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Yzarro

cultural things we'll be ashamed of in 50 years

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Does looking at a gay couple give you a disease? No.

Yes, actually. It gives you THE FAB.

...And no, you really don't want to know.

 

But yes, it's also possible that in fifty years there could be an epic swing in the opposite direction and with the advent of mind control straight male conservatives could control gay peoples' brain waves so to make them THINK they're straight when they're really not.

It's like the Imperio curse, but more like FOR SCIENCE.

That, or I'm insane.

 

I think in fifty years we will probably think tanning saloons were like the worst idea ever.

Anyone else thinking they show similarities to ancient torture chambers?

 

 

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I'm gathering you didn't read what I said about how I grew up and my association of the word 'spaz' and that exact hand movement. 'Spaz' and that hand movement are intertwined in my mind because that's how they were used together when I was growing up. When I hear people saying they are 'spazzing', I see them flap their hands sometimes, and a long while ago, I saw them sometimes making that hand movement. And now, my hand does something very like it involuntarily. You're not going to convince me there is anything friendly about the word no matter how people say it.

 

What friends and family do, is as I said, a different matter.

 

 

 

I can't answer this because I can't figure out what I'm being asked. Who would I not know that well but still know well enough to read their intent beyond a shadow of a doubt?

I might have missed it, but I think I read it.

There's a boy that I've grown up with for the past six years. I'm not sure what his condition is, but he usually does a fast hand movement in front of his face (like waving his fingers in front of his face) while he talks. We know this is because of a medical issue. And yes, there are people who are cruel and use this against him to be mean. And then there are those who are friends with him or don't mind that he's a bit on the annoying side, but we don't take it upon ourselves to make fun of him.

Anyways, he used to call other people spazzes when they'd get super overly excited and did fast movements. Of course, those movements weren't meant to be copying him- they didn't so the same thing he did- but it was often just an expression of excitement through a physical release. Like, sometimes when I'm excited, I wiggle my wrists as if I'm an impatient small child. I don't do this because I'm making fun of someone, and my mom doesn't call me a Spaz because my movements liken me to someone with a mental disorder. The way I was acting or the way the people that KJ talked about were acting weren't making fun of people with conditions. There has been no connection to Spaz and mental disorders, for me, before this conversation.

 

My growing up with the word "dyke" wasn't great, either. As a little girl I lived in Las Vegas, in a part that was extremely conservative, and I was often made fun of and bullied because of my gay moms. They called me "little dyke" and "dykette" on the play ground and pushed me in the dirt. Now, it's a little bit more difficult to use the word Dyke in an innocent setting because it's supposed to be derogatory however it's used, when the word "Spaz" is not. And yet, if someone I didn't know well was trying to describe, let's say, a lesbian to me, and said something like, "Well, if I had to describe her appearance, I'd probably say Bulldyke." While Dyke is derogatory, I know in this context that this person is referring to the kind of style or stereotype rather than trying to be mean.

 

Please explain to me why it is so different with friends and family.

 

 

Also, I meant more like, if someone you had recently met was having a conversation and they mentioned someone being a spaz (in a non-malicious way), what would you do? What would you do when you discovered afterwards that the person you were talking to also had the same condition you have?

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There has been no connection to Spaz and mental disorders, for me, before this conversation.

That surprises me, actually, that you never, before this conversation, knew there was a link between 'spaz' and spacticity, since that's where the word comes from and you say you and your moms use it to tease your sister, who has cerebral palsy. That's why I thought you understood why it's OK to say things like that about family, because...you are. That's what 'spaz' was originally used to make fun of, people with cerebral palsy. I knew that growing up. It doesn't bother me a bit that you call your sister that, because she's your sister and you're not doing it to hurt her. What you do in your own family is irrelevant to any concern of anyone else's as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.

 

You're getting closer to how I feel about it, with 'dyke', though 'spaz' is supposed to be derogatory no matter how it's used, though some uses are allegedly much milder than others.

 

Please explain to me why it is so different with friends and family.

 

That's hard to do. Some things are just OK for family. I guess...for instance, I have an 80+ great uncle that really ought not be allowed into public. His views are...antiquated, at best. But. He's my uncle and I love him. That doesn't mean the things he says are OK, but coming from him to my family, they do no harm to us. If a stranger said them, I'd not want anything to do with the person, but I'm not about to ostracize my old outdated uncle that I adore over it. That make sense?

