eastern and western

Jim Stansbury (ANT373@UKCC.UKY.EDU)
Wed, 27 Jul 1994 19:41:11 EDT

In response to Kenneth's post, it seems that historical and personal
experience is likewise important in shaping our understanding of language.
Take for example a permutation of the Spanish word for black widely applied
by the British to the colonials. It might remain a rather quaint historical
phrase but for the fact that in the living memory of a good part of the
North American population it has had some quite ugly connotations.
Its 'experience nearness' (that sounds Dutch colonial) renders it affectively

That some of those to whom an epithet has been applied might come to embrace
it is most often a function of performance: one need not be a sociolinguist
to recognize that speaker and context are important. Non-pejorative, non-
artistic usage in a faceless forum is ambiguous context obviously. No hate,
no PC fascist (this is a computer publication for skinheads?), just a prissy
opinion on civility and courtesy.