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cultural things we'll be ashamed of in 50 years

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Insert obligatory Justin Bieber joke here.

 

Jersey Shore.

 

Guys, this topic is for things that people will be ashamed of in 50 years, not NOW. tongue.gif

 

There are some words in common usage today that some people object to; maybe in 50 years it'll be unthinkable to say them. Crazy, lame, and spaz are three that spring to mind.

 

And of course using "gay" as an insult is already on the way out, and hopefully will be thoroughly gone in 50 years.

 

Unthinkable to say in the derogatory context? Yes. Unthinkable to say because they're still tabooed in many places because they have a derogatory meaning and a slang meaning that is hardly offensive in the context? No. I'll personally be ashamed in 50 years that people in this generation still think words like the r word can only be a derogatory slur used to put down people with mental disabilities. I'd like to see the words evolve and the perceptions of the words as "bad" disappear. Sure there will always be some censorkip.gif*** that remembers that the r word can be used as a put down, but we'll deal with them on an censorkip.gif*** to censorkip.gif*** basis, we shouldn't ban a word just because one of it's meanings is terrible.

 

-K-

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Nintendo

Blasphemy. When you're 70yrs old and your grand-kids think that the Nintendo WiiCube2064 was the best present you've ever bought them - even though last year you bought them their own TARDIS - you'll regret this post.

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Blasphemy. When you're 70yrs old and your grand-kids think that the Nintendo WiiCube2064 was the best present you've ever bought them - even though last year you bought them their own TARDIS - you'll regret this post.

No. People in 50 years will still be ****ting on Nintendo and harkening back to "The good ol' days when I was a kid" and your grandkids will be upset that they didn't get a PS13 instead. Even if Nintendo released a console that itself functioned as a TARDIS and all the PS13 had to offer was a cupholder.

 

However, in 50 years people will be nostalgic about the Wii and will finally have come to terms with it (though will still compare it to the latest console as to why things were better "in earlier times").

 

Nostalgia at its best.

 

-K-

Edited by Kamak

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Unthinkable to say in the derogatory context? Yes. Unthinkable to say because they're still tabooed in many places because they have a derogatory meaning and a slang meaning that is hardly offensive in the context? No. I'll personally be ashamed in 50 years that people in this generation still think words like the r word can only be a derogatory slur used to put down people with mental disabilities. I'd like to see the words evolve and the perceptions of the words as "bad" disappear. Sure there will always be some censorkip.gif*** that remembers that the r word can be used as a put down, but we'll deal with them on an censorkip.gif*** to censorkip.gif*** basis, we shouldn't ban a word just because one of it's meanings is terrible.

 

-K-

I am not going to assume for her how the board's resident Rrom feels about the word "gypped", but do know that it is quite similar to "spaz" in usage and derivation, in that people use it all the time without realizing it comes from the word "Gypsy" and they have no idea it could have any offensive meaning at all. Do you think that makes it OK? That's "spaz" to me. People use it all the time with no idea what it means or where it comes from. It comes from "spastic", and I'm sure you've seen people pretending to move their arms the way someone with spasticity does. Not sure why anyone thinks it's OK to use, claiming, well, it doesn't mean anything bad anymore, when, well, yeah, yeah it does. Not so deep down, it still does. Like "gypped" means "ripped off" but it really means something else in addition, it's an insult to the Rrom. I'm dystonic, which is a movement disorder close enough to spastic for me to be thoroughly insulted by all the 'spazzing' and seeing people imitate spastic movements.

 

Words can eventually grow out of their roots, but not as long as living language still remembers where the word comes from. Not only does the whole language have to change, but the outlook of the people who use it has to change. As long as people think it's OK to use the idea of disability to describe stupidity or perceived negatives, the sounds of the words will change but the ideas behind them will stay exactly the same.

 

So--I don't want the words to evolve and the perceptions about them to change. I want people's attitudes to evolve. Words will naturally follow.

Edited by Princess Artemis

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Blasphemy. When you're 70yrs old and your grand-kids think that the Nintendo WiiCube2064 was the best present you've ever bought them - even though last year you bought them their own TARDIS - you'll regret this post.

