Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 00:38:08 -0600 From: Greg Pulliam Subject: Re: What does the "n" word mean? (was PC dictionaries) >I don't understand how a white person can use the "N" word and it be >offensive and black people can use this word toward each other and it >not be offensive. Maybe someone can explain this phenomenon to me. I >personally do not use this word in any context, but this is something I >just don't understand. > > >Thank you >Stephanie Kirk Well, if white guys sit around and call each other rednecks, it's a group identification thing. If a black guy calls a white guy a redneck, it might be offensive. If my 15-year-old daughter and her girlfriends sit around and say "you bitch!" to each other, it's not offensive but a group identification thing. If one of their male friends calls one of them a bitch, it will probably be taken as offensive. It's hard for me to believe that you've never before encountered the co-opting of a negative term for group identification purposes. Gregory J. Pulliam Illinois Institute of Technology Lewis Department of Humanities Chicago, IL 60616 gpulliam[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]