I love words. I love writing words. I love reading words. I love hearing words. I have a new WordPunk blog that deals with “words in the wilds.” The power of words is in their definition. Words have meanings only because they are shared in context and understood between people. Dictionaries help bridge the fuzzy confusion between definition and meaning. Imagine, then, my delight and horror in receiving this email from a university professor friend of mine:
Word came down from above that we are no longer allowed to use “niggle” or “niggly” or any variety thereof in writing or speaking with students because “they sound and look too much like that other word” (the N-word) and we don’t “want to upset the student body.” I thought they were joking at first until I also saw a warning against using “spook” in class, too.
Continue reading → The Definition of Nigger, Niggle, Niggly
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