Pfft, no way. I'll be watching them while they play the new 4D virtual Nintendog Sim MMO expansion pack, rambling about what it was like to pet a real dog before they went extinct!

 

Hm, think I've gone from 50 to 500 years into the future. Time for a reality check...

-plays Tetris-

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^ God yes. D:

I've never understood reality tv.

 

Silly bandz. Hummers. Politics. Botox.

I hope botox doesn't go away. It's because of botox that my daughter was finally able to learn to walk at the age of 5. She had botox injections in her legs to reduce the spasticity caused by her cerebral palsy.

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I'm going to assume that Daydreamer wasn't aware of the health benifits to botox, Sola wink.gif

 

Either way, definetly concur with how people feel about sexuality of strangers and gay marriage here. People should be ashamed of themselves.

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Hmm...50 years? Probably the music. Oh, and those ribbed sunglasses. You know the ones that have the horizontal ribby things, right? And hooded coats, too. I bet they'll go out of fashion.

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In fifty years most news stories and details of fashion will be forgotten, I think.

 

However, I suspect that folks in 2061 will look back and boggle at how powerful the Tea Party became, and will wonder how the USA let them achieve such influence.

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In fifty years? Volumes of history books will be dedicated to exploring why we kept dragging our feet when it came to the environment and wildlife preservation.

 

Like a university trying to wipe out all the wolves in an area after they already had to be reintroduced, just so hunters could have more elk to shoot. As in killing off all but two members of every pack and then sterilizing the survivors. NOTHING CAN GO WRONG WITH THIS PLAN GUYS :V

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In fifty years? Volumes of history books will be dedicated to exploring why we kept dragging our feet when it came to the environment and wildlife preservation.

 

Like a university trying to wipe out all the wolves in an area after they already had to be reintroduced, just so hunters could have more elk to shoot. As in killing off all but two members of every pack and then sterilizing the survivors. NOTHING CAN GO WRONG WITH THIS PLAN GUYS :V

what

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Unthinkable to say in the derogatory context? Yes. Unthinkable to say because they're still tabooed in many places because they have a derogatory meaning and a slang meaning that is hardly offensive in the context? No. I'll personally be ashamed in 50 years that people in this generation still think words like the r word can only be a derogatory slur used to put down people with mental disabilities. I'd like to see the words evolve and the perceptions of the words as "bad" disappear. Sure there will always be some censorkip.gif*** that remembers that the r word can be used as a put down, but we'll deal with them on an censorkip.gif*** to censorkip.gif*** basis, we shouldn't ban a word just because one of it's meanings is terrible.

Oh sure, in 50 years there may be uses of those words that aren't looked down on-- like if people with mental disabilities want to reclaim the word "crazy" the same way the word "queer" has been reclaimed, or if the words are used in a clinical setting (although I don't think anybody still uses those three particular ones clinically...?)

 

What I'm talking about is using them in a casually negative sense, as in "He forgot your birthday? That's lame." Obviously the person who says that isn't talking about someone hobbling around with a cane. But they are (unconsciously) equating the idea of not being able to walk well with the idea of being thoughtless and inconsiderate. And for people who really are "lame," that kind of sucks. It's similar to calling something "gay" when it has nothing to do with being gay, it's just something you don't like.

 

And I'm thinking about 50 years down the road. Nowadays people use those words all the time, and of course they're not trying to be mean and they don't really think that people who walk with canes are inconsiderate or any of the things they say. (Or at least I hope they don't. sad.gif) It's just an unfortunate part of our language that I hope changes.

 

And do I still find myself using those words sometimes? Yeeees. >.< They're tricky to root out of your vocabulary. So I just do the best I can and try to remember better next time.

 

 

...And environmental issues is a good one! I was so focused on social stuff that I didn't think of that at all. In 50 years we'll likely be embarrassed that it took us so long to admit that climate change was happening at all, and even longer to decide that maybe we should do something about it.

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...And environmental issues is a good one! I was so focused on social stuff that I didn't think of that at all. In 50 years we'll likely be embarrassed that it took us so long to admit that climate change was happening at all, and even longer to decide that maybe we should do something about it.

