Thursday, June 2, 2011

Avoiding the "R-word."

I admit it. I have said some really socially unacceptable things. While I consider myself to be a rather nice person, and I am usually aware at how the words coming out of my mouth can affect someone, I'm not perfect. I have said some things that really aren't appropriate.

I used to say things were "gay" without even realizing it could be offensive. (Hey, I'm not proud of this.) Eventually, I became close with a friend that made me realize that my constant reference to things as "gay" was probably not the best way to describe things. It was offensive. Perhaps it wasn't offensive to him (he is rather forgiving), but to others, it likely would be. So I stopped calling things "gay."

Another word with which I occasionally slip is "retard." I don't use it to refer to mentally disabled people. I think that in my adolescence, it slipped in as a synonym for "stupid." However, being admonished occasionally for saying it and really, seeing this PSA makes me really realize how my words could hurt someone else. I know, I need to stop saying it.

Granted, I tend to believe that I have a pretty decent filter when it comes to what is right and wrong. I really don't say too many offensive things other than the well-placed F-bomb when it's required. (Sadly, I feel as though my job requires that particular word every day.) I don't use racial slurs. I, for the most part, refrain from using my words as a method to hurt someone. Being on the other side of verbal assaults for a time will create an awareness of the power of language.

So this is my pledge: I will stop using the "R-word." It's really not acceptable, and I should know better. I mean, come on, I like, stopped saying "like." (Well, really, that's not offensive, unless you're over the age of sixteen or not in a sorority.)

I was discussing this issue with P.I.C. the other night. We were discussing non-polarizing words to describe people. You know, some words that could convey a certain level of irritation without offending any person.

Here is our list (for now):
-Chode (or choad?). (Add smoker if you're feeling fancy. That one takes me right back to high school.)
-Douche(bag). I don't even think that I need to explain this one. It shouldn't offend anyone. Seriously. Think about the function of the actual object. Yeah, it's not a nice thing to be called. But offend any particular group of people? No.
-Dick. This one can be put with a ton of other words too to add a creative spin. Some more interesting takes? Dick cheese. Dick face. Dick knocker. All acceptable, and sometimes hilarious.
-Goat scrotum. This may be one of the more creative insults hurled at me in the past month or so, and I find it completely hilarious. Really, do you think the goats will be offended? Not me.

I am really very interested in expanding on this list, so please drop me some suggestions. The funnier the better, I always say.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash my mouth out with soap.


  1. That PSA about knocked me over. Pete and I both stopped, were completely silent, and just watched with our jaws dropped. Admittedly, I wish it was a PSA to stop using "fag" more than "retard", but I hope that including "fag" in the list of really bad words it used will help.

    Pete says "retarded" sometimes. I've been on him to stop it. I try not to use it, but I probably slip from time to time. Mostly I still prefer "DUMB" and "STUPID" though. Why mess with a classic?

  2. i agree with the R word, i stopped using it a while ago because a friend's brother has down's and he told us how hurtful it was.

    but i am SO stealing goat scrotum. that is pure gold.

  3. I never say "gay" or "retard" except when it is the worst possible time. And then they come out of nowhere. Like in front of my friend Sara I said "gay" and her brother is gay. And she usually gets really annoyed when people say that, but she looked at me and said "You never say that!?!" Weird.

  4. I never call things gay.

    Retarded, however, is probably one of my most used words AND I KNOW I'LL GO TO HELL FOR IT. Although I've been using it a lot less now that I work from home. Apparently people annoy me less when they're further away.

    I still need work, obviously.