How the n-word became unsayable

How the n-word became unsayable
In a galaxy far, far away. Pixabay inset; LU Staff

 [Ed. – The article is well worth reading, as is just about everything by John McWorter, but the real reason for its inclusion here is the caveat the Times saw a need to publish, which reads: ‘This article contains obscenities and racial slurs, fully spelled out. Ezekiel Kweku, the Opinion politics editor, and Kathleen Kingsbury, the Opinion editor, wrote about how and why we came to the decision to publish these words in Friday’s edition of the Opinion Today newsletter.’ 

One could justify the Times’s need to publish this ‘hold harmless’ clause if  it weren’t the substance of McWhorter’s essay, the second paragraph of which follows.]

Just writing the word here, I sense myself as pushing the envelope, even though I am Black — and feel a need to state that for the sake of clarity and concision, I will be writing the word freely, rather than “the N-word.” I will not use the word gratuitously, but that will nevertheless leave a great many times I do spell it out, love it though I shall not.

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