Terms No Longer in Common Use
The terms mulatto and colored were widely used until the second quarter of the 20th century, when they were considered outmoded and generally gave way to the use of negro. By the 1940s, the term commonly was capitalized, Negro, but by the mid-1960s it was considered disparaging. By the end of the twentieth century "Negro" had come to be considered inappropriate and was rarely used and perceived as a pejorative. The term is rarely used by younger black people, but remained in use by many older black Americans who had grown up with the term, particularly in the southern U.S.
The word negro is the Spanish and Portuguese word for the color black. In regions such as Latin America where these languages are spoken, negro (pronounced slightly differently than Negro in English), is a normal word used without disparaging intent in relation to black people.
There are many other deliberately insulting terms. Many were in common use, but had become unacceptable in normal discourse before the end of the twentieth century.
Famous quotes containing the words common, terms and/or longer:
“The mere fact of leaving ultimate social control in the hands of the people has not guaranteed that men will be able to conduct their lives as free men. Those societies where men know they are free are often democracies, but sometimes they have strong chiefs and kings. ... they have, however, one common characteristic: they are all alike in making certain freedoms common to all citizens, and inalienable.”
—Ruth Benedict (18871948)
“But the nature of our civilized minds is so detached from the senses, even in the vulgar, by abstractions corresponding to all the abstract terms our languages abound in, and so refined by the art of writing, and as it were spiritualized by the use of numbers, because even the vulgar know how to count and reckon, that it is naturally beyond our power to form the vast image of this mistress called Sympathetic Nature.”
—Giambattista Vico (16881744)
“Parrots, tortoises and redwoods
Live a longer life than men do,
Men a longer life than dogs do,
Dogs a longer life than love does.”
—Edna St. Vincent Millay (18921950)