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[Discuss] free email less intrusive than google

> On March 15, 2016 at 7:52 AM "Edward Ned Harvey (blu)" <blu at>
> wrote:
> Political correctness is synonymous with respect for other people.
> Anytime someone says they're sick of being politically correct, it means they
> want to be disrespectful of other people, without any backlash.
> The white man in the room doesn't get to tell us what's racist and what's not
> racist. If the majority of black people would feel that's a racist term, then
> by definition, it is.
> Cotton pickin isn't racist, just like the confederate flag isn't racist.
> Meaning - they both are. Because the majority of African Americans feel they
> are.

To give another example, I heard someone yesterday refer to the paddy wagon.
 She was in a belligerent mood, so I did not think to inform her. has an entry for paddy wagon which claims

    1. Informal. patrol wagon.
  1925-30; probably paddy policeman, special use of paddy
Much further down the page it says

  Slang definitions & phrases for paddy wagon
  [1930+; fr patrol wagon, perhaps influenced by the fact that many policemen
were of Irish extraction, hence paddies]

The entry for paddy reveals

    familiar variant of Irish Padraig Patrick
  Usage note
    This term is used as a neutral nickname or term of address for an Irishman,
    though it may be perceived as insulting.

Dictionaries are supposed to define the actual usage of a word, based on
citations of its use.  But this can only do a limited depth into the origin.

Is the paddy wagon the truck where the drunken Irishmen are loaded, or is it the
the truck operated by the Irish police in America?  I suspect the former, but I
don't have any way to determine the truth.  I think the term must have
originated in the police vernacular. continues:

  noun (pl) -dies
  1. (Brit, informal) a fit of temper

Hmmmm, further down:

  An Irish person or person of Irish extraction (1780+)

Now, guess what?  If you look at these definitions you'll find lots of arguments
that this was inoffensive.  It might be true.  The compilers of the dictionary
probably never got hauled off in a paddy wagon

Peter Olson

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