Love, Nigger, Faggot, Cunt.

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    Oct 23, 2011 8:47 AM GMT
    God damn, why do we give words so much power?


    Thoughts, ideas, emotions....sure.

    But just words? Fuck that shit.
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:03 PM GMT
    one of the biggest lies i ever heard: sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.

    words matter.
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:04 PM GMT
    tailgater_3 saidone of the biggest lies i ever heard: sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.

    words matter.



    Why? What social/cultural/emotional baggage comes along with a free-standing word? Why does the word "cunt" invoke such a reaction? Even in that very sentence, it made you jump, didn't it?
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:17 PM GMT
    i am a product of my socio-cultural milieu. therefore, certain words do have weight and meaning that make them simply unacceptable (2 me) in most fora.

    yes, i do call ppl faggot and cunt in certain instances where they lose their perjorative meaning (ever visited the chat room on this site? haha) would i ever use them in front of family, business associates, etc? NO.
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:21 PM GMT
    I guess my point is... We have an assumed meaning behind these words, but little to no context.


    For instance, "Love" is tossed around, and given a deep assumed meaning with no actual intent.
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:30 PM GMT

    Why does the word "cunt" invoke such a reaction?

    Women really hate it because they know it means

    Can't
    Understand
    Normal
    Thinking
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:34 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidI guess my point is... We have an assumed meaning behind these words, but little to no context.


    For instance, "Love" is tossed around, and given a deep assumed meaning with no actual intent.


    yet words do have intent w/i context, and words do have socio-cultural connotations. these r my pts (cf Roland Barthes).
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:36 PM GMT
    Words do NOT have intent. I'm questioning why we give them power when the wielder of these words is simply spouting them out...


    Why is it that an entire cafeteria would stop dead if I was overheard using the word "Faggot"?

    Why, in an argument, can you invoke a reaction from your significant other simply by saying you love them, when your actions show otherwise, time and time again?
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:36 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidYes, they do. This was a deep thinking exercise. icon_biggrin.gif The point being to share thoughts on the subject.


    get in deeper next time. icon_wink.gif

    edit: oh, ur a bottom, i'll get in deeper then. hahaha
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:37 PM GMT
    Words only have the power you give them. It is your choice to let a word have power over you.

    I was actually having this discussion with colleagues recently. I was invited in to speak to the new graduate students at my university about what it's like to be gay and a teacher simultaneously (I guess those two things are related: who knew). In the course of the discussion, one new graduate student brought up how awful it was when her undergraduate students said, "That's so gay" or things to that effect. So everyone in the room, young and old, men and women, white black and everything in between, did their due diligence as graduate students in the humanities by nodding and agreeing to how backward and objectively wrong that is and how we should suppress that kind of hateful speech.

    I, the speaker, was the only one to object and say, "I'm not offended by that at all." Apart from the fact that my classes tend to focus on gamer culture (where part of every day speech is calling someone a niggerfaggot or a cumdumpster or a shitwhale or whatever), there is nothing objectively powerful about the word "gay". We only grant it power by stigmatizing it, like other allegedly powerful and hateful words, by making it a sacred magic spell that you should never, ever speak. That is what makes a word powerful: purposely not speaking it. Because everyone around you senses the power you're investing in that word because of its rarity.

    So I use the word "gay" all the time. I don't care: doesn't bother me. And I don't care about the context either. It doesn't matter. The only way we rob words of their power is through constant use, by demystifying them and actually using them. Only when everyone can say a word does that word stop being special.
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:41 PM GMT
    Larkin_PLR saidWords only have the power you give them. It is your choice to let a word have power over you.

    I was actually having this discussion with colleagues recently. I was invited in to speak to the new graduate students at my university about what it's like to be gay and a teacher simultaneously (I guess those two things are related: who knew). In the course of the discussion, one new graduate student brought up how awful it was when her undergraduate students said, "That's so gay" or things to that effect. So everyone in the room, young and old, men and women, white black and everything in between, did their due diligence as graduate students in the humanities by nodding and agreeing to how backward and objectively wrong that is and how we should suppress that kind of hateful speech.

    I, the speaker, was the only one to object and say, "I'm not offended by that at all." Apart from the fact that my classes tend to focus on gamer culture (where part of every day speech is calling someone a niggerfaggot or a cumdumpster or a shitwhale or whatever), there is nothing objectively powerful about the word "gay". We only grant it power by stigmatizing it, like other allegedly powerful and hateful words, by making it a sacred magic spell that you should never, ever speak. That is what makes a word powerful: purposely not speaking it. Because everyone around you senses the power you're investing in that word because of its rarity.

    So I use the word "gay" all the time. I don't care: doesn't bother me. And I don't care about the context either. It doesn't matter. The only way we rob words of their power is through constant use, by demystifying them and actually using them. Only when everyone can say a word does that word stop being special.