 

Or, for another instance: If you saw a stranger having what looked like, for all intents and purposes, a seizure, on the floor of a grocery store, would you think it was in any way a good idea to crack wise to them? Just out of the blue? What if it was one of your moms and you knew for a fact she would appreciate the joke and it would make her feel better? Do you see a difference in those two situations?

 

Also, I meant more like, if someone you had recently met was having a conversation and they mentioned someone being a spaz (in a non-malicious way), what would you do? What would you do when you discovered afterwards that the person you were talking to also had the same condition you have?

 

Oh, well...I probably wouldn't say anything in that case. If they said it a lot and found them interesting enough to continue talking to, I would probably explain briefly where the word comes from, let them then draw their own conclusions on whether or not they wish to keep using it. If I found out later they had the same condition I have, I would ask why they were using the word, if perhaps they were trying to reclaim it.

 

I do see people use it all the time, and I don't say anything even though it bothers me. I'm talking about it now because it came up in the thread and I thought it would be a good opportunity to give people something to think about.

 

Just for reference, I was talking to a nurse once, a little younger than I, who knew about my disorder, said she had been spazzing about something, then paused, thought a moment, and said, "I probably shouldn't say that around you, should I?" I hadn't asked her not to, she put two and two together on her own. In case you were wondering whether or not I'm the only American who associates 'spaz' and movement disorders, even when used 'innocently'. I'm not.

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It wasn't until maybe a few years ago, while speaking to some people from "across the pond" did I even realize that spaz apparently had negative connotations.

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That surprises me, actually, that you never, before this conversation, knew there was a link between 'spaz' and spacticity, since that's where the word comes from and you say you and your moms use it to tease your sister, who has cerebral palsy.  That's why I thought you understood why it's OK to say things like that about family, because...you are.  That's what 'spaz' was originally used to make fun of, people with cerebral palsy.  I knew that growing up.  It doesn't bother me a bit that you call your sister that, because she's your sister and you're not doing it to hurt her.  What you do in your own family is irrelevant to any concern of anyone else's as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.

 

You're getting closer to how I feel about it, with 'dyke', though 'spaz' is supposed to be derogatory no matter how it's used, though some uses are allegedly much milder than others.

 

That's hard to do.  Some things are just OK for family.  I guess...for instance, I have an 80+ great uncle that really ought not be allowed into public.  His views are...antiquated, at best.  But.  He's my uncle and I love him.  That doesn't mean the things he says are OK, but coming from him to my family, they do no harm to us.  If a stranger said them, I'd not want anything to do with the person, but I'm not about to ostracize my old outdated uncle that I adore over it.  That make sense?

 

Or, for another instance:  If you saw a stranger having what looked like, for all intents and purposes, a seizure, on the floor of a grocery store, would you think it was in any way a good idea to crack wise to them?  Just out of the blue?  What if it was one of your moms and you knew for a fact she would appreciate the joke and it would make her feel better?  Do you see a difference in those two situations?

 

 

Oh, well...I probably wouldn't say anything in that case.  If they said it a lot and found them interesting enough to continue talking to, I would probably explain briefly where the word comes from, let them then draw their own conclusions on whether or not they wish to keep using it.  If I found out later they had the same condition I have, I would ask why they were using the word, if perhaps they were trying to reclaim it.

 

I do see people use it all the time, and I don't say anything even though it bothers me.  I'm talking about it now because it came up in the thread and I thought it would be a good opportunity to give people something to think about.

 

Just for reference, I was talking to a nurse once, a little younger than I, who knew about my disorder, said she had been spazzing about something, then paused, thought a moment, and said, "I probably shouldn't say that around you, should I?"  I hadn't asked her not to, she put two and two together on her own.  In case you were wondering whether or not I'm the only American who associates 'spaz' and movement disorders, even when used 'innocently'.  I'm not.

