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Saturday, July 11, 2015

OFFENSIVE WORDS


OFFENSIVE WORDS
 
A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY

The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little credibility on the topic opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome but will be ignored.  As always, please, no name calling.  That means you, you big stupid-head!

Caution:  If certain words are, as Dr. Phil often says, “Offensive to my sensibilities” please read no further. 
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In a current news headline:
Obama uses 'n word' to make point about race relations
The body of the report quotes the President
"Racism — we are not cured of it," he said at one point. "And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say 'n-----r' in public." 
He said "nigger" folks, not 'n----r'.  When are we going to grow up?

Everyone seems to be extra cautious about offensive words these days, as if eliminating all offensive words at all times will make the world a better place. 

When I am watching a movie on TV and someone is called an “ass-beep”, why would I be any more or less offended than if I heard “ass-hole?” Sometimes I wonder what the person was really called; ass-wipe, ass-head, ass-?...what is it? Why can’t we all just grow up? Words can hurt, but only when they are intended to hurt; otherwise they are just words.

“You are one stupid nigger!” Very offensive.

Huck rode down the river on a raft with “nigger” Jim. Not so offensive; it is a book, it is history.

My son tells a story of when he coached high school baseball.  One of his players called a player on the other team a “Retard.” Not nice; offensive.  It was especially offensive to the opposing coach as his son, a “slow learner”, was at the game. 

At the end of the game the opposing coach lambasted my son and called his players a “bunch of morons.”  My son genuinely apologized for the offensive term and reminded his players how words can hurt. 

When he relayed the story to me he added, “I didn’t think it would be proper to mention that before slow learners were called ‘Special’ and before they were labeled as ‘Retarded’ they were called ‘Morons.’”

It is context and intent that make a word offensive.  In the wrong context or with the wrong intent, even politically correct terms are offensive. 

If a group of Caucasians surrounds a person of color and says, “Excuse me African American Man, you don’t belong in this neighborhood.” Is that any less offensive than, “We don’t want niggers in this neighborhood?”  I know I would be just as offended, threatened and scared, if several persons of color told me to “Get your Caucasian person out of here,” as I would if I was told to “Get your honkey ass out of here.”

Words are words; it is context and intent that can make them offensive.

This is not a radical idea or anything new.  George Carlin covered it best with his famous rant about the “Seven words you can’t say on television.”  Which by the way we have since added a few.

Check it out on YouTube; you’ve probably heard it and laughed at it before, but go take a refresher.


Six of those words are pretty harsh, and I try not to use them unless context absolutely requires, but the last one, even George admits is super tame.  I won’t mention the other words, but in tribute to George Carlin I will use the last, with no intent and without context.

You have been warned.  Close this post, turn down the volume, change the channel and clear the room of little children.

 

 

TITS!

The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.

Some words in this post may have been offensive to some readers.  The Cranky Old Man apologizes for offending any reader.  It was not my intent to offend.   

17 comments:

  1. You've read my blog. I cuss like a sailor. I'm seldom bothered by words of any kind and I'm always surprised at the people who are SO offended. The "Mommy Mafia" of the blogging world has blacklisted me and don't even get me started on the church people.. Omg.. If cuss words are *that* offensive to a person, they should probably get a rope and fling it over the rafters right now because life gets a lot tougher than cuss words and name calling. I have a post I'm saving for later.. I'll be linking yours to it. They go hand n' hand. :) Scary, huh?

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  2. Tits: they're a kind of bird aren't they? Blue tits?

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  3. I don't mind the words, it's the intention behind them that worries me. I have noticed that young children are now using the F word in every sentence. That bothers me even more because I wonder how they got that way - and why weren't they taught the rights and wrongs of it.

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  4. My peeve when it comes to this topic is the word, 'bitch.' Nothing annoys me more than hearing girls call each other that in a 'friendly' context.

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  5. we can all get lax with our language. what seems normal to us can be very offensive to others within earshot.

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  6. I have no issue with words. They all have purpose. I have an issue with hate. Not the word hate, the act of hating and most strongly when under the guise of religion.
    However, my biggest problem is the blurred line between respect for other people and freedom of speech. I have a post coming soon about that.
    Well done Cranky Old Man.

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  7. The real challenge is to offend someone using everyday words that are not, in and of themselves offensive.

    I have a good friend who has a way of saying, "Isn't that special?"

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  8. I dunno... I thought "the n word" was so wrapped up with awful hate crimes and past segregation that there might be good reason to collectively agree not to use it. And it's one of those things where Obama can use it but I can't. BUT I do agree on the other hand with a lot of what you're saying. The George Carlin thing about words and their context is spot on. For instance, your use of TITS! at the end of this post was funny and not at all offensive. Some guy talking casually about a woman's tits in front of me might make me feel a bit uncomfortable or very offended depending on how he was talking. Some comedians do this stuff really well. If you and the joke/point you are making are totally empathetic to the group the word is used about, and your joke/point turns it around to make fun of assumptions or the people who use the word, then it can be funny and not at all offensive. But the comedians who make jokes perpetuating the prejudices or assumptions, are offensive and then get annoyed that people can't "take a joke".

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  9. Sometimes it's hard to know what to say and when!

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  10. I think all this "political correctness" is just hiding racism, not ridding it from society, so I think Obama was making a good point, one that was completely overlooked by all the attention heaped on his just using the "N" word.

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  11. Yep, I agree with you here.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

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  12. All GOOD points everyone, although I find some to be offensive.

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  13. I agree, words are just words and it's all in the context and the person who uses them. And I agree with Jackie - the "n-word" is just too connected to hate and racism that I personally would never use it.

    I swear, occasionally, and I generally don't mind when others use salty language around me. And just like with alcohol and a few other things, I prefer the use to be reserved for older people. It would bother me if, say, a ten-year-old would use the same salty language.

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  14. The aggravating part is not everyone is offended by the same things. I know what I mean when I say something, but others often hear what they want to hear, not how I meant it to be heard. Anyway, DAMN good post! :)

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  15. Well you could have toned down that last word and just said "gazongas!"

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  16. Funny you should choose that final word. I responded to your yesterday's comment over at my blog using something along those lines, before I even read this! I guess our 13-year-old selves were in sync today.

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  17. Personally, I'm a big fan of tits. . .

    And I've always thought that Carlin's Seven words, which include both 'fuck' and 'motherfucker', are kinda double-dipping, since 'fuck' is the core offensive component of both. Just sayin'. . .

    But you touch on one of my hot-button points with Huckleberry Finn. We had a long, drawn-out quarrel at my kids' public high school several years back, with a group of folks wanting Huck removed from the library because it contained the dreaded 'n-word'. Notwithstanding that the book is one of the great anti-racist statements in all of American literature. . .

    (*sigh*)

    I'm also driven just a little nuts by anti-religious bigotry that marches under the flag of 'tolerance'. Just sayin', again. . .

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