People suck. They’re also cruel, heartless, and damned picky. Then again, maybe I should watch what I’m saying because I may offend someone, like the people who came up with this list of offensive words.
This is one of two incidents this week that has popped up to show the world how overboard some people have taken political correctness (a term that should be right up there with a lot of other offensive words), and how restrictive we need to be. The first involved pro-golfer Tiger Woods, who when asked about his poor performance, responded with:
“I was so in control from tee to green, the best I’ve played for years… But as soon as I got on the green I was a spaz.”
That set Paralympian Dami Tanni Grey Thompson off, and forced an apology by Tiger. There are two things wrong with this entire situation. The first is that Tanni Grey Thompson was offended by a comment in no way aimed at her. The second is that Woods apologized.
In one of those odd twists of fate, the Mac OS 10 dictionary uses this line for spaz: lose physical or emotional control : he offered a post-game assessment: “I spazzed out real bad.”
Obviously, that’s being used in the same manner as Woods spoke it. Why can people no longer use a generic slang term without being attacked? Woods should be offended that someone was offended, not apologize as he didn’t do anything wrong. It’s about context. If Woods looked Thompson in they eye and called her a spaz, so be it. If anything, Woods was offending himself, and he has every right to do so without being forced into what was surely a false apology set up by a PR representative.
Can I call Tiger Woods “cool” without offending popular people?
The second thing this week that should irk anyone with a lick of common sense was this list by the BBC of the ten most offensive words to use towards handic… err, people with disabil… err, people who aren’t ri… err, wheelchair boun…, err, you know what? Screw it. This list apparently indicates words that can’t be used as a descriptor or insults. Since I wouldn’t want to risk offending anyone (as if I hadn’t already), you can figure out where this is going.
The list does contain words that are, of course, completely wrong. A couple may not seem familiar or relevant, but different parts of the world have different cultures. I had never heard the term Mong, but after looking it up, it seems to refer to stupid people in general, not necessarily the handi… err, disable… err… see where this ends up?
The majority of the words that ended up on this poll are simply baffling. How in the hell is “wheelchair-bound” offensive? What are we supposed to say when speaking of a person in a wheelchair?
“Hey Bob! You meet the new guy in accounting? He’s in one of those human-propelled moving seats.”
What if you witnessed someone in a wheelchair robbing a bank? What do we say to the cops?
“He had brown hair, kinda short since he was sitting, oh, and he was moving pretty quick in an assisted moving apparatus.”
Come on people. Grow up. If you have a handicap (yes, I typed that dreadful word), I’m sorry. So do I. I have trouble walking and occasionally use a wheelchair for long distances because of a back injury. One of my co-workers called me “Brokeback” this week and I laughed my ass off. If you can’t see the humor in that, then it’s amazing you get through life as you do.
Things happen. Maybe you were born with it. Maybe it happened to you late in life. Maybe you were even cured. Whatever the case, there’s not enough time in life to sit and bitch about something every time someone says “spaz,” a word that may offend all of two people who took it personally.
As for the list: “Brave” is not an offensive word. EVER. I’ve looked it up in three different international dictionaries, and unless I missed a foreign language one, it’s absolutely absurd that 163 people found this to be offensive according to this poll. It worries me what was thought of but missed inclusion in the top 10.
Speaking of moving on, I’ll be doing just that. There’s no point in continuing about a topic that shouldn’t need to be brought out for discussion in the first place. Move along people, as there are far better things to do.