I have to disagree with this one. In fifty years, it's more likely that scientists and laypersons alike will be ashamed of how climate science was so hijacked by activism that it became so difficult for so many to see through it all to the real science. After all, right now, the only people who don't admit that the climate is changing are the truly ignorant and fringes of society, as they either have no knowledge of Ice Ages or the Medieval Warm Period or they don't think the Earth is old enough for Ice Ages. This does not in any way, shape, or form mean that the vast majority who agree that the climate changes agree that humans emitting CO2 is the prime motivator of recent changes. The very fact that scientists are so busy trying to frame the debate by using terms of art like 'climate change' says something is less than scientific going on in their field.

 

So, I do think it's far more likely that the horrors loudly predicted by catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (descriptive term which makes it clear what is being spoken of, rather than 'climate change', a term of art designed to 'change the conversation' which obfuscates meaning) and especially how such things were used to scare politicians and the public into channeling funds around will be looked back on as an embarrassing episode in science and hopefully used as a learning tool not to do it again.

 

After all, New York is not underwater and hasn't been for the last ten years, and snow still exists, two things predicted by climate scientists, so quite obviously there is something wrong. That's one way science is done--if a theory makes predictions that the evidence then fits, it's sound. If the evidence quite loudly disagrees with the predictions, there is something wrong with the theory. And very importantly, the scientists ought not use the fact that they are famous to make outrageous predictions that turn out false and then get blustery when people start to disbelieve their theory the predictions were based on.

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I am not going to assume for her how the board's resident Rrom feels about the word "gypped", but do know that it is quite similar to "spaz" in usage and derivation, in that people use it all the time without realizing it comes from the word "Gypsy" and they have no idea it could have any offensive meaning at all. Do you think that makes it OK? That's "spaz" to me. People use it all the time with no idea what it means or where it comes from. It comes from "spastic", and I'm sure you've seen people pretending to move their arms the way someone with spasticity does. Not sure why anyone thinks it's OK to use, claiming, well, it doesn't mean anything bad anymore, when, well, yeah, yeah it does. Not so deep down, it still does. Like "gypped" means "ripped off" but it really means something else in addition, it's an insult to the Rrom. I'm dystonic, which is a movement disorder close enough to spastic for me to be thoroughly insulted by all the 'spazzing' and seeing people imitate spastic movements.

Oh boy, this debate again. [/sarcasm]

 

I'll warn you in advance, last time I got into this subject my posts reached 5 pages long before I finally said "screw it" and couldn't dedicate any more time to it.

 

Anyways...

 

If people don't know the original meaning and are using the new meaning of the word, then how exactly are they being offensive? The intent and the context are what matters, and the overwhelming majority of people who use the word gypped (though most people use other phrases, like screwed over or ripped off, more often. Gypped is kind of old hat at this point) generally don't know the connection between gypped and gypsy. Most were taught that the word was merely a synonym for being screwed, usually in buying something (though it could be used for almost anything, including not getting a lunch break at work). Now this doesn't mean that someone couldn't have found out the original meaning and started using it as a slur. With the internet being here, that's always going to be a possibility at this point. However, we need to deal with the individuals that use these words as slurs, not the people who are going about their day using words in a correct way and absolutely NOT using it as a slur.

 

For the record, I haven't seen a single person say "spaz" and then imitate someone with cerebral palsy. Maybe it's different where you live, but it's non-existant here. If I remember correctly (though please correct me if I'm wrong), you're not American, yes (I seem to remember you indicating you were British)? IN America, spaz has evolved in the past 50-60 years into a word that almost everyone in the country doesn't even know the origin of the word. Back in the 50's, spaz became a term used for nerds, much like how the word "anemic" was used, since it was unusual for kids to be bookish and people felt that boys needed to be in sports (I still don't know how that word came to mean that, since nothing about it makes reference to the slur, but the slur was still known back then). Afterwards, it took on the meaning of two "quirks" of nerds, the state of being over-excited about something ("spazzing out") and clumsiness ("being a spaz"), and it's remained that way for about 30+ years (mostly because the word has fallen off the face of American culture).

