handtrucks vs. dollies and ethnic joke

Alfred Rosa arosa at ZOO.UVM.EDU
Tue Jul 3 13:36:05 UTC 2001

Here we go again.  Mr. Abate writes that he's half Italian and not offended
by the joke.  What does that mean?  All four of my grandparents came from
Italy, so I am more than half Italian.  I have not lost my sense of humor
(especially when I see it!), and I am not ready to have someone tell me to
"move on."   I am not prepared to have someone tell ethnic jokes at not only
at my expense but also at anyone else's.

Who and where is the moderator of this list? One can't expect intelligence
and sensitivity from every one who subscribes, but one can expect that the
moderator will carry out his/her duties in keeping the mal educati from
affronting the rest of us.  The simple test for this sort of thing is to
substitute any other ethnicity for the reference to Italians and see how far
that joke flies.

I have not spent my professional life trying to educate people to a more
enlightened regard for others' ethnicity, race, religion, gender, and sexual
orientation to have this sort of slur pop up on one of the professional
listervs to which I subscribe, especially one devoted to language use, and
not say anything about it.  It would be nice to think that all members of
the list would also decry such a posting.  It might say a lot about who we
are and what we believe in.

Al Rosa
Professor Alfred Rosa
304 Old Mill
Department of English
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405-1140
Phone: 802-656-4139
Fax:      802-656-3055
Email:   arosa at zoo.uvm.edu
Web Site: www.uvm.edu/~arosa
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank Abate" <abatefr at earthlink.net>
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2001 8:38 AM
Subject: FW: hand trucks vs dollies

> Please, get a sense of humor, or just hit delete and move on.
> Frank Abate
> (half Italian, and not offended)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of Ittaob at AOL.COM
> Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 10:04 PM
> Subject: Re: hand trucks vs dollies
> In a message dated 6/19/01 9:07:48 AM, dcamp911 at JUNO.COM writes:
> << On Mon, 18 Jun 2001 21:09:31 -0400 "Bethany K. Dumas"
> <dumasb at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU> writes:
> > What do you call those vertical entities (some are very heavy-duty -
> > for
> > moving refrigeraors and such) that allow you to move heavy loads
> > easily?
> Italians.
> D >>
> Am I the only one on this list who thinks this person's gratuitous swipe
> Italians as nothing better than furniture movers has no place on the list?
> Or
> were the rest of you just ignoring him in the hope he would go away?
> Steve Boatti
> (a skinny Italian lawyer who has a real hard time moving heavy objects)

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