Spade story

Matthew Gordon GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Thu Nov 15 16:06:18 UTC 2001

After consulting a Russian/English dictionary, I'm guessing the word in question
was the racial designation: njegr, which aside from the palatalization and the
vowel and the distinct /r/ does resemble the N-word.

This seems to take linguistic sensitivity to a new level by attempting to purge
from other languages words that might remind English speakers of an offensive

Also, do local officials have the authority to alter the form of the US Census
(assuming that's what the councilwoman did)?

Laurence Horn wrote:

> At 3:30 PM -0600 11/14/01, Matthew Gordon wrote:
> >In the article they refer to a prior incident in which the councilwoman
> >"demanded that a word be removed from the 2000 census for Russian-speaking
> >Sacramentans because it sounded too much like the N-word".
> >
> >Anyone have any idea what that was all about; i.e. what the word in question
> >was?
> I was wondering about that too.  If only I could recall what
> Russian-speaking Sacramentans are called--it's on the tip of my
> tongue, but...
> L

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