Please note that this is the first time I've started a topic in the Heap. If it is inappropriate or otherwise against the rules, please delete. Thank you.
In an effort to salvage what I consider to be a hilarious thread, I thought I'd post this as a separate topic. In the thread, a poster made a comment that some took as a racial slur, although the poster claims he did not mean it in that way.
Unfortunately, not everyone is familiar with the subtleties of what is considered offensive, especially when the terms are older and less frequently used. In fact, many such terms have been dropped from the common vernacular because they *are* offensive... and thus younger people may not have even heard of them, much less understand their unpleasant history.
On the other hand, some would argue that the terms in question are so specific that it is unlikely that they would ever be used randomly in a purely innocent fashion. Consequently, the protestation that "I didn't mean it racially" would be unlikely to be true.
All else being equal (that is, if there is no prior evidence of racial hostility), do you believe it possible for someone to use a racial slur without meaning to do so? If so, how much allowance (if any) should be made in such cases for such an offense?
Discuss among yourselves.