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

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 18 03:16:12 UTC 2010

My only point on the word "Negro" is that I personally don't think of it as a pejorative term any more than Causcasian for whites.  I was raised in the NE USA so I may not be exposed to the reason why Negro would be pejorative, or darkies or colored either.

Note that in rewriting USA English in truespel I've made phonetics accessable to USA children, whereas present phonetics is not.  Truespel is simple enough to be learned in 15 minutes (according to UPa grad students).  A third grader might take an hour.  The importance here is that as Stanovich 2000 noted "phonemic awareness" correlates with reading success.  And truespel can bring this to the kids.  IPA can't.  Teachers can use the free phonetic converters at for teaching reading, ESL pronunciation, and analytic tools.  See the truespel books 1 and 4 for analyses of USA phoneme spelling and frequency.

Truespel is English friendly, computer friendly, punctuation friendly, and capitalization friendly.  It can integrate dictionary keys, with reading instruction, translation guides and analytical techniques for the first time.  For USA English it's more accurate than the IPA because it spells out all schwas.  It's use for the VOA simple English dictionary (truespel book 3) shows glottal stops and ~d for "t" swaps, which all dictionaires should do.

USA Grade schools do not use the IPA, USA newspapers to not use the IPA, the USA govt. does not use the IPA, because it's too English unfriendly.  Time to slay the invisible dragon that's hurting everybody especially our kids.  See

Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL7+
see phonetic spelling

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: McWhorter on "Negro" [Was: on "Negro English"]
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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 firs=
> t
> paragraph; judge for yourself:
> Truespel is the World=E2=80=99s first =E2=80=9Cpronunciation guide spelling=
> system=E2=80=9D based
>> American English, the world=E2=80=99s most important language. It=E2=80=
> =99s 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 phonem=
> es
>> and stress and apostrophe rules. It is truly the simplest and only such
>> phonetic spelling system there is today that is pronunciation guide quali=
> ty.
> 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>
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>> -----------------------
>>> Sender: =C3=82 =C3=82 =C3=82 American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSER=
>>> Poster: =C3=82 =C3=82 =C3=82 Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
>>> Subject: =C3=82 =C3=82 =C3=82 Re: McWhorter on "Negro" [Was: on "Negr=
> o English"]
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> ------
>>> I've always thought the term "colored" was a nice term for Negro people
>> and=3D
>>> =C3=82 that Negro was a neutral scientific kind of term=3D2C like Cauca=
> sian
>> (awe-dr=3D
>>> oppers are forbidden to say cockasian). =C3=82 Darkies is not so bad. =
> =C3=82 It's
>> even =3D
>>> in my FL state song.
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>> The American Dialect Society -
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