- usu. taken to be offensive 3: a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons _usage_ _Nigger_ in senses 1 and 2 can be found in the works of such writers of the past as Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, but it now ranks as perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English. Its use by and among blacks is not always intended or taken as offensive, but, except in sense 3, it is otherwise a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry." Don't you get the impression that whoever wrote the NAACP press release didn't actually look in the dictionary he or she was condemning? -- David Johns Waycross College Waycross, GA 31501