This is quite off topic from most postings in this forum, but what do you guys think about the movements to demonize and remove certain words from society's collective vocabulary? This specifically brings to mind "retard" and "fag" and "bitch" but there are others too. Do you use these words?
I use these words, but only in a personal setting with my like-minded comrades (including my gay roommate and my friend with a mentally handicapped sister). Although I realize that words are merely verbal symbols to represent ideas and have no inherently evil properties, I'm not going to risk offending a stranger in a public setting who has their own negative subjective meanings attached to them. I think most people realize this and are self-censoring. The best cure for hate speech is more free speech to smack it down. People don't want to piss other people off for no reason 99.9% of the time (outside of the internet, of course, which is the harbor for sadistic trolls of all sorts).
However, when I do say one of these words around someone who I'm aware doesn't "like" the word (usually accidentally) and they try to correct me, I admit that it really does piss me off. It's ridiculous to take it upon yourself to put a pompous holier-than-thou spiel on me that I'm somehow morally wrong for uttering a forbidden configuration of syllables.
"But Willy, they aren't just verbals symbols, this definition neglects to take into account the reality of the way words are used and the real impact they have on people!"
Yes, cliche nagging feminist I pictured in my head; words have meanings that societies have applied to them over many millenia through usage. This is true. No one is advocating yelling getting on a megaphone and yelling "RETARD" in a mentally handicapped person's face. That is wrong and an act of aggression. However, it would still be wrong if someone yelled "SUBNORMAL INTELLIGENCE TEST SCORER" in someone's face. The word is not the issue, it's the context and application that makes the word hurtful. Much like how gun control is about the human behind the gun and not the gun itself.
So judge me for saying "retard" all you want, I'm not going to tell you it can't be construed as insensitive. It most certainly can be. However, there are some issues with this absolutist attitude. If "retard" is black listed then so must "idiot", "moron", "ignoramus", "fool", "dolt", "stupid", "dumb", and basically every word that we use to describe someone in a negative manner, not limited to intelligence. So basically this advocates destroying (rather, tip-toeing around) a huge part of our vernacular in the sole name of sensitivity. If these word fascists took their principles to their logical conclusion, most comedy simply wouldn't be allowed because the nature of comedy is to lampoon culture and society. Good luck doing that without stepping on a single toe.
To me, this is something that can and should easily be controlled on an individual level, and I don't know why people flock to these "movements" that have no means of changing a single thing. Might as well start a movement to encourage people to not wear denim or get tattoos--their method of how they can get their message across is essentially the same, by shaming people into thinking they are ignorant or small minded.
"Spread the word to end the word" literally makes no sense. You can't end a word. We just come up with other forms of expression with the same negative connotation. Top-down censorship is a lot like every prohibition, ever: it just creates unintended (and often unseen) Frankenstein consequences that come back to bite you in your collectivist, well-intentioned but short-sighted ass later.
These PC crusades that rally around groupthink only result in giving these words more power and, quite frankly, are mentally handicapped.
I am deeply offended by your insensitive attitude and indiscriminate use of word "not". It has profound negative connotations for me. I hope you see the light one day.
Use them with close friends. They aren't meant for use among polite company.
Polite company, because my friends are wild and noxious beasts.
I don't know what you are trying to say.
Polite company is a good way to describe it from a Cotillion perspective. Fortunately, most of my friends are uncivilized savages so I don't have to concern myself with such sophistications.
What's the problem? If you use a word such as cunt in public, the people around you are going to think you are a little shit. You think this is wrong? Because your OP is filled with words of similar nature.
Hah, there's no problem. You're right, and I accept that this is the way it is. But, like I said in my OP, it just irks me when people are sensitive to 'curse words' in the first place. People who say 'crap' but not 'shit'. I understand that it's just preference due to social conditioning, but it's just silly to me in the first place.
Penn and Teller do a great episode on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkA2-9LuYHg
I haven't looked into it, but I think people are confused as to what curse and swear words are. A curse word would be wishing something on someone ie "Go to hell." would be a curse word b/c you want something negative to happen to them. A swear word would be making a promise you don't intend to keep ie "I'll kick your ass."
I think if you're going to bother to use a pejorative you might as well think of something a little more clever to call the person than 'bitch'.
... just as the State
has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own - Albert Jay Nock
I know it is a cliche for a latin guy to complain about american culture and american values, but I have to say that all this politically correct stuff really pisses me off.
I don't have problems with american culture in general, I actually appreciate most of it.
But I think I would have a hard time living in America, because you have to be so self-conscious all the time about saying something that will hurt someone's heritage or sexual identity or whatever.
I don't know, but I suspect that's some puritan bullshit that only intensifies the hatred between groups.
We don't have this shit in catholic countries. Back home, a white guy can call a black friend a "stupid nigger" if he's being acting really retard. It's better than calling someone just "stupid", which is really offensive. "Stupid nigger" is more like a joke. And for all kinds of white and brown and yellow people you have the suitable slur to replace "nigger".
And nobody gives a fuck. Of course, you can't call somebody you just met on the street "nigger" or whatever, but that wouldn't be a fucking hate crime, but just something really impolite.
I used to bang this american chick that was living in Paris, I think she was from Georgia or Alabama or some shit like that. And she was white, so one day I used to call her redneck and hillbilly and she didn't care but once I called her a "cracker" and she got all butt hurt and shit.
I think you people should get over that whole race shit and move on.
Instead you keep making a big deal out of that, and a lot of other countries that never had similar issues regarding race start copying this american faggotry.
I mean, even in Germany people are cooler than in US, for christ sake. One german girlfriend I had and her german friends all told jokes about jews and stuff. And nobody was racist or admired Hitler.
That's how you get over these nasty things.
You stay classy.