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Unacceptable words

I have seen the following public service announcement bouncing around on Facebook.  It certainly gave me pause to think.

I have a very good friend who decided that this year one of his new year's resolutions would be to avoid using any term that is derogatory toward a group of people.  He was rather vague in his wording of the resolution, I think on purpose.  I suppose words that he meant to include in the list were probably many of those mentioned in this advertisement.

I've discussed the matter concerning the derogatory use of the word "gay" (as in "that's so gay") with a couple different people.  Personally, I am not offended by such usage.  But, I'm not very easily offended.  I wouldn't be offended at being called a fag or a homo or any other such insult.  So, I used that as reasoning to justify my own use of the phrase "that's so gay" (and other similar connotations of the word).  Hence, the cause for introspection upon watching this video.

I think that the best position for me to be in is to remain un-offended when on the receiving end of such words, while simultaneously being sensitive enough to other people's feelings to not use them in any derogatory context.  I've tried it over the last week or so, and I've found it surprising difficult.  I use the "R" word quite frequently in my soliloquies, and occasionally in conversation with others.  For example, when I was stopped at a red light the other day, the person coming in the other direction was also stopped, but at a green light.  I tried to think of other things I could say without using an insulting word, and I concluded that the best thing to do would be to just not say anything at all.  Perhaps that is what I will have to do in a majority of cases.

At any rate, I support the campaign to encourage all people to use verbology that is more friendly, more loving, and less insulting.  There are so many words in the English language.  Let us use those that will lift each other's burdens and brighten each other's countenances.  And let us avoid using those that will cause anger, hurt, or distress.

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