View Poll Results: Are some words inherently offensive?

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Thread: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

  1. #41
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Words only have the power the listener or reader grant them. Though I've heard that some of Joseph Goebbels recorded propaganda is sealed, never to be heard again.
    Last edited by Saboteur; 05-14-09 at 05:06 PM.
    We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

  2. #42
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    niggardly
    See, I want to use this word sometimes but I know that it may offend others so I don't. Kudos for having the cahones though.
    We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives with the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment.
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

  3. #43
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Words can definitely cause harm. For those who disagree, let me ask a question: Is there anything you are insecure or sensitive about? Does it hurt when someone finds that hot button, and uses words to insult you in relation to it? I'd argue most everyone has at least one of these..at least, no one I've known well didn't. Everyone has private shames and vulnerabilities.

    http://christopherleemay.com/2009/04...s-wound-heart/

    The gist of this article:

    1. Whenever we speak to another person images are invoked within their imagination. Actually, the images are invoked on both on the part of the listener and the person speaking. The same is true when we write harsh or kind words to another person, we again evoke the imagination which creates mental pictures. With the spoken word is added the power of sound. Thus, were infusing the images with which makes them even more harmful or helpful. In the case of the written word the harm is being created by enriching the imagination with anger or hatred, fear, jealousy, greed and other toxic or harsh emotions. If the words are loving, positive and pleasurable then the higher nature or enlightened mind is invoked.

    2. As a result of unkind and harsh words a mental memory and emotional heart wound is created between the two parties. This wound causes us to pull away from one another and shut down. Beyond shuting down communication, we shut down the desire to connect with them. Connection is one of the most powerful motivators of life force within us. While its true the wounds can be healed and gaps between the two parties can be eventually bridged, it takes 100 times the energy to heal a wound than it does to prevent the wound the heart of another person.

    3. The third harmful effect of harsh speech or words to is to cause people to disengage from one another permanently. This takes place when there is a repeated pattern of continual abuse or neglect of the heart of another when speaking or writing.
    I believe it's very short-sighted to claim words can't cause harm. It's simply untrue, unless you're a cyborg.

  4. #44
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Analyst View Post
    Words can definitely cause harm. For those who disagree, let me ask a question: Is there anything you are insecure or sensitive about? Does it hurt when someone finds that hot button, and uses words to insult you in relation to it? I'd argue most everyone has at least one of these..at least, no one I've known well didn't. Everyone has private shames and vulnerabilities.

    http://christopherleemay.com/2009/04...s-wound-heart/

    The gist of this article:



    I believe it's very short-sighted to claim words can't cause harm. It's simply untrue, unless you're a cyborg.
    I know of some posters here, who ought to be reading this particular post.
    Not that they would "get it", though.

  5. #45
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Analyst View Post
    Words can definitely cause harm. For those who disagree, let me ask a question: Is there anything you are insecure or sensitive about? Does it hurt when someone finds that hot button, and uses words to insult you in relation to it? I'd argue most everyone has at least one of these..at least, no one I've known well didn't. Everyone has private shames and vulnerabilities.

    http://christopherleemay.com/2009/04...s-wound-heart/

    The gist of this article:

    I believe it's very short-sighted to claim words can't cause harm. It's simply untrue, unless you're a cyborg.
    I agree that words most definitely CAN cause harm; I just don't believe any word is universally and unequivically "offensive". I think certain words can be "offensive" to certain people, I think words that are generally never "offensive" can become such in the right context, and I think a large part of a word being able to cause harm is weakness and over sensitivity on the part of the person that is being harmed.

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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwendoline View Post
    Just curious. What "word" would you use for a man who is "... so overblown on their views that they begin to swing it from an honest attempt to bring men to an equal playing field but instead to place men above women and to actively work to punish and oppress women for the sake of raising up men..."

    So how does it work when said that way? And is there a word equivelent to "feminazi" for men, and what is it? Neanderthal? Sounds kinda soft... maybe something a bit harsher, maybe...
    I've heard the words "chauvinist pig" used rather effectively to convey that meaning.

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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    On the topic of the thread...yes, some words are inherently offensive. I find the four letter "c" word to be almost intolerable. The "n" word used to be that way to me, too, until I realized that the only reason it's considered offensive anymore is to play into that whole victim mentality that has been pushed off on the African American community. When I hear the word coming from black people more than anyone else, I find the offensiveness of the word to be questionable, at best. When use of the word is pervasive all through the culture that word is supposedly meant to offend, I consider the word reclaimed and no longer off limits.

    I still can't bring myself to use the word, however. I prefer "coon".

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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    I agree that words most definitely CAN cause harm; I just don't believe any word is universally and unequivically "offensive". I think certain words can be "offensive" to certain people, I think words that are generally never "offensive" can become such in the right context, and I think a large part of a word being able to cause harm is weakness and over sensitivity on the part of the person that is being harmed.
    See, this is exactly what I disagree with. What are we, made out of metal?

    We're human. We ALL have weak points.

    I think your position completely ignores the fact that people come from diverse backgrounds, and have varying levels of pain inflicted on them by others and society throughout their lives. It may well be true that there are few things that hurt your feelings (though I believe very few are truly that bulletproof), but a little sensitivity towards others who may not be as well equipped through no fault of their own (ie, childhood abuse, persecution, etc) shouldn't be such a difficult thing to muster. Instead, you pile on the additional label of "weak" or "oversensitive".

    It seems to me that your position is just a rationale for being insensitive and not feeling guilty about it.

    Do the words "Heil Hitler" provoke any reaction in you at all? No context, but the words represent something nonetheless.

  9. #49
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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Analyst View Post
    See, this is exactly what I disagree with. What are we, made out of metal?

    We're human. We ALL have weak points.

    I think your position completely ignores the fact that people come from diverse backgrounds, and have varying levels of pain inflicted on them by others and society throughout their lives. It may well be true that there are few things that hurt your feelings (though I believe very few are truly that bulletproof), but a little sensitivity towards others who may not be as well equipped through no fault of their own (ie, childhood abuse, persecution, etc) shouldn't be such a difficult thing to muster. Instead, you pile on the additional label of "weak" or "oversensitive".

    It seems to me that your position is just a rationale for being insensitive and not feeling guilty about it.

    Do the words "Heil Hitler" provoke any reaction in you at all? No context, but the words represent something nonetheless.
    To tell the truth, I think some people throw up "bluster", to hide insecurities and shortcomings. Pointing fingers before they are "pointed at". It could be the only reason for personal attacks. Projection.

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    Re: Are some words inherently offensive or is context important?

    Quote Originally Posted by Analyst View Post
    Do the words "Heil Hitler" provoke any reaction in you at all? No context, but the words represent something nonetheless.
    I think the word "Hitler" carries all the context one needs.

    But no, the words "Heil Hitler" do not provoke a reaction by themselves. I immediately think "Nazi" but that is because Hitler was the leader of the Nazi party. That's the only reaction I have, though.

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