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29 November 2011 @ 07:11 am
Look, I'm not saying that I think anyone should be walking around using racial slurs and hurtful epithets in everyday conversation. I have a serious pet peeve over people, for instance, saying "that's gay" to mean something they dislike, as it seems to be one of the the dumbest things ever said.

But, for the luvva gawd, I hate the term "[insert letter]-word". As in "the n-word", etc.

First off, to designate any one word as The Word That Begins With That Letter is to emphasize a word you dislike. That's what you're doing, after all, making sure that the word is kept alive by continually referring to it. Don't like it, don't want it used, then stop pointing it out. Let's face it, there will always be those that will continue to use a term, whether you like it or not. Let their use be shocking and strange, so that the term is seen for what it is, instead of watering it down.

I read a comic, years ago, whose subject and title I know cannot recall. The relevant part here, though, was the devil laughing at humanity, as we'd found so many ways to refer to him, simply so that we didn't have to directly refer to him ('what the devil...' becoming 'what the deuce...', etc.). In some cases, this is the way to handle it, though; find another way to say what you mean that is not so publicly frowned upon. I can't count how many people I see these days using "frak" in place of "fuck", and as it was used in BSG (original first, in fact, you Johnny-come-lately types!), it has become accepted and OK to use. While I might think it sounds slightly silly, I would rather hear that than people referring to "the f-word". "Frak" gets glossed over and the convo can move on, while "the f-word" makes a point of itself. In fact, that's what got this going in my head, and leads to my second point...

What happens when there's more than one thing that you shouldn't say in public, but that starts with the same letter? In a convo I was reading before this rant, someone made a reference to "the f-word" being in a previous thing, and I was confused. No one had said "fuck", and I confirmed this by re-reading it twice. I finally realized that the person had in fact, meant a slang term for male homosexuals. So, point two: how can something be "the" {blank}-word when more than one can be the offending one? At the very least, find a better way to express yourself.

The n-word, the c-word, the f-word, the v-word, the l-word...fuck all that.

Communication is important, and finding a way to describe what you mean, especially if you have to refer to a taboo subject, makes it all the more so.
Teri Smithkitchenqueen on November 29th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
I've always said that foul language shows a lack of vocabulary.

In related news, I was walking to class last night when I heard a black guy refer to his buddies as his "niggas." A white girl that was with him said, "If that word is so offensive when others use it, then you shouldn't use it." He apologized. I didn't hear any more of the conversation, since they stopped at the tables in front of the library and I kept going.
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on November 29th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
My dislike for THAt instance is the same as above: you're calling attention to it. I've heard the arguments abotu "taing back" words, etc., and more than one community has tried/is trying this (taking back 'slut' seems to be a big one lately). Again, though, why point it out and make a bigger case out of it...especially when you get haughty about how YOU can use the word in YOUR community, but others cannot? It's foolhardy, at best.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on December 1st, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
i dated a black guy once. he called me "his nigga". when i questioned him, he said, "same as homie".
(Deleted comment)
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll: Fhtagn!archmage on November 29th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
No, you're absolutely correct. I could make a case about how this was less public or that I used one-time epithets versus broad-spanning slurs, but it'd be disingenuous, at the very least. My only "defense" (quotes because it's not really a defense) was that, at the time of writing, I was sore and fed up. not a defense, of course, because that only calls out that one time, not any other time I've done so.

Hey, I'm only human.
Synaptik/Chaossynaptikchaos on November 30th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
Fuck words.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on December 1st, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)