Heard on The Judges: "nigger" = person, man

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 3 21:53:33 UTC 2008


"You're just a old, no-good, crack-addict!"

Late-forty-ish, black male speaker:

"No, I'm not, your honor! I'm a recovering addict, a recovering
alcoholic-addict! I'm a changed _nigger_, your honor!"

Sometimes, the censors are asleep at the switch, especially on basic
cable or on the earlier equivalent thereof. Back in the day, I was
watching some off-brand channel on which a talking head was
interviewing the female cast-members of OH, CALCUTTA! It went
something like this:

TH: Do you feel that what you girls are doing, appearing fully in the
nude on stage, might be somewhat sexually provocative?

CM: Why, of course. Indeed, I suppose that, if I were a man, I'd _get
a hard on_, too.

Some readers may prefer "hard-on," But, I'm fully persuaded by a
brilliant, oral argument (and the guy's not even a native-speaker)
presented before a baby-syntax class at M.I.T. by Henk van Riemsdijk,
ca.1973, and the existence of _get on hard_, the only form available
in BE, that the hyphen is superfluous.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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