When the Unspeakable Isn't, Quite The flap over Don Imus' characterization of the Rutgers women's basketball team and his subsequent firing has linguist Geoff Nunberg thinking about how we make distinctions in language. Is offensive speech always unacceptable, or are there shades of difference depending on the context?
NPR logo

When the Unspeakable Isn't, Quite

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9648717/9648718" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
When the Unspeakable Isn't, Quite

When the Unspeakable Isn't, Quite

When the Unspeakable Isn't, Quite

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9648717/9648718" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The flap over Don Imus' characterization of the Rutgers women's basketball team and his subsequent firing has linguist Geoff Nunberg thinking about how we make distinctions in language. Is offensive speech always unacceptable, or are there shades of difference depending on the context?