 

Now, that doesn't mean that the word has that second meaning in all countries, and hopefully people will be tactful about using it (personally, I find it too outdated to use without looking like you're trying to show off your vocabulary). However, just because it's different in other parts of the world doesn't mean that it isn't/shouldn't be acceptable in the one culture that made the word evolve past the meaning. In England, the r word never really took off as a slur against people with mental disabilities (and I think the use of it as a synonym for stupid started with the internet, though I could be wrong). Many, MANY people in America (that I don't agree with) think the word can ONLY be a slur, no matter how it is used, and many will get butthurt at the usage of the word regardless of whether the other culture even has the same meaning to the word. This is like as if there was a culture where the word "tree" was offensive and they demanded that no one should ever use that word again. One culture's values don't and SHOULDN'T control another culture's values.

 

Words can eventually grow out of their roots, but not as long as living language still remembers where the word comes from.  Not only does the whole language have to change, but the outlook of the people who use it has to change.  As long as people think it's OK to use the idea of disability to describe stupidity or perceived negatives, the sounds of the words will change but the ideas behind them will stay exactly the same.

 

The internet remembers all, meaning that these definitions will always be accessible. Plus, even words that were used hundreds or thousands of years ago have their definitions preserved for antiquities sake, even though no one has used the phrase in that meaning for over 5 generations. Plus, words like spaz, lame, the r word, and many other slurs were originally medical terms, and many of the slurs were even started (albeit not as slurs, but usually as shorthand) by the medical field, but I'm sure no one wants their doctor using these words to tell someone what condition they have (plus, half of them would be confusing to the patients and parents ("I'm sorry, but your son is lame")).

 

And sorry, but I don't agree with you on the final point. I have autism and I've had the r word used on me with both meanings. It's easy to tell who is using it to purposefully hurt me, and who is using it in an innocently teasing way as an adjective for "stupid". I take - to the latter, and I personally advocate for the latter definition to overtake the slur form so that that terrible word won't be used (at least as commonly) as a slur against me and other people with mental disabilities.

 

The people who actually want to hurt you will not give a damn if a word is taboo or if it's out of public knowledge. If they don't know to call you a "spaz", then they'll find something else to call you (maybe something based on your race, gender, etc.). Ultimately, treating people who use a word in a correct format with no intention of using it as a slur as being "bad" accomplishes nothing. It doesn't fix the problem that is "this word is still known as a slur", it makes people feel bad for using a word correctly but have their words taken to mean a slur merely by equivocation, and the censorkip.gif***s that do use it to put down others gets the same punishment as the people who use the word for the acceptable meaning. Accepting the new meaning, allowing it to be used, to overshadow the old meaning until it withers and becomes a factoid in the history of language is the way to go. People can go on using a word regardless of its ugly past, the word no longer has a direct connection to the people it used to hurt, and the people who decide to dig it up to use it can be dealt with accordingly. It's not a perfect system, but personally, I find it better than shaming people who are just trying to live their lives while letting the censorkip.gif***s get away with a slap on the wrist.

 

So--I don't want the words to evolve and the perceptions about them to change.  I want people's attitudes to evolve.  Words will naturally follow.

 

And what makes you think their attitudes haven't evolved? The fact that they find a word to be okay to use because:

 

- The context they use it in is proper and is not meant to be taken in an offensive manner

- They don't even know the word was a slur to begin with, so the only meaning they have for the word is the one that is acceptable in society

- When people hear them use these words, there's little to no anger about the word usage because the context doesn't bring to mind the slur form (if the people even know it to begin with), but rather the newer form.

 

Ultimately, I believe this issue is one of the few cases where the victim isn't always right. Again, if your culture is different, that's another ballpark and it's understandable for the word to not be as innocent as it might be in other parts of the world. Perhaps the word hasn't even gotten a non-slur definition outside of cultural osmosis from contact with other cultures. Whatever the case, for that culture, the word hasn't taken on the accepted meaning, and that's perfectly fine, not all cultures should have the same values in their language. On the flipside though, just because that word hasn't adopted that meaning, doesn't mean that other cultures need to conform to those societal rules. If spaz is acceptable in America but not the r word, and if the r word is acceptable in England but not spaz, then neither culture has the right to tell the other to accept the harmless definition or to stop using the word.

