Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
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23-09-2016, 04:29 AM
Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
Is it too PC now to think that certain mere words can offend and should be avoided to placate the minorities?

I don't think so. Some people think that words don't hurt people and we should not be dictated to by anyone else trying to tell us what we can and cannot say. I agree that our freedom of speech should not be restrained, unless it can be shown that others have suffered some sort of harm.

Examples of disability slurs that offend me are retard, fucktard, and lame. They harm me because my feelings are hurt as I have kids that have mental and physical disabilities. To say that retard means slow and lame means feeble doesn't make me feel any better, especially when the intent is obvious. These are words that have been used to vilify people with intellectual disabilities.

Swear Words
I think that it is still possible to be offended by swear words.
For example the word "cunt" is probably one of the last taboo words in our language and is considered by most as a vulgar word and to be avoided in polite discussion. The gender opposite term "dick" is also offensive, though for a strange reason, much less offensive.

I have heard that some people use that word freely and it is not offensive, rather they use it in an affectionate manner or as a descriptive word where members of their societal group aren't offended and outsiders should show respect for its usage.

Is it best to avoid these words in polite conversation? I think so, as other words are available that cause less offense and are more communicative.

Are these "magic" words and don't really matter as they don't cause any real harm? A single letter change may alter their meaning anyway and they are just letters grouped together, so what's the big deal?

I would appreciate your thoughts, thanks.
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23-09-2016, 06:33 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
I think it really depends on the company you're in. I curse when I'm on my own or with someone who doesn't care. It's a habit and in those situations it doesn't strike me as harmful. But I won't even say "damn" in front of my parents/grandparents/younger siblings, and I find that it's best to avoid dropping the f-bomb in the middle of polite conversation when you don't know the person very well. Nuance is good.

And racial/disability slurs are NEVER ok imo. I mean, some people have good intentions but it's almost always just so mean spirited.

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23-09-2016, 06:52 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
(23-09-2016 06:33 AM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  And racial/disability slurs are NEVER ok imo. I mean, some people have good intentions but it's almost always just so mean spirited.

Context is key. Nothing should be beyond the scope of comedy and satire.

But not everybody is Louis C.K., nor should they try to act like him all the time either. Tongue

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23-09-2016, 06:52 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
I think people ought to suck it up and not be so absurdly sensitive.

I am, in fact, physically handicapped, i.e. lame. If someone uses the word lame as in 'lamebrain' or 'lame excuse', why should I take offense?

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23-09-2016, 06:56 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
(23-09-2016 06:52 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(23-09-2016 06:33 AM)ErinRH2342 Wrote:  And racial/disability slurs are NEVER ok imo. I mean, some people have good intentions but it's almost always just so mean spirited.

Context is key. Nothing should be beyond the scope of comedy and satire.

But not everybody is Louis C.K., nor should they try to act like him all the time either. Tongue

True. And 'lame' might be a good example of a more nuanced one, but I've never heard 'retard' used in any way that is remotely appropriate.

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23-09-2016, 07:43 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
Firefighter,

I really like your connection with PC as 'polite conversation' as opposed to 'politically correct'. Excellent.

Re the topic. My 2p is that it is not down to the word used as much as the intent. Most of us know what snarky is and how cleverly it can be done. There is someone in politics now who has mastered the art of snarking without cussing, although I have no doubt that the cuss words flow freely in his head. Another person might use cuss words in innocent desperation, which is a very different thing IMHO.

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23-09-2016, 07:45 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
(23-09-2016 04:29 AM)Firefighter01 Wrote:  For example the word "cunt" is probably one of the last taboo words in our language and is considered by most as a vulgar word and to be avoided in polite discussion. ing

This depends partly on where you are. "Cunt" is considered very offensive in the United States. I'm told that it's no big deal in Australia and New Zealand. There are probably other words that we in the US say without a second thought that would be very offensive elsewhere.
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24-09-2016, 04:38 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
(23-09-2016 07:45 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(23-09-2016 04:29 AM)Firefighter01 Wrote:  For example the word "cunt" is probably one of the last taboo words in our language and is considered by most as a vulgar word and to be avoided in polite discussion. ing

This depends partly on where you are. "Cunt" is considered very offensive in the United States. I'm told that it's no big deal in Australia and New Zealand. There are probably other words that we in the US say without a second thought that would be very offensive elsewhere.

Oh it's a big deal here and NZ too. I have noticed that the word "slut" is thrown around a lot in the US without much ado. If you call someone a slut here it's a big deal and rarely heard on the TV shows.
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24-09-2016, 06:21 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
I try not to curse around my family. Sometimes one still slips out, though.
I accidentally said shit in front of my grandpa, but he just laughed and didn't seem to care that much. It surprised me, because usually he's pretty uptight about "filthy" language. Maybe Facebook has desensitized him Laugh out load

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24-09-2016, 06:22 AM
RE: Words to be Avoided in Polite Conversation
(23-09-2016 06:52 AM)Chas Wrote:  I think people ought to suck it up and not be so absurdly sensitive.

I am, in fact, physically handicapped, i.e. lame. If someone uses the word lame as in 'lamebrain' or 'lame excuse', why should I take offense?

I prefer "gimp" or " cripple"......

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