Category: English Literature
Use of slurs
Creation and use of Slurs
Slurs are words formed to attack a specific group of people belonging to a particular category. They mainly attack people based on ethnicity, religion, and gender. People can also use them to signify solidarity and pride (Croom, A. M. (2015). These words are robust, difficult, and persuasive. People might use slurs to hurt and destroy certain people, making them feel humiliated, disempowered, and silenced.
Inversion occurs when a term derives a new meaning by reference to an older existent term. When the targeted groups of these hostile slurs again reclaim to those words for non-derogatory purposes (Díaz Legaspe, J. (2018). Like the appropriation of the word ‘queer’ by the homosexual community. They used this word as a weapon to protect them from facing discrimination and hostility from other people.
Members of a particular group can use the slur to target their group this way; the slur is not invasive in this context. For example, the word ‘nigger’ been appropriated by some African Americans to refer to themselves. (Nunberg, G. (2018). This term’s African American is ‘niga’ a word that they use in a friendly manner or as a badge of honor and pride. It is a way of asserting the humanity of black people in the face of racism.
People determine the meaning of these words, those who use them, and those labeled by them. People form labels for people who belong to certain groups based on race, gender, ethnicity, or nationality. Each word listed followed by its region of usage, the definition, and the reference. These words vary in strength of their effect. Contrary to the law for anyone to harass you, insult you or mistreat you because you belong to a particular category.
Croom, A. M. (2015). The semantics of slurs: A refutation of coreferentialism. Ampersand, 2, 30–38.
Díaz Legaspe, J. (2018). Normalizing slurs and out-group slurs: The case of referential restriction. Analytic Philosophy, 59(2), 1–22.
Nunberg, G. (2018). The social life of slurs. In D. Fogal, D. Harris & M. Moss (Eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.