Much to my surprise, one of the fraternity brothers was offended:
hey.... just call me mr-pc but duz it strike anyone else that the subject line is disgustingly sexist / misogynistic? i find it objectionably so...I actually thought he was kidding at first, especially since, as you might gather from his writing style, he comes across as a rather rough character. And did I mention this is a frat boy mailing list? But no, as shown by the following retort to my questioning and a comment about being thin-skinned, he seems sincerely quite offended:
is it also ok for us to throw around the N word? should thin-skinned blacks just suck it up & get freakin over it?!
yeah, i'm REALLY offended by both the N word and the erstwhile subject...Ahhhh, the n-word. Last I looked, there were tens of thousands of words beginning with 'n' but no doubt he's referring to "The Word That Must Not Be Named." I was rather wondering if it was even in the dictionary anymore. It is. Here's an excerpt from the definition:
The term nigger is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. The senses labeled Extremely Disparaging and Offensive represent meanings that are deeply insulting and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense. It is so profoundly offensive that a euphemism has developed for those occasions when the word itself must be discussed, as in court or in a newspaper editorial: “the n-word.”This important excerpt actually comes before the definition as you must be warned before seeing what it means.
Impressive. The MOST offensive word in English. If we ask google, we find that there are 1,025,109.8 words in the English language (not sure how you can have eight-tenths of a word, but that's what google says). One in a million, six-sigma, and given the size of the population, probably the Most. Offensive. Word. Evah! For all time. Anywhere in the universe. Seriously.
That's a lot of power for a word. How did that word obtain such power? I'm pretty sure the answer to that is Political Correctness. We're afraid that someone, somewhere might be so upset or so outraged, that the world will explode if the word itself appears instead of the "n-word" euphemism. Or something. So we tiptoe around trying not to break the epithet eggshells.
It is not illegal, and in my strong opinion it is neither unethical nor immoral nor should it be considered offensive to write the word nigger. To call someone a nigger, yes, that would be very offensive. Especially if you mean it. But just writing it? Just using it to state facts? Not substituting the n-word euphemism? No, no, and no.
The whole concept of not being able to write "nigger" keeps reminding me of the Jehovah stoning scene in the movie "Life of Brian."
At least I can understand why some might consider the sacred name of god a word of power. But nigger should not be a powerful word. It would be much better to reduce the power of a word like nigger. But alas; because it's ever more powerful, it becomes ever more offensive; because it becomes ever more offensive, it becomes ever more powerful. Because of political correctness, we become ever more easily outraged, thin-skinned, and pathetic.
I'm going to file this under humor. Not because it's funny, but because, in my opinion, we ought to be thick-skinned enough to laugh at this.