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muzebreak
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3/16/2013 3:46:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Not to long ago, I was out drinking with a bunch of friends and my little brother. At some point an argument started between my brother and another guy. Now, one of the guys with us was gay and he claims that at some point during the argument my brother called the other guy gay as an insult. I, having stood next to my brother the entire time, disagree that this happend. But that's not the point. The guy started going crazy and calling my brother a homophobe and stuff like that. Im the argumentative type, so i tried to inform him that my brother said no such thing, and even if he did, the word has more the one meaning, and he was being overly sensitive. But my brother decided to leave, so I followed him off.

The point of me telling this story, is to ask, what do you guys think about terms like gay and f@g and retarded being used as insults? Do you think it's ok to call someone a f@g, in the same way you would call someone an azz hole? Or do you think that the fact that it also means homosexual, means that it is unacceptable to be used as an insult?
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/16/2013 4:13:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If you are using the word 'retarded' to refer to something which is retarded (basically, late or undeveloped) then I don't have an issue with it. Using it as a synonym for 'stupid' is childish. I view people who use the words 'gay' and 'f@g' to refer to everything under the sun to be insufferable morons. I don't give such people the dignity of moral outrage, as their position is born of a sort of perpetual adolescence. If it is meant to be insulting to homosexuals then I usually smirk and give a witty retort. In that case the person is trying to make me angry, and it is best to deny them the satisfaction, and even better to make them lose their thin veneer of cool instead.

I think that gay men who become hysterical at the use of such words are just stoking the fire.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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3/16/2013 4:52:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 4:13:35 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
If you are using the word 'retarded' to refer to something which is retarded (basically, late or undeveloped) then I don't have an issue with it. Using it as a synonym for 'stupid' is childish. I view people who use the words 'gay' and 'f@g' to refer to everything under the sun to be insufferable morons. I don't give such people the dignity of moral outrage, as their position is born of a sort of perpetual adolescence. If it is meant to be insulting to homosexuals then I usually smirk and give a witty retort. In that case the person is trying to make me angry, and it is best to deny them the satisfaction, and even better to make them lose their thin veneer of cool instead.

I think that gay men who become hysterical at the use of such words are just stoking the fire.

Are you trying to say these people are flaming?
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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3/16/2013 5:48:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 4:13:35 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
If you are using the word 'retarded' to refer to something which is retarded (basically, late or undeveloped) then I don't have an issue with it. Using it as a synonym for 'stupid' is childish.

Why is it childish?

I view people who use the words 'gay' and 'f@g' to refer to everything under the sun to be insufferable morons. I don't give such people the dignity of moral outrage, as their position is born of a sort of perpetual adolescence. If it is meant to be insulting to homosexuals then I usually smirk and give a witty retort. In that case the person is trying to make me angry, and it is best to deny them the satisfaction, and even better to make them lose their thin veneer of cool instead.

I think that gay men who become hysterical at the use of such words are just stoking the fire.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/16/2013 5:59:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 5:48:01 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 4:13:35 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
If you are using the word 'retarded' to refer to something which is retarded (basically, late or undeveloped) then I don't have an issue with it. Using it as a synonym for 'stupid' is childish.

Why is it childish?

Because two distinct terms are being conflated with the intention of disparaging one group by associating it with another. In this case, a stupid person and a retarded person. Responsible adults say what they mean, they don't rely on playground stereotypes to convey their message.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/16/2013 6:00:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 4:52:31 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
At 3/16/2013 4:13:35 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
If you are using the word 'retarded' to refer to something which is retarded (basically, late or undeveloped) then I don't have an issue with it. Using it as a synonym for 'stupid' is childish. I view people who use the words 'gay' and 'f@g' to refer to everything under the sun to be insufferable morons. I don't give such people the dignity of moral outrage, as their position is born of a sort of perpetual adolescence. If it is meant to be insulting to homosexuals then I usually smirk and give a witty retort. In that case the person is trying to make me angry, and it is best to deny them the satisfaction, and even better to make them lose their thin veneer of cool instead.

I think that gay men who become hysterical at the use of such words are just stoking the fire.

Are you trying to say these people are flaming?

Not necessarily, as in the pun wasn't intended, but people who conform to the flamer stereotype can go either way, in my experience.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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3/16/2013 6:45:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 5:59:12 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 5:48:01 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 4:13:35 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
If you are using the word 'retarded' to refer to something which is retarded (basically, late or undeveloped) then I don't have an issue with it. Using it as a synonym for 'stupid' is childish.

Why is it childish?

Because two distinct terms are being conflated with the intention of disparaging one group by associating it with another. In this case, a stupid person and a retarded person. Responsible adults say what they mean, they don't rely on playground stereotypes to convey their message.

What? Playground stereotypes? Responsible adults? First off, I don't know what you mean by playground stereotypes. Secondly, what do you mean by responsible adult, because it must be different then what I would think it means? And there is no conflation, it's just a term which refers to someone who isn't intelligent, along with a couple other things, and that's what it is being used as.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Daktoria
Posts: 497
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3/16/2013 7:42:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Gay has its own meaning. If anything's offensive, it's how homosexuals identify with the word "gay". Gay people can't even call themselves gay anymore out of fear of being considered homosexual.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 6:45:05 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 5:59:12 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 5:48:01 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 4:13:35 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
If you are using the word 'retarded' to refer to something which is retarded (basically, late or undeveloped) then I don't have an issue with it. Using it as a synonym for 'stupid' is childish.

