Fwd: in-group language

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Mar 5 02:43:59 UTC 2013

A correspondent asks:

>I have a question from a friend, and I can't remember the term, but
>I seem to recall that it comes up with humor/insults. I wonder if
>you might know:
>>Dear Linguist peeps, I need your help. I am searching my brain for
>>a technical term for the sociolinguistic phenomenon that causes
>>members of the same group (be it racial, ethnic, gender-based or
>>another speech community) to use certain terms without causing
>>offense whereas the same term used by an outsider to the group
>>would potentially be negatively received. Do you'll know what I am
>>talking about?

Since my correspondent's correspondent was looking for Linguist
peeps, I've passed the question on here.


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

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