    This is great. Thank you. icon_biggrin.gif


    But it still doesn't work for love. icon_razz.gif Sure, we overuse it, we forget what it means. But it holds a crazy power. I can't think of a word like it.
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:44 PM GMT
    I once said, the more I say that I am gay, the less gay I am.


    The word just doesn't have the meaning to me anymore that it once did.
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:49 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier said
    But it still doesn't work for love. icon_razz.gif Sure, we overuse it, we forget what it means. But it holds a crazy power. I can't think of a word like it.


    I think it does... Love only has any power we invest in it.

    I kinda learned that the hard way haha. The last man I told "I love you" I invested a lot into the meaning of the word. To me it meant moving mountains, sending armies, and Greek epic poetry kind of love. And when he said it back, it was with the intensity that one "loves chocolate ice cream". So when I used the word Love I let it have power over me the way Helen of Troy had power, and he let the word Love have power over him the way the frozen food section at Wal Mart has power. icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 23, 2011 2:55 PM GMT
    Larkin_PLR said
    ThePenIsMyTier said
    But it still doesn't work for love. icon_razz.gif Sure, we overuse it, we forget what it means. But it holds a crazy power. I can't think of a word like it.


    I think it does... Love only has any power we invest in it.

    I kinda learned that the hard way haha. The last man I told "I love you" I invested a lot into the meaning of the word. To me it meant moving mountains, sending armies, and Greek epic poetry kind of love. And when he said it back, it was with the intensity that one "loves chocolate ice cream". So when I used the word Love I let it have power over me the way Helen of Troy had power, and he let the word Love have power over him the way the frozen food section at Wal Mart has power. icon_wink.gif


    agreed: love is not a primary emotion. thus again, it is the meaning we give it that provides it's power. is it, as french structuralist Barthes questions, a chair b/c we call it a chair, or is it a chair b/c it is a chair?
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    Oct 23, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidGod damn, why do we give words so much power?
    Thoughts, ideas, emotions....sure.
    But just words? Fuck that shit.


    Are you proposing we could experience some kind of Utopia by taking the power away from words? How, then, would we experience our thoughts, ideas and emotions?

    Words may not have intent but there is an intent behind the use of words.
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    Oct 23, 2011 5:24 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidGod damn, why do we give words so much power?


    Thoughts, ideas, emotions....sure.

    But just words? Fuck that shit.


    Because words are a medium of human expression, a means of communication. They harbor the thoughts, ideas, and emotions of their speaker - a connotation. It just so happens that certain words have become a "beacon" for the thoughts, ideas, and emotions of so many people. (eg. the word "nigger" carries with it the hatefulness of the folks who use originally used it in that context).

    People usually deal with this in two ways:
    1) trying to strip the word itself from their connotation - ie. "not giving the words so much power"

    2) attempting to reshape the word's connotation into something more desirable - eg. black people calling each other "nigga", gay guys calling each other "fags"

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing words to have power. Without some degree of connotation, verbal and written communication becomes as stale as an operating manual.
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    Oct 23, 2011 5:30 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidGod damn, why do we give words so much power?



    These words don't keep my lights on. icon_confused.gif
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:29 PM GMT
    It's not so much the words by themselves, but the intent/emotion behind the words.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:54 PM GMT
    It's not the words themselves that bother me, but the usually the types of people that are using them.
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    Oct 23, 2011 6:57 PM GMT
    So I should change "we" to "many people".

    And "words", to "some specific loaded words".


    Much closer to how I intended this thread to be.

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    Oct 23, 2011 7:02 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidWords do NOT have intent. I'm questioning why we give them power when the wielder of these words is simply spouting them out...


    Why is it that an entire cafeteria would stop dead if I was overheard using the word "Faggot"?

    Why, in an argument, can you invoke a reaction from your significant other simply by saying you love them, when your actions show otherwise, time and time again?



    u changed ur original post, and thus it's meaning and ur presumable intent.

    origina reply: ThePenIsMyTier said
    I guess my point is... We have an assumed meaning behind these words, but little to no context.


    For instance, "Love" is tossed around, and given a deep assumed meaning with no actual intent.

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    Oct 23, 2011 7:04 PM GMT
    tailgater_3 said
    ThePenIsMyTier saidWords do NOT have intent. I'm questioning why we give them power when the wielder of these words is simply spouting them out...


    Why is it that an entire cafeteria would stop dead if I was overheard using the word "Faggot"?

    Why, in an argument, can you invoke a reaction from your significant other simply by saying you love them, when your actions show otherwise, time and time again?


    u changed ur original post, and thus it's meaning and ur presumable intent.


    within about 30 seconds, I reread your post.


    Oooh. I see what you did there icon_wink.gif