Well, I know "spaz" comes from "spastic" and the like. I also know that "spastic" is a word used to refer to those with a disorder. However, growing up as I did with that word, it was never something that came across as negative. Ever. No one in my schools, my families, my books ever mentioned anything of similar nature. There was even a character in a book I read in sixth grade whos first name was Spaz, and I think it was because he was so hyper. For me, it was a word that had two different meanings to be used in different context. When my mom calls me and my sister spazzes because we're jumping around being silly and hyper, it is a completely innocent term. It means nothing relative to a mental disorder, and the same goes if I call my hyper cousin, my dog, or my friend a spaz in the same way I would laugh and call them a dork.

And I don't know if it was just bad wording or what, but I just want to clarify that my mom doesn't call me sister a Spaz because she has cerebral palsy. In fact, I highly doubt my mother, who is a well-credited ICU nurse, knows that there can be a negative connotation behind that word too. She gets upset if my friends or anyone else use the word "retarded" in an unacceptable fashion because of my sister's mental delays.

 

To me, spaz just has too different meanings. Like censorkip.gif** (think cigarettes), for example. That went from an innocent word to a completely malicious word, and nowadays only the harsher meaning is recognized by most of the population. It's kind of the reverse of this situation, where a harmful word now doesn't mean or have much to do with its original meaning. I don't associate hyper activity to cerebral palsy because of my experience with my little sister, so I don't see the connection between the words at all.

 

 

And I know that was a hypothetical question, but if there was someone seizing on the floor, my mother would be on that floor with them administrating whatever she would because she's a nurse. But I also don't joke about people who are obviously having problems, so, I don't think I could really answer that.

Edited by Shiny Hazard Sign

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And as I have said before (both in this topic AND in our other discussion), you cannot force people in another culture to comply to your culture's standards. If they're visiting your country, they're at the mercy of your culture and should respect that like any good guest should. If you're visiting them and are offended, you can ask them to respect your wishes, but they are not obligated to do so (beyond how much they like you and don't want to hurt you). Cultural dissonance exists for a reason, and just because something is offensive in your culture doesn't mean it is in another, or SHOULD be treated as such.

 

Beyond that, when you're on the internet, no one needs to feel forced to comply with anyone else's culture. You have no more right to try to force me to stop saying spaz as I have a right to force you to say it. This is a neutral ground where no culture is dominant. You can get upset that people continue to use the word all you want, but ultimately, you cannot impose your culture on them as "right".

Then it's okay to be rude and ignorant to other people, so long as it's over the Internet or you're not in their home country? That'll do you well in life.

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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..."

^ This.

 

+1.

 

I get that 'spaz' has become to mean someone making excited movements and someone doing something clumsy. But why do you think that is?

 

In the same way that people call someone who does something 'stupid' as a re-tard - why do you think that is?

 

Because of the origins of the words. You don't use re-tard, please don't use spaz either.

 

Just because the origin isn't as well known in the younger generation (and that goes for both sides of the pond), that doesn't mean that the origin wasn't associated with a disability.

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Then it's okay to be rude and ignorant to other people, so long as it's over the Internet or you're not in their home country? That'll do you well in life.

Yes, because that's exactly what I was saying. Strawmans have no place in debate, Kestra.

 

The point is no one's cultural rules and notions should apply to the rest of the world. I'm sure everyone's heard of the "annoying American tourists" that travel to other countries and are offended that people don't speak English (or perfect English) to suit their needs (though there are tourists from other countries that do the same when they travel, Americans are generally the ones that get noticed more often). That's something that shouldn't be imposed on other cultures for the sake of convenience or placating another culture that feels it's dominant to them for some reason (morally superior, smarter, more "cultured", etc.).

 

For an example that might help you understand this a bit better (and the one I usually use), think of the issue over hijabs. Many western women find them to be a symbol of female slavery, and in some places, have actively tried to ban them from being worn. However, to Islamic women, hijabs have nothing to do with "subjugation" to men, it's a symbol of one's faith (much like a cross necklace for Christians) and modesty. Is it right to ban hijabs for the sake of the objectors that find it sexist, to the detriment of the people who use it to promote their faith and values? If you do ban it, what message have you sent to the culture that you've denied that practice to? Does this make their culture or practices less important than another viewpoint?

 

-K-

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I wonder how this managed to become a debate thread....

