Beauties & Beaties

Monday, May 08, 2006

Taking Offense

I was recently having a conversation with my brother. We were talking about the subject of offensive words. I am of the opinion that not many words in and of themselves offend people anymore. The world seems to me a place where vulgarity has become commonplace and it is becoming increasingly difficult to shock or offend anyone with a curseword. We are far removed from the days of the Puritans and the days where a curse word would be a cause for punishment and ostracism. My question to you is this: Is there any word that still has the ability to shock or offend you? If so what is it and why?


Anonymous Bruce said...

There are two that constantly raise my hackles; cripple and the N-word. The first seems non-descript at face value, but being a person with a disability(cerebral palsy), it pisses me off when I hear someone call another person a cripple. It has the connotation of someone who's less of a person than the "normal" human being, which couldn't be further from the truth.
The second word is self-explanatory, and even though I'm as Caucasian as they get, that word still offends me.

8:05 PM  
Blogger K said...

I'm not sure there's any single word that has the power to offend or upset me. That being said, anything born of true ignorance or with the intent to hurt or humiliate could certainly piss me off. For the most part though, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt...

Good question.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Ranea said...

The one word that still pushes my buttons is, Cunt. It makes my skin crawl. And pisses me off to the core of my being!

9:18 PM  
Anonymous tubawench said...

For the most part, I let obscenities slide by, but when used in anger and directed at someone, they can make me jumpy, nervous. And don't call me an obscene word like "bitch," unless you are a good friend and joking.

I believe that pc has gotten out of hand, but I do not like to hear ignorant words used to describe a group of people.

All in all, I would not mind moving toward a more polite society, but only if it is sincere and not merely a facade.

4:31 AM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

I'm with Ranea, "cunt," bothers me for some reason.

A word I know bothers my cousin, who has mild to moderate CP, is "retarded." She hates it, even in the joking sense, because she's been referred to as retarded even though she only has has motor skill and speech problems.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Vic said...

I'm with Ranea and Curare, there's just something about "cunt". I bet most women feel this way. Call me a bitch all day long, I'll laugh and even agree with you, but call me a cunt and my blood will boil!

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only word the really bothers me is the "N" word. It is just so vulgar and degrading to me I can never say it. Like Bruce said, even though I am caucasian it offends me.

Pussy and cunt used to bother me. But that wore off when I married my sailor. Not that he uses those words towards me. But even if he did I wouldn't care.But I would still pop him one just cause I'd have the excuse! LOL

10:30 AM  
Blogger KC said...

I don't like the n-word or cunt. I will never utter these words... ever... and I don't want anyone around me saying them either. I also dislike the word retard or as I've also heard it: 'tard. That's just wrong!

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

Retard often gets me fuming, too. Several times, in my life, when someone hears that I have a physical disability, they've automatically assumed that I am, indeed, "retarded".

12:37 PM  
Blogger Blonde Vigilante said...

Cunt has become commonplace for me, but a word that does really really bother me is nigger. I cannot stand that word. It is a nasty word. There is no place for it in our language anymore and although I know it has a meaning other than the derogatory meaning...who uses niggardly anymore?

It's just a nasty word no matter which way you look at it.

12:52 PM  
Blogger oldfartswife said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word cunt has always bothered me too. I suppose it's really the emotion behind any word that makes it bothersome or offensive.

3:01 PM  
Blogger oldfartswife said...

Sticks and stones....does not seem to hold true. Words can hurt.
People who make comments about old grannys offend me.
I see an old granny in granny panties in your future :)

5:01 PM  
Blogger Meagan said...

Is that puritan Paris Hilton?!?

Rarely does one specific word on its own personally offend me, but when the word(s) so clearly highlight the speaker's stupidity, then it's just annoying. Or if a "bad" word is used repeatedly and out of context.

6:05 PM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

meagan: I was wondering if anyone was going to catch that one.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

I dont think its the actual word its more of how and in what situation it is used.
I mean Bitch doesnt bother me - its never bothered me in the UK at all , yet if I get called one by my other half midst argument then it really gets to me.
Cunt is not a word I have ever used but again if it was used aginst me ( or another woman ) in a derogitory sense then it would.

Nigger is a grey area for me, I have never used the word myself, but what annoys me is the way some african americans have sort of "normilised" the word like its ok to refer to themselves that way but no one else can.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

BTW, I am loving the new page layout but shouldnt it be "Beauties & Beasties" ?

or is it just me being stoopid ??

11:28 AM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

pixie: Phunny. I like it. When are you and the Webpirate gonna sign up to do a guest post?

10:44 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

Well I'm for it and I think I could talk him into it.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Anelize said...

You know, for me it's all in the context. A couple of 10 year old calling each other "retard" isn't going to piss me off as much as a 10 year old pointing to an obviously disabled kid and calling him a retard, yanno? Although, I'd have a hard time believing a kid would be that cruel. I'm optimistic that way.

The n-word is another one of those words. I can't use it, of course, but it's a context thing. It's obviously getting used, if popular rap music is any clue.

Personally, I despise the words dumb and stupid. They've always been a quick trip to making me feel absolutely shitty, even though, in my head, I knew I wasn't either one of those things.

They say the distance from your head to your heart can be longer than any part of your body....

Thanks for posing such an interesting question.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Cripple and retard are two words that really piss me off. Both cunt and faggot are also on the offensive list. Why is fairly simple: I have both disabled family members and gay friends, I'm female, and I've heard all four of those words used in really ugly and hateful context.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

I cringe when I hear the GD word and the JC word.....I can handle about anything but that. However, I do think cunt sounds just so unclassy...if you called me that I would probably smack ya upside da dont mind being called a bitch at all....I that supposed to be a bad thing??? ;))

1:07 AM  
Blogger phred said...

I agree totally with Catch, I can handle just about anything except.. GD.

4:36 AM  
Blogger Big D said...

I have yet to hear a word that offends me.

6:34 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sucks"--as in, "That/this/I/he/she/it/sucks!
I say this hypocritically--sometimes I use the word, though I feel bad about myself, afterward. "Sucks", in this way, clearly means, "sucks dicks". But I don't think most people care--if they even know what it means. I was at a medical center today, where the elevators are confusing, because the floors are not the same as the parking decks. And as I got off the elevator, with an old, married couple, the man said, "Yeah, this really sucks!" I was even more offended than usual--this was the first time I'd heard that from an elderly person.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Pixie--why should we whites be prohibited to say "nigger", when blacks call each other that, constantly? We call other whites, "white trash", "trailer-trash," and "redneck", but don't mind when blacks use those terms! In this regard, most black people are hypocrites!

7:21 PM  

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