Words can never hurt you?

There are some words I just can’t stand. ‘Moist,’ for instance. I hate it. The way it sounds, the way it feels to say- I don’t even like to eat cake described that way. It gives me the oogies. For real. I have friends who can’t stand ‘panties.’ It doesn’t really bother me. It’s a little juvenile and I don’t use it very often, but it doesn’t give me that nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling.

But, there are other words… words that make me cringe. The “n” word. A young white guy on the bus home today was talking to a girl and every other word was “that n_ said,” and “I support that n_,” and “that n_ is my boy.” And every time, I shuddered. He was putting on his “thug life” attitude pretty thick and didn’t care who heard. And I wanted to say something. But I didn’t. In the crowd, I didn’t want to draw attention to myself and I didn’t feel safe confronting someone that close to my apartment. But I was ashamed that I didn’t ask him to watch his language.

Also, the “f” word. Most of my guy friends are gay men and use it to refer to eachother all the time. But it’s not for me. Something about it stings a little. It sounds like all the redneck boys in my high school to me. Like hate and fear and a little bit more testosterone than anyone needs.

It’s not about manners. It’s about words that cut, words that stab, words that have history. And while I am all in favor of free speech, today on the bus I wanted to quiet someone else. To drown out a little of the ugliness. To hear a kind word.  

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9 Comments

Filed under Daily Life, LGBTQ

9 responses to “Words can never hurt you?

  1. Sue

    When my mother is thirsty, she tends to say “I’m really dry.” I hate that. It sounds unintentionally dirty and I hate that coming from my mother. Probably because she tends to smack her lips when she says it. It makes me shudder.

    I hate when people suck the bottom of their glass. Just get a refill. Yuck.

  2. There is no particular reason for this, but I really hate the word “depth”.

  3. Moist is my all time hated word too! Even reading or writing it makes me feel all yucky inside.

  4. I don’t like the word “boob” Instead I refer to them as my “plums”

  5. while moist is disgusting, and panties is equally irritating, my least favorite word has a context issue: gay. i hate when people say “gay” in the context of being stupid. “that’s so gay” is my least favorite sentence in the history of the english language.

    Eleanor: eww. I hate that too- and its a favorite of my sister, the Yuppie. I think its generational. When I was younger, everything was “retarded”, which isn’t much better.

  6. bipolarlawyercook

    I agree on the historically-laden words. And I don’t really get it on the “reclaiming” usage. I may have called someone B*tch affectionately, but never the C word.

  7. Lina

    the C word really gets me. I hate the word Actually too. there was a girl in my high school that if you ever said something she disagreed with she’d say “Actually” in her really breathy voice and then try to tear you remark apart.

    “Gay” just makes me want to trip the person and let them fall in the puddle of their own ignorance. Grr, now I’m all worked up. Must go debate with crazy boyfriend who says tgif! muahaha 😀

  8. I hate the word t*ts. Especially when used by other women. It makes them sound dirty and like something you only take out for sex, not a perfectly natural part of your body that can be used to, you know, feed another human being.

  9. I really hate the word “discharge”…unless somebody is leaving the military…then it doesn’t sound so bad.

    I don’t like the C word either. What was Jane thinking?

    BTW, your writing is very enjoyable!

    Eleanor: Thanks Allison!

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