Life The End of the N Word in NYC?
posted by March 2 at 11:11 AMon
As the BBC reports, the New York City Council has passed a resolution banning the use of the word “nigger”:
The resolution to ban the so-called “N-word” is largely symbolic as it carries no weight in law and those who use the word would face no punishment. But it reflects a growing unease that the racial slur is now part of everyday conversation and that the taboo against its usage has been swept away….The New York City resolution was sponsored by Councilman Leroy Comrie, who says the “N-word” was derived solely out of hate and anger and that its meaning cannot be changed.
In other offensive-language news, Metafilter paired its link to the NYC story with a link to this fascinating page, where the folks behind the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary explain how they determine a word’s “Offensive Quotient”:
When we label sensitive terms for Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, there are a lot of factors to consider. The way we decide has to do with how offensive a word is (the degree to which a word offends the person it is used to describe) and how disparaging a word is (the degree to which the person who uses the word intends for it to be hurtful)….Basically, the O.Q. is the average of a term’s rank on the scales of Disparagement and Offensiveness.
(And thanks again to Metafilter.)