 

Abandoning the space program

The Elvis conspiracy theory

This economic downturn and what we didn't do to fix it

What we put in our food

 

EDIT: Oh yah, and Gossip Magazines

Edited by Walker

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o.o ... I must say, around here Spaz =/= spastic. At least not around the people that I grew up with. Spastic was something to respect, and spaz simply meant someone who was... spazzy. It had nothing to do with movement, but when your brain jumped from one topic to the next, and all over the place mood wise.

 

Stop being a spaz, generally meant focus. Of course, I've only ever called myself a spaz. o.0 So maybe that's where the difference is.

 

But I digress from the intent of this thread.

 

What we put in our food.

Reality tv shows.

Wars

Freaking pesticide and fertilizer when we have no more good drinking water and fishing ponds. =/.

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The Elvis conspiracy theory

The what?

 

I really hope anime doesn't go out of fashion. What will I watch when I'm old?

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Oh God, Walker. Where did you even find--?

 

It's what we're going to be ashamed of, not what we are ashamed of. xd.png

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I wonder how this managed to become a debate thread....

I think it did because one thing suggested that some people hope society will look back on with shame or regret was something others quite clearly think is harmless.

 

Haze, I don't have time now, but I wanted to comment on the question I posed and your answer. It's not as bad as it looks on the surface : )

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Oh God, Walker. Where did you even find--?

 

It's what we're going to be ashamed of, not what we are ashamed of. xd.png

It's infamous. Everyone jokes about it? It's not like I spend my time surfing the internet for crazy conspiracy theories. Also, I'm sure the people who believe it now will take 50 years to become ashamed.

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*Just read the debate going on...*

 

I had no idea spazz had any connection to disabilities. o.o I've grown up only hearing it used for someone being excitable, such as a friend getting giddy over a movie character or our dog playfully running in circles around the living room because I blew a birthday party noisemaker thing at him. I've never heard it used in a derogatory sense, just in a "you're so silly and hyper" sense. And I'm also from California.

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The Elvis conspiracy theory

Or the Paul McCartney is Really Dead conspiracy...

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Oh, I agree on the Elvis thing. Hopefully Elvis Impersonators will go out too.

 

Once upon a time I had a manager/store owner/boss who was an Elvis impersonator o_o

 

 

 

I hope a lot of the celebrity worship will be something we're ashamed of then. That and the ridiculous amount of money they get for it.

 

It's ridiculous that someone does an average acting job in a movie and gets paid millions when we have people like nurses, paramedics, firepeople, teachers, even cleaning people like janitors and garbage people that are making next to nothing and their jobs actually have an impact on life. Even when you look at theatre actors, they get paid next to nothing as well and I think people who do live acting like that are a lot more talented than a TV or movie star.

 

I'm not saying celebrities should work for free, no, I'm saying they shouldn't get the media attention they get, they shouldn't get special privileges (like slaps on the wrists for drinking/drugs/ect. where other people go to jail) and we shouldn't be paying them near what they get paid.

 

 

*end rant*

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I hope a lot of the celebrity worship will be something we're ashamed of then. That and the ridiculous amount of money they get for it.

 

It's ridiculous that someone does an average acting job in a movie and gets paid millions when we have people like nurses, paramedics, firepeople, teachers, even cleaning people like janitors and garbage people that are making next to nothing and their jobs actually have an impact on life. Even when you look at theatre actors, they get paid next to nothing as well and I think people who do live acting like that are a lot more talented than a TV or movie star.drinking/drugs/ect. where other people go to jail) and we shouldn't be paying them near what they get paid.

This. So much this.

What did celebrities ever do to be so famous? Take singers like Kesha- I've met easily twenty people in my lifetime who are better singers than her. And even so, nobody should get paid such a ridiculous amount for prancing around and looking nice. Did they ever save you from a burning building? Did they ever save your grandparents from a heart attack?

I'm not saying celebrities have it easy. No, there are some of them who hate the publicity and the fact that they can't go anywhere without being flooded by paparazzi. Every photo of them starts a new rumor. When they go to a beach with a friend? Relationship rumors ignite. When they cover up? Pregnancy rumors swirl. I hate how we make such a big deal about- gasp- a woman celebrity going out in public without her wedding ring on. My mom doesn't wear her wedding ring all the time. Doesn't mean she's not happily married.

