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The Trouble With 'Acceptable' Language

Offbeat  (tags: Race, Racism, Offencive, Human Rights, Language, Words )

- 1421 days ago -
Is it justified to ever use an offensive racist term - even if you're trying to have a conversation about racism, as President Obama was when he used the "N-word" on a US radio programme? And who decides what is offensive?


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Joanne Dixon (37)
Sunday June 28, 2015, 1:48 pm
I continue to be appalled by the number of people who seem not to know the difference between USING a word and CITING a word. (You geeks out there might prefer the term meta-use to cite; I don't care what you call it as long as you understand it.)

Let's get this completely clear: PRESIDENT OBAMA DID NOT, REPEAT NOT, USE THE N-WORD. What he did was CITE the N-word.

The distinction is important, because inability to make the distinction means inability to deal with any problem that needs solutions. One MUST be able to talk about a problem in order to solve it. In order to talk about problems, one MUST be able to CITE any word without giving offence.

It is not a difficult distinction to grasp. If you do not grasp it, or do not choose to grasp it, or choose NOT to grasp it, you are literally ignorant by definition (ignorant = not knowing).

Dotti L (85)
Sunday June 28, 2015, 2:41 pm
I was going to say just what Joanne said. Get is straight people.

Birgit W (160)
Sunday June 28, 2015, 3:12 pm
Respect all people. Thanks.

Kate Kenner (215)
Sunday June 28, 2015, 3:42 pm
I also agree with Joanne. He used it in context to make a point. What's the big deal? Groups always have their inside words that only they can use and as long as they are not used in self hating ways it's fine.

Freya H (345)
Sunday June 28, 2015, 4:36 pm
The problem with language is no two people speak the same language, even if they grew up in the same culture and the same neighborhood. Words, even simple and straightforward ones, mean different things to different people; in addition, they can mean different things to the same person over time.

Colleen L (3)
Sunday June 28, 2015, 11:57 pm
I agree with Birgit, RESPECT ALL PEOPLE. Thanks Ray
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