Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Those were the days

Date: 07 Sep 2000 wrote:

> Doesn't Marlowe at one point say something like "He snarled and
> called me something nasty." Would that sentence really have been
> better if Chandler had written: "He called me a motherfucking
> asshole."

Perhaps not, but I think Marlowe would have liked to have used stronger language than he was allowed to by his editors and the mores of the time.

> By the way, it's a sad day in the "sincerity of the language of the
> street" when the word "nigger" has become so devalued that it's
> applied to a white dude like yourself.

Actually, I think this is a good thing. When that word becomes devalued enough that it can be thrown around in a cavalier manner between whites and blacks, it means it has lost its venomous edge. And that means that the racists of the world have lost a weapon. They have others, but...well, it's the same with the swears you mentioned. When they're so commonly used, they become far less meaningful. In the case of vulgarities, that's a bad thing; we need something to shock and offend. But in terms of racist slurs, I think that's a good thing.


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