I hope we'll be ashamed of this in 50 years. I also hope that the craving for fame will die away. Who wants that life? Personally, I would hate being flocked by reporters and photos every time I set foot outside.

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Haze, I don't have time now, but I wanted to comment on the question I posed and your answer. It's not as bad as it looks on the surface : )

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying D:

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Oh, I agree on the Elvis thing. Hopefully Elvis Impersonators will go out too.

 

Once upon a time I had a manager/store owner/boss who was an Elvis impersonator o_o

 

 

 

I hope a lot of the celebrity worship will be something we're ashamed of then. That and the ridiculous amount of money they get for it.

 

It's ridiculous that someone does an average acting job in a movie and gets paid millions when we have people like nurses, paramedics, firepeople, teachers, even cleaning people like janitors and garbage people that are making next to nothing and their jobs actually have an impact on life. Even when you look at theatre actors, they get paid next to nothing as well and I think people who do live acting like that are a lot more talented than a TV or movie star.

 

I'm not saying celebrities should work for free, no, I'm saying they shouldn't get the media attention they get, they shouldn't get special privileges (like slaps on the wrists for drinking/drugs/ect. where other people go to jail) and we shouldn't be paying them near what they get paid.

 

 

*end rant*

Dude yes, everything here. So infuriating.

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I like how an actual political issue (ie. environment [not just climate change, I mean stuff like INCHES OF TRASH IN THE OCEAN], also wildlife) has been buried in favor of slang, of all things. :V

 

Are people nowadays embarrassed about the language used by Shakespeare, guys? No really. His language was considered vulgar back in his day. To say we'll be ashamed of our current slang half a century in the future is to say we're ashamed of Shakespeare now.

 

 

Also?

 

I'm the dorkiest dork who ever lived. I am the biggest dork. It's me.

 

Related: The word "dork" originally referred to a whale's penis. Now look at the previous line.

 

Language evolves. Don't cling to old definitions if the word has evolved (or is trying to evolve) far away. If you're going to be offended by an old definition in an arbitrary context you're the one who's making it offensive, not the person talking. Example? "I'm gonna go smoke a fag." In the UK it means smoking a cigarette. In the US it means shooting a gay. Are you going to flip out at every person in the UK who smokes now? Context is important. In years past it was offensive to call a man a dog. Do so now and he probably won't know what you're talking about unless you call his mother one in the process. The F word doesn't even pack its old punch anymore, to the point where some people use it in everyday language without any malice or sexual intent behind it at all.

Edited by Lythiaren

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I'm the dorkiest dork who ever lived. I am the biggest dork. It's me.

 

Related: The word "dork" originally referred to a whale's penis. Now look at the previous line.

Dammit Lyth, I was drinking. Good thing it was cold tea and not hot tea.

 

We're probably arguing over slang since it's a more mundane thing that we actually have control over (as in, using it or not) as opposed to not being able to do much about trash in the oceans etc.

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I'm not sure I understand what you're saying D:

Let me explain. My hypothetical example was actually using something I experience as an example. To people who aren't trained, the paroxysmal episodes I have can look like seizures, though they are in no way dangerous. No stranger who has any sense of propriety would come up to me and joke about it if they saw me do it in a grocery store, but my family, if they knew it would help me feel better about it, would. And it would be OK that they did. That's why I asked if you would joke with your mom in such a situation if you knew for a fact it would make her feel better.

 

I posed the hypothetical that way so hopefully it would be very clear why it would be OK to do this with family but not a stranger, even if the reason were not stated. I wasn't talking about a medical emergency, I think it came out sounding worse than I intended though.

 

I like how an actual political issue (ie. environment [not just climate change, I mean stuff like INCHES OF TRASH IN THE OCEAN], also wildlife) has been buried in favor of slang, of all things. :V

 

What I was discussing was not slang, it was attitudes about mentally ill and disabled people as they are shown in the slang we use. I do happen to think how we treat our fellow human beings is very important, and the fact that it is perfectly OK to denigrate the mentally ill and disabled by using conditions suffered as slang is evidence of how poorly society thinks of those people.

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I doubt that very much Artemis. The majority of us aren't even aware that there was a negative connotation at some point.

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