The N Word

Topics: Nigger, African American, Black people Pages: 4 (1380 words) Published: March 21, 2013
Challenges of modern language
The English language has been around for centuries now. It exists as a racially explosive language. Some words have been lost, changed, and added. This language often coincides with the American culture of the time. As the culture changes, so does the language. Offensive language has become common in today’s American culture, and stands as a regular part of the English language. The amount of offensive language heard on an everyday basis is astounding. There is no escaping it. Excessive amounts of people have come to embrace most of this language, but there are still certain words and phrases that are looked down upon. Most of these frowned upon terms mainly referrer to certain groups of peoples and stereotypes. For instance, the word faggot is an insult towards most homosexuals. That expression is not thought of fondly in the homosexual community. The word nigger can possibly be considered one of the most powerful and offensive words in the English language today. In his essay “How Are We Doing With Nigger”, Randall Kennedy states that the term nigger can be seen as “a harbinger of hatred, fear, contempt, and violence” (pg 55).In order to eradicate this term, society needs to educate their self on the word nigger. The enslavement of African Americans came around the mid 1600’s. Portuguese traders would bring the Africans over to America in order for them to be sold. The Portuguese would call the Africans, Negros. Negro is the Spanish word meaning black. The American buyers mistook the pronunciation, and pronounced the word as nigger. Thus began the use of the term nigger. As the years progressed the word nigger was eventually twisted itself into a vile word. It took on the offensive meaning towards blacks that we now know it to have. Nigger became a word full of hatred and evil. It became a way to disgrace an entire race with just two syllables. Centuries after the word nigger’s creation, it began to take on a different meaning...

Cited: Kennedy, Randall "How Are We Doing With Nigger." Language and Prejudice. New York. :Pearson Longman, 2003. 52-6. Print.
Nelson, Rob .. "The Word "Nigga" Is Only for Slaves and Sambos." Language and Prejudice. New York. :Pearson Longman, 2003. 56-8. Print.
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