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ERIC Number: EJ916685
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Dangerous Words: Recognizing the Power of Language by Researching Derogatory Terms
Keely, Karen A.
English Journal, v100 n4 p55-60 Mar 2011
This article shows how students confront offensive language head-on by researching its history and reconsidering its use in contemporary conversation. It describes an assignment in which students study the histories and social reception of words (in some cases considered obscenities) used to insult people of various social categories. Students come to recognize the powerful, sometimes damaging effects of language, enabling them to fight those effects intellectually. Many derogatory terms are cited as examples in this article. (Contains 1 note.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 11; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A