Arnold Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Sat Dec 9 03:03:28 UTC 2000

drew danielson:
 > I wonder if the questioned use of "urban" is not a euphemistic use
 >of that word to mean "African American".  Writers such as
 >P.J. O'Rourke have (rather baldly) pointed out this usage of "urban",
 >and that it is often used in a disparaging context (e.g., urban

that would certainly be my first surmise.  compare "urban
contemporary" as used for recorded music, where it means 'black/
african american pop' (and replaces the long-defunct label "race
music").  not exactly a transparent label - but designed to be decoded
by the intended audience and not to ruffle white folks' feelings by
exposing them to the words "black" or "african american".

arnold (zwicky at csli.stanford.edu)

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