 

Oh sure, in 50 years there may be uses of those words that aren't looked down on-- like if people with mental disabilities want to reclaim the word "crazy" the same way the word "queer" has been reclaimed, or if the words are used in a clinical setting (although I don't think anybody still uses those three particular ones clinically...?)

 

What I'm talking about is using them in a casually negative sense, as in "He forgot your birthday? That's lame." Obviously the person who says that isn't talking about someone hobbling around with a cane. But they are (unconsciously) equating the idea of not being able to walk well with the idea of being thoughtless and inconsiderate. And for people who really are "lame," that kind of sucks. It's similar to calling something "gay" when it has nothing to do with being gay, it's just something you don't like.

 

And I'm thinking about 50 years down the road. Nowadays people use those words all the time, and of course they're not trying to be mean and they don't really think that people who walk with canes are inconsiderate or any of the things they say. (Or at least I hope they don't. sad.gif) It's just an unfortunate part of our language that I hope changes.

 

The thing is though, a word is only given it's power to hurt people by the user (the one who puts their feelings into a word and ultimately chooses the words they use, good or bad) and by the receiver (exacerbating or lessening the emotions behind the words). I could call you a tree with all of my hate, and chances are, if you can discern that I said that with malice, you wouldn't take very kindly to me calling you that, even though the word itself has no meaning that could be taken offensively (unless you feel superior to trees and being taken to "their level" is a bad thing to you). However, if I just, off the cuff, called you a tree jokingly, and you were able to discern that, chances are you wouldn't get upset at me for saying that (but you might think it's a strange thing to call someone). The context and intent behind the words are what gives the intended meaning behind the words. If the receiver gets a message that has a different context or intent behind it than the user intended, then it is nothing but miscommunication. The receiver is not right in insisting on what the user meant.

 

The only change I want to see in society in accordance with these words is for people to communicate better, and to actively expand their vocabulary, use multiple meanings of words instead of getting bogged down into the idea that word = x (though slurs should not be used ever), and be able to actively discern context and intent rather than focusing on the societal perceptions of the individual words themselves.

 

A word is but a single note in the song of language. A note cannot tell you where the song is going, it can only be a part of the whole.

 

-K-

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*Claps*

 

 

Not much left to say really, though I'd like to point out to arula that "gay" originally meant happy. Should we revert to the original-original meaning of the word? Language evolves.

 

Admittedly right now, "gay" is in a bit of a messy tangle, but considering how words like "moron" went, I wouldn't be urprised if "gay" eventually split off and became something else entirely.

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I've always reckoned that the offensiveness of a comment is at least partly to do with percieved intent. For instance, like how some people think it's okay for black people to use the "n word".

 

Like Kamak said, it's pretty easy to tell the intent behind someone's comment. But words can still hurt others, even if the person's intent is innocent. For instance, if somebody was taunted by the word "weirdo" for a significant portion of their life, then I think it would be reasonable for them to request that people around them not use the word, since it reminds them of bad times.

 

But the other problem with the internet is (as well as clashing cultures) that intentions aren't always clear. Yeah, we've got smilies to indicate facial expressions, but there isn't really a way to substitute tone of voice. For that reason, people really need to watch what they say, and try and make sure it couldn't be taken as an insult.

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Wow this is a lot of words.

 

Princess Artemis, mostly what I was talking about was the point a few years ago (I guess around 2002-2005...?) at which there was overwhelming evidence that SOMETHING was happening to the global climate, and there were still people insisting that nothing was happening at all and everything was the same as it had been for the past 500 years. I don't mean the people arguing that there was change but that it was natural and not anthropogenic, or the people arguing that there was change but it wasn't going to be catastrophic; I mean the people arguing that nothing was changing at all. They do seem to mostly have piped down by now. I guess whether we should or even can do something about it is still an open question.

 

And you're right, it's an area in which science and politics have become messily embroiled, which makes it a lot harder to find unbiased information.

