The Meanings of a Word

The Meanings of a Word
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  • Dialogue is powerful.
  • Paragraphs 1-2 is about how language is powerful. Dialogue is more powerful than written words because of the experience and sense that come from human interaction. "Dialogue achieves its power in the dynamics of a fleeting moment of sight, sound, smell, and touch."
  • Paragraph 3 is what the first two led up to, she tells a story of how a boy called her a nigger and it affected her, even though she didn't know the true meaning of the word in that moment.  " I didn't know what a nigger was, but I knew that whatever it meant, it was something he shouldn't have called me. "  
  • to inform!
  • Paragraphs 5 and 6 is about how she knew she heard the word used before but, within her family. This was her bringing up the fact that the N word was used but it had a different context when her family used it. "...the word nigger was used in my presence, but it was set within contexts and inflections that caused it to register in my mind as something else."
  • The paragraphs following is also about how the N word is used in many different ways. In paragraph 14 she realized that the people in her house change the meaning of the word so it wouldn't be bad when using it towards each other.  "... transformed nigger to signify the varied and complex human beings they knew themselves to be. "
  • Naylor’s primary purpose in this essay is to inform people that the meaning of the N word and how it could mean different things to different people. The word can have a negative or positive meaning it just depends on who uses it and what’s their purpose of saying it.
  • As an African American some people may think that I should get offended by this word but, me personally I don't think that people should curse or call people names at all because it's rude and mean. But, I don't really care who uses it because in this century it was changed to nigga and it's just another curse word to call a friend or anyone. 
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