Sticks and Stones

Overheard conversation… He had a point.

“Don’t say retarded. It isn’t nice.”

“It wasn’t meant to be nice. The word wasn’t created to be nice.”

“How would you feel if I called you an idiot?”

“If I was retarded or an idiot then I guess I wouldn’t mind.”

“You are such an ass.”

“Yet another word that started as a description and was made into a bad word through comparison.”

“What does that even mean?”

“Retarded started as a medical term. It meant delayed. Idiot was technical too. Ass was a donkey. Bitch was a female dog who had been a mother. A bitch dog is more defensive because of motherly instinct and more likely to bite or bark. Women who fussed a lot were called bitches in comparison. People who were stubborn were called asses. If you exhibit delayed thinking then you might be called retarded in jest. Eventually the jokes stole the spotlight and the actual meaning of the words fell to the wayside.”

“Yeah well what does it matter now? Those words are bad now and we have to be respectful.”

“But where does it stop? Now we have to use ‘special’ or ‘handicapable’. We can’t even call a secretary a secretary anymore, it is administrative assistant. Midget became slang and Little People became vogue. How weird because what could be more derogatory than adding the word little? So you are like real people only smaller? You can’t say dwarf but you can reference a specific dwarfism type if it sounds medical or you can use the hip acronym, LP. What the fuck? Everyone is supposed to have a feel-good description? Jesus Christ.”

“You just don’t want to be inconvenienced. You can’t be bothered to tolerate other people’s feelings.”

“I can’t be inconvenienced? I am bending over backwards to stay off the toes of everyone when all I really want to do is communicate with other human beings without feeling like I’m being filtered for correctness or politeness. I’m not allowed to offer a simple description without feeling like I’m being interrogated by the FBI.I got a flier in the mail the other day that was advertising a Midget Wrestling event at the minor league ballpark. Do I have to tell someone that I went to see Little People Struggle? Should I not attend in a show of respect and take away a primary source of income from people looking to make lemonade from genetic lemons?”

“Whatever. I can’t even, with this shit.”

“Gay meant happy. Fag was a stick. Queer meant strange. Attaching those descriptions to homosexual people somehow was a bad thing? I’d love to be known stereotypically as skinny and happy.”

“Well that shit won’t happen. You obviously aren’t happy. What would make you happy?”

“To be able to tell you that I took my bitch to the park and I threw a fag for her to fetch. When she couldn’t find the damn thing I couldn’t decide if she was retarded or blind.”

“I don’t see where that is less offensive.”

“That’s because you are special… See what I did there?”

“Ha. Ha.”

“You should be an advocate too. Look at what misuse of words has done for women. If someone is being weak then they are called a pussy.”

“That is offensive. I hate that word.”

“Absolutely. A pussy is about the toughest thing I can think of. They take an absolute beating and are no worse for the wear. A vagina births children and goes right back to work. If a man got a papercut on his package he would lament like he had castrated for a week. You should take pussy back as a word of power. Cunt too. That is strength and it shouldn’t be off limits from PC police. You know what word should be banned though?”



“Ugh. That is a terrible word. Moist.”

“Agreed. We should use internally saturated instead.”

Censorship isn’t always through oversight. Sometimes it happens when we forget that sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. Of course that isn’t true. Words can be used in the most hurtful of ways. Be creative with your metaphors or you will fuck up perfectly innocent words for the rest of the class.

Don’t be an ignorant dickhead or a hypersensitive pussy. Together we can offend each other equally and as friends.



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