Life Advice



Ask Amy: Husband claims slur is ‘just a word’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

According to you, he only evokes the word when he is mad at or hates something or someone. But this is a case where context doesn’t even matter.

Racists seem to enjoy declaring that the “N-word” – or other racial or ethnic slurs – are “just words,” but for some reason they never seem to use slurs directed at themselves.

Dear Amy: My husband has two siblings and several nieces and nephews.

His brother’s daughter – our niece – is pregnant and everyone is genuinely excited about the baby.

Our issue is that a few years ago my very generous and kind father-in-law (her grandfather) gave her funds to attend college.

We don’t know how long or how successful she was with her college, but eventually she stopped going and dropped out.


Somehow this became a sore spot, and she refused to communicate any longer with her grandfather.

She has not spoken to him in well over a year.

This had to be hurtful for him – at 97 years old.

He has been generous and supportive to all his children and grandchildren and has never interfered in anyone's life.


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