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

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 5 05:48:02 UTC 2008

To quote R. Crumb< "Eggs Actly."


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

On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 5:03 PM, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Heard on The Judges: "nigger" = person, man
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 4:53 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> So, something akin to the reanalysis of "send a shout out" as "send a
> shout-out", which we discussed last year?
> http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0707B&L=ADS-L&P=R14324
> --Ben Zimmer
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