The N-word

On the one hand, I wish people would act like grown-ups and stop blocking their natural abilities to figure out from context how a word is being used and what is likely the real intent of the person using it. On the other hand, there sure are a lot of non-grown-ups out there, and a writer’s/speaker’s intent isn’t always as clear as he assumes it is.

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2 thoughts on “The N-word

  1. On a third hand, I wish people would act like grown-ups and not whine about being disallowed by Society to utter a particular word that there’s no real need to use.

    • Maybe it wasn’t clear enough, but my post was referring primarily to cases where the context might show that certain words are not being used in a derogatory way toward the listener (or anyone else). (E.g. they might be simply part of a quote, or they might be uttered in a discussion of their own etymology.) Ordinarily listeners could figure out whether that is the case and lower their guard accordingly, but with certain words listeners apparently cannot be burdened with that responsibility.

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