 

Kamak, I agree that words' meanings exist between the sender and the receiver, and that in most cases the people who say the word "lame" say it with no malice at all (and that most people hear it the same way). And that would be fine if it were a word like "tree", or "glorp," that has no second meaning that applies to humans. What I'm concerned about is that saying and hearing the word "lame" used to mean "stupid" and "inconsiderate" and "irresponsible" and "lazy" and "cruel" and all the other things it's used to mean-- even when the people saying and hearing it that way are not consciously thinking of the "bad at walking" definition at all-- will associate all of those definitions subconsciously in people's heads. And then, when someone gets sick or injured and becomes lame, not only will it be hard for them to cope with for the obvious reasons, but also because somewhere in their subconscious, "bad at walking" is associated with "stupid" and "thoughtless."

 

Obviously this is a pretty subtle problem, not on the level of actual abuse or cruelty or the many other horrible things going on in the world. But it bothers me, so I thought I'd mention it.

 

RheaZen, yep, language definitely evolves, and who knows what "gay" or "lame" will mean hundreds of years from now? I'm not saying that they are dead words that need to be eradicated from the language, and maybe they will go charging off in different directions and end up describing styles of architecture or phases of the moon. But I am saying that using them as insults is problematic right now, and will probably continue to be problematic until we get to the point where hardly anyone remembers that at one point they meant "attracted to people of the same gender" and "bad at walking". In 50 years, I don't think we will have reached that point yet.

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Kamak, I am a 36 year old American, born and raised in Southern California. Growing up, I have seen many, many people imitate those with cerebral palsy and equate the action with stupidity or mental deficiency. I have heard them imitate the voices of people with severe movement disorders to the same effect. They called it 'spazzing'. Nowadays, when I see people say they are 'spazzing out', they sometimes act up and flap their arms as if they can't control their body movements. Please do not tell me that in America, such things are non-existent. I know you were operating under mistaken information regarding my location, but that does not change the fact that you cannot speak for all of America when you say such things are non-existent. They are existent, in America.

 

So 'spazzing' is associated with clumsiness? That could not possibly be because people with movement disorders are sometimes clumsy, could it? It's associated with 'over-excitedness'? That couldn't be because someone suffering from an episode of uncontrollable, painful body contortions appears to be moving quite a lot and is, quite literally, over-excited, could it?

 

You, and many others, believe such attitudes are benign, for they do not know the word "spaz" (which has no medical usage at all) has unsavory roots, and perhaps they do not know what the movements they make mean. I believe in 50 years, society will be ashamed of these attitudes that allow such usages to be accepted, the way that society is ashamed of blackface now. Back then, wearing makeup to imitate other races was not seen nor intended to be in any way negative. And yet now, as a society, we are horrified by it and horrified we ever thought it was acceptable.

 

I have no intention of shaming anyone. I wish to give people something to think about. If those thoughts provoke feelings, perhaps it's worth listening to why those feelings were provoked. You'll not see me attack every instance of someone saying they 'spazzed out', nor even being personally offended by them. That would be a pointless crusade and an exercise in futility. Which is why I want the attitudes to evolve, knowing the words will follow. Your way, diluting the words without addressing the attitudes, affects ultimately only the sounds being made and strikes me as the same reason that such a long string of descriptors for other races are no longer acceptable--the attitudes behind the words never changed.

 

You say a word can only gain it's damaging affect by the intent of the user. You are partially right--the attitude of the user also has an effect on the word. If the user of a word holds such a casual disregard for the disabled and mentally ill that they are not even aware they hold it, it colors the words they use. That's why words like lame and crazy and spaz can get negative connotations about able-bodied and non-ill people in the first place. It happened because society gave not even one <censored> about what those things mean to the people who suffer from them. After all, to people who don't suffer with a movement disorder, 'spaz' is just another word, it's not a reality that puts them in wheelchairs and causes them pain. 'Lame' is just a word, it's not a reality. 'Crazy' is just a word, it's not a reality. So therefore it's OK for those who don't suffer from the reality behind those words, it's just sounds, they don't mean anything by them. Right?

