Sunday, 6 July 2008

The Question of the Week

QOTW - 2008/06/23
And the Question of the Week is…
This week’s question is in honor of George Carlin.
What words do you, personally, find offensive?

Ah, now here is something a bit more "substantial" to sink my teeth into, as far as a good blog material thing. Instead of something that takes a few seconds or moments to answer, this will take more thought and explanation.

Language is terribly important and the blocks for language are words. Sure, you can have ten words that basically mean the same thing, but the fact is that each word carries a unique connotation or slight alteration to the meaning that makes it its own descriptor. This is important.

Also important is the use of language and words to convey a thought or intention. Words in and of themselves are not offensive; the way we use them is what charges a word as being "bad". I certainly don't see any problems with the word "fuck", for example. And look at the history. Maybe now it is a negative connotation word, but it started out as an acronym: fornication under consent of the king. This was a strong custom back in the middle ages. When a couple would post banns to marry, the king of the land had the right to have the woman for her first sexual experience. He also had the right to give his blessings to the union or deny it. Hence the word.

Somehow in modern usage, it is a word that means sexual intercourse, or to hurt someone, or to give someone the shaft, and a whole host of other things. Its most common use is as an explitive, to express shock or surprise. And somehow it is not acceptable on public television (which is funny, as there are other words that when I was a kid could never be uttered on the telly, but now is in common usage).

The only words that I personally have an issue with are those that are nicknames for other nationalities or living styles or cultures but have a distinctly negative connotation. Don't make me put them in print. Anything that is so hurtful to an entire group of people are words that should not ever be used. And the people who say them fall into the category of people who shouldn't be in the human race.

Granted that this would severely whittle down the race enormously but there is no place for small-minded bigotry in this world.

No comments: