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Them's Fighting Words!
Them's Fighting Words!
I was in a chatroom just now and one of the gals came in and was all huffy that she had gotten pounced on for using the old phrase "can't the willing." She said since the chatroom she'd just left was a lesbian room, she couldn't understand why anyone would be offended by it. ("Since when has there been woman on woman ?" or something to that effect.)
I did not get on her, I did not criticize her, I really only pointed out that it is a touchy subject. It's not the wittiest line in the world, granted, but I know she did not mean it maliciously. I said that too.
I asked her, "What if there had been a woman in that room that had been ?" meaning, she should consider why some people might take offense. Her reply was that she had spent most of her childhood being molested but she didn't grow up being angry and sarcastic. I said, "well, that's you," meaning, she shouldn't expect that her experiences/trauma were the same level of severity or her recovery was the same as everyone else and that the way she felt about it isn't necessarily any more or less legitimate than anyone else's.
Before I allowed it to escalate, I left the room.
But it did get me to thinking, there are a lot of phrases out there that are offensive or potentially so, I don't use them because I consider myself pretty wellspoken and fairly witty (I could be wrong, lol) and there is always a better way to say something, I find.
I do actually think it's a powderkeg of a phrase and really, not funny at all..I think it turns into a punchline, and that's why I don't use it. You also never know what's in the past of people you are talking to.
Recently, one of our esteemed talking heads down in Washington DC found himself in the middle of an angry hornet's nest of controversy when he used the phrase "Tar Baby" to describe a hopeless entanglement...the potential negative outcome of a situation the legislature was trying to negotiate.
Having read the story of Brer Rabbit when I was a kid, I know exactly what he meant, he meant it entirely in the snafu sense, and although the analogy was very apt, it was a stupid choice of phrase, since "tar baby" also is a notorious racial slur. He did the right thing and ultimately issued a a public apology to his constituents.
So I'd like to know what phrases, accepted by some people as common vernacular, are offensive to you. Also, do you use phrases that you know are probably offensive to others?
Here are a few to start:
"can't the willing"
"low man on the totem pole"
“I jewed him down" (meaning, to a better price..as a Jew who always tips at least 20% and does not feel the need to haggle or walk blocks out of my way to a better deal , I really hate this one.)
I know there are more out there, I'll come back and edit them in as I come up with them. Please feel free to add some yourselves.
5/27/2006 5:15 pm
"Nigger rich" It means having superficial wealth: car, clothes, etc., but not house, investments, savings.|
I can't think of any more.
Oh and people need to remember that Puerto Rico is part of the US and that you don't need to ask for our green cards. We dont have those. We don't need them!!
5/28/2006 10:08 am
Hey cute, next you'll be telling us Puerto Rico has the vote! *ducks*|
I want to know how many people are actually offended by low man on the totem pole. It's not racist in the least. I find the tomahawk chop Atlanta Braves fans use far more insulting and have actually wished the spirits of dead Indians, er Native Americans would rise up from the field and actually tomahawk chop the fans doing that. Then again, I watch to many horror movies.
Some phrases I can think of?
Jewish lightning, the term for arson to collect insurance.
Cold as a witch's tits. We have warm tits, thank you very much.
But political correctness is getting out of hand. The word "niggardly" dates back to the 14th century at least and means stingy. However, use it these days and you're going to find yourself being screamed at by people with small vocabularies and lose your job if you're a public official. Ask David Howard, who was the head of the Office of the Public Advocate in Washington, DC. He was fired for using that word, as the ignorant think it's derived from nigger. It is not. It dates back to the 14th century. When that other word didn't even exist.
Recently, I got in trouble with someone incredibly stupid for saying, "if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black." I was called racist for using it. She was going to report me to abuse for using racial slurs. The idiot doesn't know the origins of the phrase, which is when cookware was made of iron. There is nothing racist about it. Yet when someone else piped up with "calling a spade a spade," the woman in question saw nothing racist in that one.
Now, as far as, you can't the willing, that's a fallacy, if you ask me. You can give your consent for various sexual acts, but if you're forced to do something you don't want to and say no to during the course of those other acts, that is . So you can the willing, if you don't take no for an answer to hard limits.