Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Planned Changes to the Dictionary

Following on from the outrage, recriminations and calls for the execution of Carol Thatcher for using a banned, racist word to describe (apparently) the hair of a white tennis player....

....and the Home Counties cricket club forced to change its name from 'Crusaders' to 'Panthers' following complaints...

It's become clear to me that it's now possible to be offended by just about any word, regardless of subject, context or intent. Many people now, it seems to me, seek to be 'creatively and aggressively offended'. They are looking for words, whatever their use or context, about which to scream their rage and, in doing so, garner attention for themselves and further hamper the freedom of language for everyone else.

Words are just that. Words. They are the building blocks of language, yet alone they mean nothing. It is only by the application of context that words become something more.

So, given that everyone else seems to be doing it, I am proposing my own changes to the dictionary, in order to remove those words that people may find repulsive and offensive.

1. Labour
The term 'Labour' clearly refers to the Labour Party, who are sleaze-ridden, poorly-led and have bankrupted the country. The word is to be proscribed in all instances.

2. Christian
I personally find organised religion abhorrent. Therefore, the word 'christian' offends me. All children named 'Christian' are immediately to be renamed in a less offensive manner.

3. Child
The use of the term 'child' denigrates young people, and is therefore offensive. All use of the word to cease, replaced instead by 'young persons'. Oh wait, this one's already been done.

4. Brown
Initially meant to refer only to a colour, the term 'brown' has been twisted into both a racial slur and, appallingly, now refers to the Prime Minister. As the very sight of him makes me physically sick, the word 'brown' is now banned.

5. Home
This is a possessive term, implying ownership, which may cause offence to the homeless and to the recently repossessed. Therefore, it should no longer be used, but should be replaced with 'evil symbol of capitalist greed'.

6. Dolly
This sexist word denigrates toy mannequins with female characteristics, and must therefore be removed from the lexicon. It has also recently become associated with 'Dolly' Draper, and is used as an offensive term to refer to a rabid left-wing propaganda merchant. Banned.

7. Parent
An archaic term, implying responsibility for one's offspring. As the State now has full legislation in place covering young persons, the term is no longer applicable and may offend those who are unable to conceive. To be removed from the dictionary and replaced, in all instances, with 'responsible adult carers'.

8. Simon Cowell
Offensive, insulting and poorly dressed. Should be summarily executed and expunged from the records.

I will be making the necessary changes to the OED over the next few days - does anyone have any other suggestions? I'll add them to the list.


Foomandoonian said...

So, what of the word 'nigger'? I have been conditioned to find this word uncomfortable to use, even to illustrate a point, but it wasn't created as an offensive term.

Surely if I use this word in a purely in a descriptive fashion, it can't be offensive? It's just a word. Or has its meaning changed?

Dungeekin said...

Now, that's an interesting one, because it goes straight to the heart of 'intent' and 'context'.

*Technically*, of course, it's just a mispronunciation of 'negro', which itself came from negroid. Which is still a technical term, as far as I'm aware.

BUT - that word really only makes sense if it is used as an adjective - at which point intent and context make it offensive.

By way of an (extreme) example, merely to stand in an empty room and say 'nigger' has no context and therefore is not, at that time, offensive.


Foomandoonian said...

Or 'if a tree falls in a wood, and no one hears it...'

In fact, Wikipedia suggests that it is 'a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, meaning "black"', but that's a technicality. I think the word has become entirely offensive. Even spoken to oneself in an empty room, it pretty much still has the offensive meaning, just with no context.

For better or worse, 'gollywog' has taken on new connotations. Political correctness 'gone mad' or not, I think we need to recognise the implied meaning in our words.



Dungeekin said...

Yes please, as long as they're home-made and with good gravy.

And mash.


Xenaclone said...

Addendum to 'Simon Cowell':-

'Jeremy Clarkson'

Similar dress sense to above, but with added levels of misogyny and boreish tendencies.

Earthlet Nigel said...

Surely I cannot be the only able to remember purchasing leather gloves described as "nigger brown".

wv ingst

almost angst

banned said...

"Easter" This clearly promotes christianism and thus denegrates all other religeons. Any shop pushing "easter eggs " will be closed By Order ( like we already done Woolies, the worst offender ).
Any person found in possession of "easter" eggs, bunnies, bonnets or other such christianist anti-Muslim paraphernalia will be ASBOd and tagged. Deniers will be stonned to death.


Bernard said...

"Surely I cannot be the only able to remember purchasing leather gloves described as "nigger brown".

You are not alone.
My mother used to take me and my two brothers, to the Co-op, to buy School Blazers.
We went to different schools, my Blazer was Navy Blue, Alan's was Bottle Green and (yes you've guessed) Colin's was Nigger Brown.
These colours were the defined by the schools.