Friday, April 27, 2007

N-words with attitude

Following on from yesterday's post about Russell Simmons of Def Jam calling for an end to the use of the n-word in rap lyrics, and last year's article about New York City Council banning the word, comes a story taken from The Language Log blog about a school in Omaha, Nebraska. The publication of a student newsletter (link to the pdf file here) featuring an article about the n-word and the attitudes of young people towards it has caused a stir in the local community and led to the suspension of the college's principal (since reinstated). I think this is interesting on two fronts: firstly, the language issues - as ever - are pertinent to what we discuss in ENA1, ENA5 and ENA6 about racist language, changing words and debates about language; secondly, as a piece of writing aimed at young people, the newsletter feature is worth a read, particularly if you're looking for approaches to introducing a controversial topic to younger readers. And with ENA6, question 2a being all about doing just that, it would be a good idea to have a look to see what works and what doesn't. More of this in class next week... Useful for: ENA1 - Language & Representation ENA5 - Language Change ENA6 - Language Debates

Black British English vs MLE

The latest episode of Lexis is out and it features an interview with Ife Thompson about lots of issues connected to Black British English, i...