Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Wed Nov 14 21:17:38 UTC 2001

At 02:54 PM 11/14/01 -0600, you wrote:
>The source of the sensitivity is the expression "black as the ace of
>spades," which I've
>heard as a reference to very dark African American skin color.  It can
>also be used, e.g.,
>for a black car or a totally dark night.  The ace has a higher value than
>a club, and I
>suppose this explains the choice.  Archie Bunker may have contributed to
>the suppression
>of the expression in general use, but it is certainly familiar to people
>who've entered
>the 8th decade of life.

Oh, yes--and for those in the 6th and 7th decades too, I'm sure.  I've
heard both expressions all my life.  The newspaper took a deceptively
surprised tone about the "furor," it seemed to me.

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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