Language is the most powerful tool at our disposal and I can prove that in just a few sentences. If I were to tell you that you were a “beautiful, wonderful person”, you’d feel good about yourself for it. For the record you are indeed a beautiful, wonderful person and don’t let others tell you otherwise.
Having said this I could try to provoke and anger you with language. To do that, I might say you are looking awfully fat or that you are as repulsive as a monkey in a negligee. These might annoy and anger you, but nothing is worse in my mind than the complete mistreatment of the wonder of language. Of course, I’m speaking purely about the English language at the moment, however if you can think of examples in foreign languages then I welcome you to share those with us in the comments.
My irritation stems from my journeys to and from work. Let me set the record straight and explain to you all that I am not. Some people find that shocking, some find it “annoying”. I don’t care what your views are on that, I will not degrade anyone based upon their sexuality, gender, religion, race – I don’t care! I simply don’t have the time to be upset with someone based upon such a triviality which does not impact my life.
What I do have however is a latent and deep frustration at people who can’t insult something properly! Come on, if you and I were really upset with one another and you called me something really degrading and insulting, I’d actually have respect for you for it. I’d welcome you to call me a “ballooning, gibbon faced, vomit-breathed twat”. I’d disagree with your opinion, but you’d be welcome to it.
So on my journey home on the bus, I put my earphones in. I sit down and I start to listen to some of my relatively loud, thrashy music. For the record, I love metal music – I think it’s somewhat therapeutic to listen to someone screaming and shouting their heads off along with a well arranged accompaniment of guitars, bass, drums and other instruments. It’s loud, it’s noisy: But it gets the artists points across, sometimes eloquently.
Within just a few minutes the bus starts to crowd up, which is exactly as I would expect considering I take one of the bigger bus routes to get home. These four men and one woman sits down very close to me. One of the men in fact sat right next to me due to the crowded nature of the bus.
“Ah did you see Alex, mate?” one says to another.
“Nah mate, what happened?” the other says in response.
“He got this new bag. It’s well gay.” The first continues.
“Pfft, he’s always been well gay.” The lady pipped up.
“Nah, he got this bag for his new job.” The first says.
“It’s cool he’s got that job now, but he’s become a little bitch about it.” A fourth speaker chimes in.
“Mate, I get ya. Man, it’s so gay he has to work all the time.” The first says in an attempt to expand the conversation.
“Don’t be such a woman, he’ll be back from work soon. Urgh, it’s crap that he has to do those hours.” The lady oh-so-elegantly explained.
This conversation continued for the better part of 20 minutes. Don’t take this as an exaggeration, they were loud enough to be heard throughout the bus, over my earphones which I usually turn down out of respect of others around me (Although even when I did then turn it back up to not listen to this conversation, they were louder than my earphones. Note to self: Get new earphones.) They went on from when they sat down on the bus, to the time they got off the bus. My bus journey takes around 45 minutes each way to and from work and their riveting and loud conversation took up around half of my journey time.
For the record, the fourth speaker is actually the most “correct” out of all of these. The term “bitch” is used as a derogatory term. It implies the person is a female dog, which is merely implicit that the person has become a dog. It’s not the best of insults, but yes – That’s something at least.
The problem is clearly cultural. However, I grew up around the same era as these five people and they were around my age. In other words, the biggest problem is that it feels as if people have no respect for those around them.
Now, what I really took offence to is the fact that: Yes, I am indeed a homosexual male. Yes, I am indeed forming an opinion on these people for their conversation. Yes: They were loud enough to use a word which is in modern usage commonly associated with homosexuality, in a derogatory way.
The word “gay” can mean happy. Yes.
The word “gay” can also mean homosexual. Yes.
Be this as it is then, they were trying to convey their message by explaining that the bag that Alex had was “gay”. But what does that mean exactly?
Alex has this new bag. It’s well happy.
Alex has this new bag. It’s well into other bags of the same gender.
Am I taking the meaning of the word too far? Is it me that should change my views? Should words not be as black and white as they are set out? I don’t think so and I’ll explain myself later in this article.
In this conversation we didn’t just have “gay” in a derogatory way, we also then had words like “woman” used in a derogatory way: Even being used by a female who was saying “Don’t be such a woman.” I’m sorry but WHAT!?
“Don’t be such a woman,” said by a female? No! That’s absolutely abysmal to hear in this day and age! I want people to be proud of who they are, not be derogatory to themselves along with all other people of the same damn gender! “Don’t be such a woman”, what does this imply? What is this lady trying to say about her fellow females?
This post is an unapologetic rant at all the idiotic mouth-breathers who can’t comprehend how to insult someone directly and to the point. More importantly: With the exception of someone who keeps saying “Don’t be such a woman;” would these four ‘gentlemen’ have told their ‘friend‘ Alex that his work is ‘gay’ and so is his bag?
Is the work and the bag gay together? Is Alex having a sordid affair with his bag or his work? What is going on with the language being used?!
I’ll have you know: Before I started to blog, I really didn’t consider myself even adept at using the English language. I just considered myself a typical user of the language, which enabled me to convey a simple message to others. Why has language died?
Where are we going wrong?
Many blame education and others technology. What do I personally blame for the demise of a once beautiful language?
Perhaps I should blame myself in some small part? I am a blogger and I write using the English language, yet I don’t often write “big and hard” words. I often write in a simple way so that it doesn’t matter how old the reader is, they’ll be able to read it and either connect with the piece or enjoy it in some way.
However I don’t normally write like that and I won’t start that any time soon. Perhaps I am part of the demise.
Yet perhaps we, as a civilisation, are getting more and more complacent and allow celebrity status to go from those with a skill to fast-tracking our next celebrities?
Programmes such as Big Brother allow people become famous for making fools of themselves. Coupled with the innate desire to be known and seen, we had people of all walks of life go onto this show. There’s proof in the pudding with this show alone: You don’t need to be smart to go far.
Do we really want this kind of society?
Must we really endure the crippling stupidity that is apparently sweeping the nation?
Why can’t we just have pseudo-intellectuals, at least they sound like they know what they’re talking about!
Why must we use words, with an intended use, in such an un-fitting way?! Yes, it is all related.
You see, I’m not trying to be a snob and say “You’re dumb because you just called someone gay as an insult.” I’m trying to say: Expand your damned horizons and insult something properly you lazy, half-witted, scum-feeding, blue-bellied ignoramuses!
Damn it that felt good!
Reader: If you’re reading this, you’re probably not of the sort who calls someone or thing “gay” or “a woman” as an insult. If you do, I make no apologies for the above post. However what I do want is a sensible discussion. If you think my rant is unjustified, tell me so in the comments. I’d love to hear a differing view – as that’s what really makes the world tick.
To the people who had that conversation on the bus: This is no ill-will upon you. It’s merely a plea from a pedantic ass of a man to ask that you try your best to insult things in more eloquently insulting ways, lest we forget the beauty and significance of language all together and just talk in text or gamer talk.
Lol jk, u noob 4 lyfe.
Shoot me now.