How do you take this information “into” your speech?
Some are easy enough: don’t use “Jew down” or “Nitty-Gritty” or “Eskimo” or “That’s so gay!”
But what about the Dutch “Hiep Hiep Hoera” shouted at birthdays? The Dutch took it from the Germans when they were fighting together I don’t know who in 1815, and not having a clue what it meant.
It comes from “Hep Hep” which originated in 100 CE’s anti-semitism and islamophobia…
Does the meaning of a word change when its original sentiment is forgotten, only alive in the memories of linguists and historians?
I guess it’s a semantic and interpersonal question.
And Paddy wagon too offensive to use? I think that term is not at all offensive any more. The Irish have been firmly ‘rooted’ in all socio-economic strata for far too long to compare that slur to offensive terms used “for” groups that still suffer from racism, classism, poverty etc. The demeaning and discriminatory power of that word has gone. As has the power of the”rule of thumb.”