End the word (was: a word from "Huck Finn")

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat Mar 3 08:00:30 UTC 2012

On Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 2:34 AM, Michael Newman
<michael.newman at qc.cuny.edu> wrote:
> The problem with a campaign to make a word taboo is not being able to say it. the difference
> between retarded and lame, though is that lame is hardly used in its original sense in popular
> usage though probably more than spastic. I was probably in my 20s before I realized that
> spastic referred to cerebral palsy. In any case, any efforts to police spazz?

In the UK, if not the US. Here's a Language Log post I wrote on
"spaz(z)" back in '06:



Ben Zimmer

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

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