Do words have power?


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The oddest foreigner you've met here -- share your story

Are you gay? If not, you should carefully choose how you label people who are. It’s not all about you.

I’m Jewish. I would get super offended if someone said the k-word (rhymes with “hike”) and then said “nah, you got the wrong idea. It’s just a word! I’m using it in a joking way. It’s got no power unless you give it power, blah blah blah, etc etc etc.” Okay, that’s fine for them. But as an outside party, my perspective is different and the word is offensive.


Yeah, same. The things you say carry weight and even though one person feels that it doesn’t matter, they don’t speak for the entirety of their population…


If you are Jewish, why would the word kike rile you? What difference does it make? Heeb, hymie, yid? Who cares? You miss my point totally. The are just words, even as the children’s rhyme goes: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.

And you know what? It has the benefit of being true.

Why dance around what everyone already knows? Do you think you’re being clever and hiding the real meaning when you say, “The N-word”? Everyone in their head hears “nigger”: you do too. Get over yourself. . . .

I’ve never seen a white guy (can I say that or do I need to say Caucasian or person of no color?) get upset over being called any slur. Cracker, whitebread, hick, peckerwood… in fact, rather than get all niggered out about it, many embrace the terms. The best way to defuse all this nonsense, this oversensitivity, is to laugh it off. Hell, the African-Americans are laughing at the rest because they learned how to usurp the word for their own use. Blacks can say nigger but white people can’t? Come on. That’s just bullshit.

By the way, I can’t remember my log-in at Forumosa, and haven’t lived in Taiwan for over 11 years now, but I did live there all the time from 1985 to 2005. Before martial law was lifted to the end of the KMT presidency rule.
Also, what is “here” as in The oddest foreigner you’ve met here? As in the website? or in person?

Track down Dan Bloom if you want to find the king… :smiley:


… Wow. Okay, dude. Again, it’s all about you. I don’t think you are truly racist or homophobic, but I do think you just don’t get it. If these words have no real power, then go up to people’s faces and start saying them. See what happens in the real world.


God…help those who post but do not read first.

I did not say the words, “have no real meaning,” I said that if people STOPPED giving them meanings they have contrived for them, the world would be a better place.

You can start yourself. If someone calls you a kike, just laugh and say, “Yes, and I will kike you in the ass,” and grin. Make the other person see that IT’S JUST A WORD. By itself it has only the power you give it. So take the power away.


What other meaning could kike have beside being used offensively?


I’m not 100% certain I see the ‘slur’.

Surely ‘homo’ is, fairly self-evidently, a short form of ‘homosexual’? I realize ‘gay’ is currently the more ‘hip’ term, but is failure to be hip really so sinister?

Is ‘heterosexual’ also a ‘slur’?

What about ‘het’? Is that a ‘slur’? I’ve seen it used in scientific papers on sexuality, and have heard it used by the ‘gay’ community - albeit not recently.


“Gay” is the new hip term? It’s been used to describe homosexuals for decades! At least since the 1970s. How old are you…?

I’m not going to get too into why “homo” is offensive, especially not in this thread. I’ll just say that like “queer” it’s evolved over the years from a somewhat neutral term to a hostile way to refer to LGBT people (in part to replace the even more vicious f-word, which is even less socially acceptable). I can say I’ve never seen it used even once in a positive context, and often it has strongly negative connotations.


In my native language there is no other way naming a gay person.


Surely their name would work?


I feel as though people find more subtle words to not offend people, such as calling people heavy instead of fat. After being called a word enough times people find it offensive. This happens every decade.

When I was a kid, midgets wanted to be called dwarfs, short for dwarfism. Now I’m pretty sure they prefer little people. But midget is unacceptable.

When I was a kid I heard every acceptable term to describe black people imaginable. Bear in mind I lived in Detroit for 7 years, so most of these were from the black community. These days I can’t even repeat any of them, including “colored” but “people of color” is acceptable.

If a person does not mean to offend a person I don’t see the big problem. A gay person is homosexual. That means a gay person is gay. Homo is short for homosexual. Still don’t see my point? Imagine someone says, “He’s a disgusting man lover.” That’s offensive, right? What about, “He loves men.” Same sentence, one was intended to offend and the other was stating a point.

People really need to quit trying to save the day, not everything is an issue.

Replacing sexual orientation with someone’s name, doesn’t really seem like it would work. “Yes, I’m John.” “My son came out of the closet, he’s John. Nobody cares, we love him the same.” “I’m going to a John bar this weekend.”


This Thread is becoming weird .

Foreigners discussion too frequently degrades to race or religion or sexual preference or blah blah blah.


How old am I?

Hmm. . . Perhaps that’s not especially relevant? Hopefully you’re not some kind of ageist?

I referenced gay as the ‘hip’ term partly because I was accused of being a ‘bigot’ on this very forum not so long ago for saying ‘homosexual’ - apparently we are now required to say ‘gay’.

Though perhaps I should be doing like you and saying ‘LGBT’?

Or should that be ‘LGBTQIA’?

It certainly is hard to keep up. . .

I’m starting to wonder about you though. What type of bigot would recognize the ‘BT’ while excluding the ‘QIA’?

Perhaps a decade or so from now some astute reader will pick up on your moral failings?


I’m afraid you’re way behind the times (like, maybe even a year). The current politically correct term (possibly good for the next month or so) is LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP (lesbian, gay, genderqueer, bisexual, demisexual, transgender, transsexual, twospirit, intersex, queer, questioning, asexual, allies, pansexual, polyamorous). I wish I was kidding. Hurry up and memorize it before you get sent in for mandatory inclusiveness training.


You left out breeder.


I think in Canada they spell one of the T’s as a 2.


I asked “how old you are?”, because “gay” isn’t some trendy SJW term you only find on tumblr accounts. It’s been used as a term for homosexuals since the 60s or 70s. It’s an internationally recognized term that’s even been adapted by other languages. What are some other half-century old terms you have trouble keeping up with?

Oh, look. I just used “homosexual!” That’s right, because I never once said there was anything wrong with that label. Only its shortened form “homo”, which carries the subtlety of a sledgehammer and one I can’t see I’ve ever seen used in a positive context. Anyway, I’m done with this now. Have fun with your witty response or whatever.


Regarding the “sticks & stones” issue, we have discussed this kind of thing before.

Pragmatism vs. idealism. If you say all speech is free, all actions are not then murder is a crime, but conspiracy and recklessness are not (because it’s just words, man!), so all you need to do to get away with murder or negligence causing death is give a command or a suggestion instead of doing it with your own hands.


Restrictions on free speech exist for reasons, both good and bad. It’s all about finding an equilibirum that works for society, and of course that means adapting to changing standards now and then. Whether or not a word (or symbol) is offensive depends on context, and context includes the experiences we’ve all had over the decades.

Fwiw I grew up understanding the word homo to be offensive (homo milk notwithstanding, but that always made people giggle), along with other “abbreviations” like Jap and Germ, so I get why Mr. Cutz finds it vulgar.


I remember that one. And then another Forumosan got confused and accused you of tortious interference! :man_judge: :smile:

I suppose the oddest foreigner I’ve met in Taiwan (excluding myself) is a Forumosan who would probably recognize my description of him/her and not find it very flattering, so I’ll just smile and say live and let live. :rainbow: