Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One-letter acronyms

As a rule I'm against euphemisms and self-censorship. People should say what they mean. Still, I understand when people use expressions like "the n-word." I cannot bring myself to say the full two-syllable word, and I don't see why I should be required to.

Sometimes I wish that the grotesque term "queer" could be subjected to the same treatment, so that we would get accustomed to saying the "q-word." I suspect that enthusiasm for queer is declining. Significantly, though, it may survive vestigially in LGBTQ--where the q is sometimes interpreted as "questioning."

It might be amusing to have a context to assign each letter to a word. Some could get cumbersome, viz. "a-word hole" and "b-word job." Come to think of it, the acronym BJ already exists.


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