[Ads-l] WOTY? The p-word

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Sun Oct 9 05:53:47 EDT 2016

Sounds a bit like the old adage -- "Don't swear in front of your grandmother".
 The Groan will allow "nigger", presumably appropriately contextualised, in the
body of the article, but it's still verboten [I'm guessing, lazy again, going on
the titles [?] of the URLs David gives] in headlines, where they stick to the

Where does the Grey Lady currently stand (or sit on the fence) in this regard?

Makes an odd kind of sense, like the 9 pm threshold rule here.  I think Ben,
writing in the Strong Language blog he referenced, made a similar point with
regard to where and when sweary words (as they were termed in Scotland in my
long ago youth) were allowed in print.

Also, of course, it's possible to contextualise in the body (where there's
space) but not in the head, which might be another part of the rationale. 


>     On 09 October 2016 at 08:36 David Kendal <me at DPK.IO> wrote:
>     On 9 Oct 2016, at 01:01, Robin Hamilton <robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com>
> wrote:
>     > OTOH, while I was a *little* surprised to see the Guardian printing what
>     > they
>     > did without pussyfooting around the issue, I would be astounded if they
>     > printed
>     > "nigger", even heavily contextualised, and surrounded by quotes. "The
>     > N-word"
>     > remains the default here.
>     2012:
> https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/04/man-cleared-racial-abuse-endearment
>     2013:
> https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/04/black-woman-n-word-court-case
> (avoided in the main headline, full-out elsewhere)
>     2014:
> https://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/jun/01/justin-bieber-n-word-video-racist-joke
> (ditto)
>     2015:
> https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2015/jun/22/obama-n-word-wft-marc-maron-audio
> (in audio and words)
>     2016:
> https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/02/gerry-adams-defends-n-word-tweet-django-unchained
> (again, avoided for headline)
>     Plenty more instances to find under a Google search for
>     ["nigger" site:theguardian.com]. Lots of them in opinion/debate pieces
>     about the word itself.
>     dpk (David P. Kendal) · Nassauische Str. 36, 10717 DE · http://dpk.io/
>     We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to
>     anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be.
>     And there are some, I believe, who practice the fourth, fifth and
>     higher degrees. — Keynes (on how markets decide value)
>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>     The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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