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“Why Redskins Is a Bad Word” by John McWhorter

In Why Redskins is a Bad Word, author and an associate professor of English and comparative literature, John McWhorter, writes about the phenomenon of the negative association of a word acquiring. In this essay, the author explains why ordinary words can possess another meaning different from their literal ones and confirms that ‘Redskins” became an insult. By comparing the situation with California’s ban of the use of the name “Redskins” with the term “Oriental,” the author shows the prevalence of the phenomenon called the “euphemism treadmill.” Discussing the meaning of the term “Crippled,” John claims that “the realities of discrimination meant that “crippled” had a less neutral connotation after a while” (McWhorter para. 9). Despite this word being previously the appropriately descriptive one, it obtained a negative association in accordance with the phenomenon. The author concludes the essay by showing that the term “Redskin” indeed predictably became a mean one in the contemporary world. John McWhorter explains the rationale behind banning the name “Redskins” by revealing the related phenomenon and bringing appropriate instances.

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John McWhorter successfully supports with evidence his valid arguments that there is a phenomenon according to which words can obtain negative associations over time. His arguments are persuasive as they are based on showing numerous other concrete instances of transforming the words’ meaning into negative ones. He provides an explanation of how the phenomenon functions, grounding his claims on a description of the other expert Steven Pinker’s terminology to the issue. It is apparent that John McWhorter has the authority to research this topic and make such alleges, as he is a specialist in languages, philosophy, and sociology of language. In addition, John is a teacher at Columbia University and has significant experience in essay writing.

Work Cited

McWhorter, John. “Why ‘Redskins’ Is a Bad Word.” Time, 2015, Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, June 21). “Why Redskins Is a Bad Word” by John McWhorter. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/why-redskins-is-a-bad-word-by-john-mcwhorter/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, June 21). “Why Redskins Is a Bad Word” by John McWhorter. https://studycorgi.com/why-redskins-is-a-bad-word-by-john-mcwhorter/

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"“Why Redskins Is a Bad Word” by John McWhorter." StudyCorgi, 21 June 2022, studycorgi.com/why-redskins-is-a-bad-word-by-john-mcwhorter/.

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StudyCorgi. "“Why Redskins Is a Bad Word” by John McWhorter." June 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/why-redskins-is-a-bad-word-by-john-mcwhorter/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Why Redskins Is a Bad Word” by John McWhorter." June 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/why-redskins-is-a-bad-word-by-john-mcwhorter/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“Why Redskins Is a Bad Word” by John McWhorter'. 21 June.

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