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If both derogation and inferiorization can be used to describe an insult, what is the difference between them?

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Any reason for the -1? – Daniel Apr 30 '12 at 16:17
We create a derivation when no word exists with the requried meaning. Existing words have well-worn meanings and generally understood connotations. Newly-derived forms suffer from want of such support. – Kris Apr 30 '12 at 17:30
If beautiful and intelligent can both be used as compliments, what's the difference between them? Your question should at least show some research effort. What does a dictionary say? Why is that unclear? – Matt E. Эллен May 1 '12 at 10:01
If derogation can but shouldn't be used to describe an insult, and inferiorization can't be used since it isn't a word, the difference is in the mind of the inventor, whose responsibility it is to explain. – TimLymington May 1 '12 at 10:49
My points are: 1. why would the two words mean the same thing? 2. The question should contain all the information required to answer it - including your research. – Matt E. Эллен May 1 '12 at 12:53
up vote 2 down vote accepted

By "used as insult", you apparently mean "used as means of insult". If we suppose that inferiorization is a word, and that it means "process of making something inferior", the first of the two most-common senses of derogation actually is quite close to that same meaning. The two common senses of derogation are

  • something that belittles; disparagement
  • (law) The act of derogating; the temporary or partial nullification of a law

The text about racism (mentioned in a comment) may be using derogation to refer to speech or actions that belittle (underrate) persons, and inferiorization to speech or actions that cause people to become or seem inferior.

Commonly, disparage would be used instead of derogate for the sense in question, and disparagement instead of derogation, and inferiorization completely avoided.

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"Derogation" is a real word - meaning the partial revocation or limiting implementation of a law.

"Inferiorization" is what you get when you start adding extra endings to a perfectly good word to make your subject sound more serious and academic.

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I'm helping someone here who is trying to analyse racism in a text by identifying derogation, intimidation, inferiorization, and exclusion. She's still struggling with the difference between the 1st and the 3rd. – Daniel Apr 30 '12 at 16:18
@daniel - they mean whatever the author wanted them to mean. Although as a guide, any author that makes up words to make the essay sound more academic probably isn't worth reading. – mgb Apr 30 '12 at 16:22
@Daniel: Mostly I agree with mgb that "inventing" inferiorisation, and hoping the reader will meaningfully distinguish this from derogation, is hardly a sign of good writing skills. I imagine your writer wants to distinguish purely derogatory language like fucking black bastard from more explicit "dehumanisation" invoking negative qualities supposedly associated with particular races. Doubtless such a distinction can be made (perhaps I've just done it), but it's a bit optimistic to expect just the nonce-word inferiorisation to convey this to the average reader. – FumbleFingers Apr 30 '12 at 18:01

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