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nancy hitt

No, John, it's not just you. Language is very important, as the vehement response from the author illustrates. If it was of little or no consequence, he would make little or no response. It sounds like your remarks exposed the violence in his words so that he responded with more violence. Especially in a religious journal, I think it is important to be aware of the violence of language. Furthermore, that expression has morphed into man/guy/person on the block over here. No man accepts being called a boy without an awareness of being demeaned- an act of violence. As always, it is the responsibility of the speaker/writer to clarify meaning and use language acceptable to the person under discussion to describe them. Regardless of British sensibilities, when writing about people from other countries/cultures, a sensitivity to the language of the culture is called for. I think you are right to call it to attention rather than perpetuate the violence inherent in the title.

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