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#1835 - 05/05/00 09:29 PM Re: nouns as verbs  
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GZini Offline
stranger
GZini  Offline
stranger

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 19
Washington, DC, USA
Years ago, I had a human resources manager try to teach me "to rebuttal" angry customers. She referred to it as "rebuttaling."

Of course, I rebutted by telling her that the correct word was "rebut," but she rebuttaled right back; she was having none of that.


#1836 - 05/05/00 09:47 PM Re: WASP  
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Posts: 81
Philip Davis Offline
journeyman
Philip Davis  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 81
There was an interesting bit on the radio a while back where an american lawyer had asked for a mortgage on a house which she'd be assured would be no problem when she inquired over the phone. However, when she applied in person she was refused the mortgage on the bases that the property was in an area where property values were dropping. She was black and the area was white.


#1837 - 05/05/00 09:55 PM Re: WASP  
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tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
...and your point is?

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#1838 - 05/05/00 11:15 PM Re: WASP  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Posts: 11,613
Louisville, Kentucky
It sounds to me like Philip is referring to his previous
post re: class differences in the U.S being defined
by race.


#1839 - 05/06/00 12:39 AM Re: nouns as verbs  
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Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

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Louisville, Kentucky
"REBUTTALING"??? ack!
That's as bad as when my friend had her dog 'spaded'!


#1840 - 05/06/00 01:05 AM Re: WASP  
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tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
oh, now I get it -- for some reason I hadn't seen the original post in this sub-thread, I think because Philip and I were posting at the same time.

The dynamic working in the case of the black woman being refused the mortgage is the fact that poor blacks moving into neighborhoods really do bring down property values (so for that matter do poor whites, it's just not so "obvious" - until they move in and start to trash the property). Even though this particular woman was a lawyer, the bank knew that this fact would be discounted because of what had been happening. [This actually speaks to the US marketplace; no one takes the long view and everything is about this quarter's balance sheet.] Anyway, class differences aren't quite as black and white as they sometimes appear [no pun intended].

but we digress; this is the stuff of political forums.

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#1841 - 05/06/00 01:15 AM Re: WASP  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Jackie Offline
Jackie  Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Louisville, Kentucky
Tsoo-wums,
cannot resist: wouldn't the word "factor" be an acceptable
replacement for "dynamic" in, "The dynamic working in the
case of the black woman..."?



#1842 - 05/06/00 02:12 AM Re: WASP  
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tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
actually, no; in this case the dynamic comprises many factors. <g>

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#1843 - 05/06/00 09:52 AM Re: WASP  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 81
Philip Davis Offline
journeyman
Philip Davis  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 81
The point of the women's story is that the bank makes the racist assumption that all blacks are poor. This all arises because my thought that some americans are hypocritical about class (class being closely associated with economic spending power) as shown by the tautological expansion of the acronym WASP into white anglo-saxon protestant instead of into wealthy anglo-saxon protestant.

The very close association of language and politics is one of the great ideas to come out of feminist philosophy. Post-structuralists will tell you how the choice of language used affects political and social behaviour at quite profound levels. Whilst I agree that this BB is about words rather than about language I don't think the digression is completely outside the BB remit (unlike the merit's of duct tape).

I was, and still am, interested in hearing if anyone has other examples of words, or word usage, that reflect these sorts of underlying political and social assumptions and attitudes.


#1844 - 05/06/00 10:12 AM Re: WASP  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
As ever, I agree with Phillip - words evolve because we need to find ways to express new ideas. The discussion of WASP is appropriate here. Technological and political changes must be amongst the greatest "drivers" for change in a language. The challenge posed to the way we think and talk by anti sexist and racist philosophy has got to be worth a few words.


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