Quote: Reaction to the telephone (Rutherford B. Hayes 1983) (Ulysses S. Grant 1939)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 19 05:30:38 UTC 2012

On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM, Garson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Obama’s whopper

I myself am guilty of a "whopper," as that word is apparently
understood by the Washington Post. I claimed that no one seriously
uses the empty-of-content phrase "half-black." That is not so. A group
made up of people who actually do define themselves as merely
"half-black" and who, therefore, deem themselves deserving to be
accorded all of the rights and privileges heretofore reserved for
white people who are not half-black, has its own Website.


I should have jotted down the URL, but I thought that I would remember it.

To reprise an oldie from USA Today:

"The new Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe is a _half-black,
half-Hispanic_ teen named Miles Morales."

Everybody here knows that Sammy Davis, Jr. was half-black and
half-Hispanic, right? His mother was a Cuban-American woman named
Elvera Sanchez.

That is, what does it mean to say that a person is "half-black and
half-Hispanic," when "half-Hispanic" in no sense excludes the
possibility of "wholly-black"? Unless "hispanic" be taken in the same
sense as "Jewish": white, but not white enough.

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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