McWhorter on "Negro" [Was: on "Negro English"]

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 18 01:31:38 UTC 2010

Save yourself the effort, Judy. Tom Zurinskas has been around this list for
years, persistently not only failing to understand the most basic elements
of linguistic science, but refusing to even try. His website,,
promotes his home-baked system for "phonetic spelling". I'll quote the first
paragraph; judge for yourself:

Truespel is the World’s first “pronunciation guide spelling system” based
> American English, the world’s most important language. It’s designed for the
> first time to integrate literacy tools, such dictionary pronunciation
> guides, translation guides, initial reading guides, and phonetic analysis
> tools by using one simple easy-to-use phonetic spelling. The word sounds for
> the truespel phonetic model are the voiced pronunciations in "talking"
> American English dictionaries, like With truespel, hearing the
> spoken word allows one to spell it phonetically merely by using 40 phonemes
> and stress and apostrophe rules. It is truly the simplest and only such
> phonetic spelling system there is today that is pronunciation guide quality.

After much grief and wasted effort, I no longer even see his emails, but
have them automatically routed to the trash.

On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 3:26 PM, Judy Prince
<jbalizsprince at>wrote:

> These views sound like the 1950s, Tom, and saying "Darkies is not so
> bad" sounds as if it came from the 19th century.
> Our nearly-unique USAmerican history of tying skin colour to slavery
> (i.e., blacks are slaves, whites are not) has virtually guaranteed
> wholesale prejudice against blacks (which, tragically, includes
> blacks' prejudice against themselves), and it places an enduring
> obligation on whites to listen sensitively to blacks.  We need to get
> to the place where our social as well as our professional contacts
> naturally include blacks.  In short, we need to personally integrate.
> It may seem as if I'm portraying this as an onerous task, but far from
> it----it's a thrilling, challenging, surprising, mind-expanding,
> life-adventure.
> Best,
> Judy
> 2010/1/16 Tom Zurinskas <truespel at>
> >
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster: Â  Â  Â  Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> > Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: McWhorter on "Negro" [Was: on "Negro English"]
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > I've always thought the term "colored" was a nice term for Negro people
> and=
> > Â that Negro was a neutral scientific kind of term=2C like Caucasian
> (awe-dr=
> > oppers are forbidden to say cockasian). Â Darkies is not so bad. Â It's
> even =
> > in my FL state song.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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