"call a spade a spade" furor

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 14 05:44:23 UTC 2001

At 12:24 AM -0800 11/14/01, Kim & Rima McKinzey wrote:
>>Seems there's another political furor going on, this time about
>>the supposed racist use of the expression "call a spade a spade".
>Why does this bring to mind the universal change which brought about
>African American is the Color of my True Love's Hair.

Or the item recounted by Deborah Cameron (on p. 116 of the "Civility
and its discontents" chapter of her Verbal Hygiene):

"In the early 1990's, a humorous item in the British Guardian
newspaper reported that the Fresno Bee, a California newspaper, had
been forced to run a curious correction.  Inadvertently, the Bee had
referred to 'a plan for putting Massachusetts back in the
African-American.' "

I wonder if the Fresno Bee is a cousin of the Sacramento Bee that
just informed us about the "spade" flap.


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