 

ETA-ETA: To follow up on what arula said, my movement disorder is acquired and while it doesn't involve spactisity, to the untrained eye it looks very, very similar. What I do involuntarily looks like the 'spazzing' people sometimes do when they say the word. Those subconscious meanings and associations that follow the imitated movements and 'spaz' around that arula mentioned, the ones that people aren't intending badly? Guess what--they affect me in everyday life. People think I am stupid because my arm curls up against my chest. They talk down to me, treat me as if even if I had two neurons to rub together, I wouldn't know how to do it. It's the movement I grew up associating with the word 'spaz' (recall, I'm an adult American, so I am not the only one in America who grew up with these associations) that are affecting me, and the word still carries with it all of that meaning.

 

ETA:

Princess Artemis, mostly what I was talking about was the point a few years ago (I guess around 2002-2005...?) at which there was overwhelming evidence that SOMETHING was happening to the global climate, and there were still people insisting that nothing was happening at all and everything was the same as it had been for the past 500 years. I don't mean the people arguing that there was change but that it was natural and not anthropogenic, or the people arguing that there was change but it wasn't going to be catastrophic; I mean the people arguing that nothing was changing at all. They do seem to mostly have piped down by now. I guess whether we should or even can do something about it is still an open question.

 

And you're right, it's an area in which science and politics have become messily embroiled, which makes it a lot harder to find unbiased information.

 

There were people who argued that way? All they had to do was look back to the extra-cold years and extra-warm years in the recent past to know that things wiggle around a bit. I guess I have trouble believing large numbers of people in that recent of history ever thought climates don't change! There was even a global cooling scare in the '70s. Maybe they were remembering that and thinking, "Not again..."

Edited by Princess Artemis

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If people don't know the original meaning and are using the new meaning of the word, then how exactly are they being offensive? The intent and the context are what matters

 

I get what you're trying to get at, yet...

 

I can't quite remember how it all goes right now, but have you ever heard of/seen the thing where kids pull their eyes down and then up and one way is Japanese and one way is Chinese, or whatever it is?

 

99.9% of those kids don't mean to be racist, but they are being racist when they do that, and it is hurtful and offensive to each other.

 

Three semesters ago, my bf was in his lab. The TA came was talking to a group of them and, however this went down, she ended up calling him her "little yellow friend" (he's Vietnamese). He and all his friends were shocked. He told her that was offensive and he didn't like it, but she said she had plenty of Asian friends and she called them all that and it was fine.

 

I knew plenty of people in high school that would always say "that's gay". They didn't mean to be degrading gays, but it didn't make it hurt any less. I remember on Day of Silence when our advocates talked to their classes about DoS and what it meant and why we were doing it, and one religious girl had the epiphany that it was like "oh my God" to her. Other people don't realize and don't understand how offensive that is to her and a lot of people in her religion, just like she didn't realize or understand how "that's gay" might be offensive to the gay community.

 

Same thing with "that's retarded". It's just slang to lots of people, but knowing people with disabilities and friends and family of mentally retarded people, and watching over quite a few mentally challenged people for my job for the community centers, it is offensive.

 

Just because you don't understand or know where something came from or the connotation it can have doesn't mean it isn't offensive.

 

^^

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'Spaz' is short for 'spastic.' 'Spastic' is a term for a mental disability. So calling someone a 'spaz' is saying they are mentally disabled.

 

Once you know what 'spaz' is short for, you are not only being offensive but also ignorant, and you have no excuse for it. Argue all you want, outside of America it is outright offensive and once you've been told once, you shouldn't keep on using it in mixed company. *That* is evolution of language, manners and ettiquette.

 

So, now you know 'spaz' is about as offensive a term you can ever get, I suggest you are more aware of it next-time.

 

It's the same as when someone calls me a 'Kraut.' That is fairly racist as remarks go, hence why I politely yet firmly inform people as such and thus ask them not to use it again. If they use it again in my presence or to describe me, then at that point they are out-and-out offensive and racist.

Edited by Kestra15

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Women shaving their legs. Why did they do something so ridiculous?

 

:| A girl can hope, a'right? XP

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Women shaving their legs. Why did they do something so ridiculous?

 

:| A girl can hope, a'right? XP

This. Oh please, this. It is such a stupid habit when you think about it but I can't count the number of times I wore long pants or a long skirt on a very hot day to hide my stubble...

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