Introduction to Moist Halfrican (Comma Intended)


I don’t really care if I misspell a word in my tweet. Actually, I do. But I don’t need you to point it out with a link to purchase your book on vocabulary rules.

@ker_pow Nope. Just want it to accomodate 60 somethings in taste and class.

@palmerbennett “aCCoMModate” with 2C and 2M (link to book WAS here) ~@MomyWatch

@MomyWatch Thanks for the FREE correction! ~@palmerbennett

I can think of two friends who are loving the idea that I was corrected on my vocabulary knowledge. I am usually the corrector. My feelings were hurt. Correction my ego was.

I’ve had a logos laden week. Ellen Seidman wrote a passionate piece on removing the word ‘retard’ from your personal language on her blog LoveThatMax. My youngest child, in a class discussion on tolerance, was informed that this word is not politically correct. He is public enemy number one against it and ‘midget’ (which was excluded years ago when Little People was a big reality TV hit). Retard(ed) is one of those socially derogatory words that has become socially acceptable to use.

Ironically, almost immediately after reading Ellen’s post, I heard Tia Mowry’s character on The Game say “social retard” and the logophile in me cringed. I love words. I do not love words that ignite inferiority.

Another word that breeds discrimination is “illegal”. ColorLines’ new campaign to Drop The I-Word is attempting to erase it’s negative context from everyday language. When I was 8, an older kid at school told me I was an illegal alien because I was born in Alaska. I believed her. I hated being an illegal. At some point I came to an understanding that I was not (the alien part is still up for debate). I have used the word many times and I have to admit that hearing it immediately places images of Mexicans crossing the border into my mind.

I signed the pledge to remove illegal from my vocabulary. I’m signing a personal pledge to remove my connotation. I’ve been working a lot on embracing diversity and battling embedded stereotypes that evoke hate. It is a conscious and deliberate effort that takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it. My new image of illegal is of criminal behavior or a forged document-charge it to the recent conversation with a homeowner facing an unlawful foreclosure.

Don’t fret. My lexicon is still balanced as I have added two words to my vocabulary.

Halfrican, while not Webster-worthy, is a new way to define someone who is half black and half white. For example: “I am Halfrican American.” I was introduced to this concept by an article on Robert King and his one man show, for which I desperately want to see (shameless plug). It’s doubtful that the 2020 census will have a racial description for my new word but I like it none the less and if Beyonce’ can get bootylicious in the dictionary, anything is possible.

Then there is moist. Of course moist was already part of my jargon so this is technically a resurrection. Moist is the prodigal son I sent away many years ago, now it has returned. I’m not alone in my past despise of the word, 4,739 people like the page I Hate the Word Moist and they don’t even have a picture! I am reclaiming the word because there is no other way to describe Auntie’s red velvet cake or Patsy’s bread and I’m tired of looking for one.

 So my vocabulary is balanced, all is well in my logos and FYI @momywatch-moMMy is spelled with two M’s.

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6 thoughts on “Introduction to Moist Halfrican (Comma Intended)

  1. I have never heard of Quadroon, but just looked it up. Who labeled her as this? Family? Friends? Reading about Quadroon and then Octoroon, I wondered; “who uses these terms?” I mean in real life. 🙂

    I see the linguistic basis for the words, but my husband just noted they sound so similar to “coon” that it feels somewhat derogatory to him.

    • No one has ever actually given her this label or even called her this, to my knowledge, outside of my family. We call all of the nieces and nephews, my sons included, the ‘Quad Squad’. It is a way of embracing what was originally meant to be insulting like mulatto and so many other reclaimed words.

  2. Not a new term, but “Blaxican” has been around for a bit. My son 1/2 Black 1/4 Mexican and 1/4 White (Italian and Dutch) calls himself a Blaxican. Sometimes he calls himself a Mexican. Sometimes just mixed. Usually he doesn’t even refer to himself by race, but if he does, he more recently at least, tends to say he’s Blaxican. 🙂

    • My 8 year old niece could be labeled as Quadroon, she is 1/4 White and 3/4 Black. Recently, I asked her how she identified herself. Her answer: Italian. I had to laugh because for many years growing up I identified as Puerto Rican. That’s the beauty in the blend. Thanks for sharing.

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