Author Topic: That word doesn't mean what you think it means  (Read 3196 times)

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wheeitsme

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 01:39:14 PM »

Raises an interesting etiquette question, though.. if a word is commonly and benignly used in one language/culture, but its meaning is different and offensive in another culture, is it rude to use that word in the presence of someone from the second culture, if used in the context of the first?



Good point.  I'm led to believe that "spastic" is not deemed offensive in the USA, but it certainly is in the UK.

Just FYI:

"Spastic" is actually an derogatory word in regards to a developmental disability in the USA (except when used in a strictly medical sense).  It's not as bad as the "r" word, but it's not nice.  In the disability community it is very NOT a nice word.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2013, 01:43:26 PM »

Raises an interesting etiquette question, though.. if a word is commonly and benignly used in one language/culture, but its meaning is different and offensive in another culture, is it rude to use that word in the presence of someone from the second culture, if used in the context of the first?



Good point.  I'm led to believe that "spastic" is not deemed offensive in the USA, but it certainly is in the UK.

Just FYI:

"Spastic" is actually an derogatory word in regards to a developmental disability in the USA (except when used in a strictly medical sense).  It's not as bad as the "r" word, but it's not nice.  In the disability community it is very NOT a nice word.

Ah, thank you.

whiskeytangofoxtrot

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2013, 01:54:08 PM »
Quote

Just FYI:

"Spastic" is actually an derogatory word in regards to a developmental disability in the USA (except when used in a strictly medical sense).  It's not as bad as the "r" word, but it's not nice.  In the disability community it is very NOT a nice word.
I guess I've learned something today then- I always assumed that the word meant seizure-prone, or in a looser sense, just fidgety. Have I been mistaken?

wheeitsme

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2013, 02:10:08 PM »
Quote

Just FYI:

"Spastic" is actually an derogatory word in regards to a developmental disability in the USA (except when used in a strictly medical sense).  It's not as bad as the "r" word, but it's not nice.  In the disability community it is very NOT a nice word.
I guess I've learned something today then- I always assumed that the word meant seizure-prone, or in a looser sense, just fidgety. Have I been mistaken?

It might depend on how old you are?  When I was growing up, it was definitely a derogatory descriptive of a disability.  And now that I am working in the disability community, it is one of those words that you never use.

Bethalize

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2013, 02:23:44 PM »
Just FYI:

"Spastic" is actually an derogatory word in regards to a developmental disability in the USA (except when used in a strictly medical sense).  It's not as bad as the "r" word, but it's not nice.  In the disability community it is very NOT a nice word.

Thank you.

This word shows that just because you didn't intend for something to be offensive or derogatory it doesn't mean that it isn't. Language is peppered with all kinds of examples like that. Slurs are common across the English language but that doesn't mean if we mean something else that we should continue to use it once we are made aware of which loaded weapon from the arsenal of words we are brandishing. I don't use "Welsh" as in "to welsh on something" because it is saying that Welsh people are cheaters and stealers. They are not. I don''t use the word "gyp" for a similar reason.

The quote below is from Robert B Moore. He is talking about racism, but it applies equally to other kinds of prejudice such as homophobia.
"To recognize the racism in language is an important first step. Consciousness of the influence of language on our perceptions can help to negate most of that influence. But it is not enough to simply become aware of the effects of racism in conditioning attitudes. While we may not be able to change the language, we definitely can change our usage of the language. We can avoid using words that degrade people. We can make a conscious effort to use terminology that reflects a progressive perspective, as opposed to a distorting perspective."


I've been a member here since the last century.This is the first time I've ever posted anything like this. Personally, I don't think that anyone here should be using the word "bugger" to mean something bad because it feeds into a homophobic culture and adds into making LGBT people feel bad. If that's not enough for you personally to refrain from using it, then as it is an obscene word I don't think it should be used here anyway.

I am not going to continue to argue this point. I have explained what the problem is and why I think it is important enough for me to make this post. Each individual poster may choose or not to respect that point of view. As this is a community full of nice, intelligent people who respect that we don't use profanity or abusive terms here I expect that will be enough for most people.

hobish

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2013, 02:33:24 PM »

As a member of the LGBT community I wholeheartedly disagree. That kind of sweeping generalization is more damaging than any single word could ever be. Please do not try to speak for an entire community as a whole.
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wheeitsme

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2013, 02:42:22 PM »
I just looked up some of the history of the word that started this thread.  Interesting!  It said that it started off as a European derogatory word for a heretic, disappeared, and came back to Europe as what it is currently used as (I had no idea of it's use as a noun in Europe).

I would bet that most folks in the USA would think that it derived from the word "Booger" and use the term interchangeably (along with "Snot") preceded by the word "little" to describe a small child in an affectionate term.


And now I know what a "minced oath" is, LOL.

AngelicGamer

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2013, 02:42:50 PM »
As a member of the LGBT community I wholeheartedly disagree. That kind of sweeping generalization is more damaging than any single word could ever be. Please do not try to speak for an entire community as a whole.

POD.

Also, has someone really said "bugger" and really meant it to be offensive on the forums?  I really highly doubt it.




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Moray

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2013, 02:44:25 PM »

As a member of the LGBT community I wholeheartedly disagree. That kind of sweeping generalization is more damaging than any single word could ever be. Please do not try to speak for an entire community as a whole.

Here here!
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wolfie

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2013, 02:45:14 PM »
As a member of the LGBT community I wholeheartedly disagree. That kind of sweeping generalization is more damaging than any single word could ever be. Please do not try to speak for an entire community as a whole.

POD.

Also, has someone really said "bugger" and really meant it to be offensive on the forums?  I really highly doubt it.

That is what I am wondering. What prompted this rant?

cass2591

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Re: That word doesn't mean what you think it means
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2013, 02:57:32 PM »
OP, I don't know what your intentions were by posting this but no doubt there are words used on a daily basis here that offends *somebody*. You don't like the word bugger, okay, that's your right. But what isn't is your attempt to tell other people how to post.
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