return of "colored"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu Mar 29 15:17:46 UTC 2012

On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 10:56 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> At 3/29/2012 08:53 AM, Amy West wrote:
>>I just remarked on a student paper's that "colored" is an old-fashioned
>>term and so should be avoided. But then I had to think about the "C" in
>>NAACP: is it not marked there?
> IIRC, there has been much warm discussion within the NAACP about the
> C and whether to change it.  I think some argued against changing a
> name with a long history.

In the early '90s, Arsenio Hall pointed out the problem of replacing
"Colored People" with "African Americans" in the name of the group --
you get the unfortunate acronym NAAAA.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list