Monday, June 25, 2012

That ‘hate name’ blog got responses: France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Russia

It took me by surprise. I was late in the week getting in my blog and – twelve hours later when I went back to check a dubious sentence, there were six countries listed with hits beyond the United States.  I shouldn’t have been surprised, after pushing that hate name theme up and down in my mind for several days, I couldn’t easily cut it loose, it seems.

I have been called a name, too – “Ami,” – but by the time I was around it had lost most of its negatives; actually, not much more than we Americans used for Germans during that war, “Jerry.”

I did recall getting a word-to-the-wise. Some friends and family were over and I dropped in the word, “wetback.”  One of my sons called me down the hall for a whispered talk. It seems in the back of mind I had left a pinch of the Texas small town of my childhood.

It happens. A couple of politicians recently unloaded loftily the word “communist” on some opponents. If that word were a fruit it would be regarded as over-ripened by shoppers. Maybe that's why they throw it.

Then, of course, there is “socialist.” That person may be well-traveled, but it must have been all by tour bus.

So much is context. It is the “N-word” in polite society, just a kidding use and a slap on the shoulders with a laugh if you happen to be passing a bunch of young blacks on a street corner. Use It in a bar and the punch won’t be on the shoulder. Hate words are contextual in the ear of the recipient. 

What I finally got to wondering about is the lack of some hate words. Take that awful, “mother-f” - big, bad hate word. But there are no words referring similarly to a sister – or brother. Professional confidentiality forbids me to, well, you know, tell some… 

We have been having lots of child abuse trials and charges lately: no hate words for that. I wonder…I guess you do, too.

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