Thursday, January 07, 2010

It Goes Without Saying

If I say something and you know that I said it and we both know what I mean even though I have not explicitly used the word, have I said it at all? Can I replace an offensive word with a code that everyone knows therefore it isn't coded at all and thereby render it inoffensive? If I say it, you know I said it, we both know the word is offensive, then how can I make it less offensive? And if you can say it without it being offensive to you and your friends but if I say it you are deeply offended, is it offensive at all? You know what I'm talking about here, don't you?

"Heart of Darkness" Author Bowdlerized In Public

Whether it is Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, Alex Haley, Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison or Joe Bagadonutz, when I write a book and I use a word that's because the bloody damned word has a meaning and a message. The title that Conrad put on the book 105 years ago was "Nigger of the Narcissus" that means that's what the author meant it to be.

1 comment:

juvat said...

Excellent point Ras. I have wondered why calling someone a "colored person" was an insult, but calling them a "person of color" was not. I'm sure that the nuances that distinguish those two phrases are abundantly clear to the highly educated holders of unconstrained vision, but they befuddle this simple fighter pilot despite, a Bachelor's and two Master's degrees.