Why is it childish?

Because two distinct terms are being conflated with the intention of disparaging one group by associating it with another. In this case, a stupid person and a retarded person. Responsible adults say what they mean, they don't rely on playground stereotypes to convey their message.

What? Playground stereotypes? Responsible adults? First off, I don't know what you mean by playground stereotypes. Secondly, what do you mean by responsible adult, because it must be different then what I would think it means? And there is no conflation, it's just a term which refers to someone who isn't intelligent, along with a couple other things, and that's what it is being used as.

No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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3/16/2013 10:36:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:

No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I agree with you completely (I believe I've gotten into it with a few people on this topic...usually around the word, "atheist".).

Still, niggardly is kinda dead, just because it is a partial homonym, and no one wants to slip up and make it a full one.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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3/16/2013 10:38:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 6:00:16 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 4:52:31 PM, malcolmxy wrote:

Are you trying to say these people are flaming?

Not necessarily, as in the pun wasn't intended, but people who conform to the flamer stereotype can go either way, in my experience.

Yeah...I know what you meant...just lightening the loafers...er...mood.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
twocupcakes
Posts: 2,748
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3/16/2013 10:47:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Calling someone gay or a f@g is only bad if you know the person is gay. If you think someone is straight you can insult them as gay or f@ggot. Same goes for retard.
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 6:45:05 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 5:59:12 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 5:48:01 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 4:13:35 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
If you are using the word 'retarded' to refer to something which is retarded (basically, late or undeveloped) then I don't have an issue with it. Using it as a synonym for 'stupid' is childish.

Why is it childish?

Because two distinct terms are being conflated with the intention of disparaging one group by associating it with another. In this case, a stupid person and a retarded person. Responsible adults say what they mean, they don't rely on playground stereotypes to convey their message.

What? Playground stereotypes? Responsible adults? First off, I don't know what you mean by playground stereotypes. Secondly, what do you mean by responsible adult, because it must be different then what I would think it means? And there is no conflation, it's just a term which refers to someone who isn't intelligent, along with a couple other things, and that's what it is being used as.

No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:


I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
malcolmxy
Posts: 2,855
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3/16/2013 11:03:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 10:47:17 PM, twocupcakes wrote:
Calling someone gay or a f@g is only bad if you know the person is gay. If you think someone is straight you can insult them as gay or f@ggot. Same goes for retard.

Not exactly. If they're not, and you mean it as if it would be a bad thing if they were gay, that's bad.

I prefer to call my gay friends f@gs and dykes, actually...it's a lot less awkward than calling a straight person that around them.
War is over, if you want it.

Meet Dr. Stupid and his assistants - http://www.debate.org...
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/16/2013 11:12:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.

Are you assuming that I am arguing that language never changes? Notice that I said radical descriptivists. Every dictionary would actually agree with my stance, which is that a mixture of descriptivism and prescriptivism is essential for the health of every language. This means that fleeting slang born of juvenile comparisons to the mentally disabled does not merit enshrinement in our collective lexicon, it merits a brief footnote on slang usage at best. And it certainly shouldn't be encouraged as proper usage by the authorities on such subjects.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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3/16/2013 11:21:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 11:12:30 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.

Are you assuming that I am arguing that language never changes? Notice that I said radical descriptivists. Every dictionary would actually agree with my stance, which is that a mixture of descriptivism and prescriptivism is essential for the health of every language. This means that fleeting slang born of juvenile comparisons to the mentally disabled does not merit enshrinement in our collective lexicon, it merits a brief footnote on slang usage at best. And it certainly shouldn't be encouraged as proper usage by the authorities on such subjects.

By 'every dictionary disagrees with you', I meant that every dictionary I have found has listed 'a mentally handicapped person' or a similar definition, under the word retard. And so, I say again, every dictionary disagrees with you.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/16/2013 11:26:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 11:21:08 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:12:30 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.

Are you assuming that I am arguing that language never changes? Notice that I said radical descriptivists. Every dictionary would actually agree with my stance, which is that a mixture of descriptivism and prescriptivism is essential for the health of every language. This means that fleeting slang born of juvenile comparisons to the mentally disabled does not merit enshrinement in our collective lexicon, it merits a brief footnote on slang usage at best. And it certainly shouldn't be encouraged as proper usage by the authorities on such subjects.

By 'every dictionary disagrees with you', I meant that every dictionary I have found has listed 'a mentally handicapped person' or a similar definition, under the word retard. And so, I say again, every dictionary disagrees with you.

... Which is not the definition that I am arguing against. I said that using retarded as a synonym for stupid, as in 'that was a retarded decision', or 'that retard Billy forgot the paintballs', is improper and juvenile usage which ought to be frowned upon.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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3/16/2013 11:32:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 11:26:58 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:21:08 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:12:30 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.

Are you assuming that I am arguing that language never changes? Notice that I said radical descriptivists. Every dictionary would actually agree with my stance, which is that a mixture of descriptivism and prescriptivism is essential for the health of every language. This means that fleeting slang born of juvenile comparisons to the mentally disabled does not merit enshrinement in our collective lexicon, it merits a brief footnote on slang usage at best. And it certainly shouldn't be encouraged as proper usage by the authorities on such subjects.

By 'every dictionary disagrees with you', I meant that every dictionary I have found has listed 'a mentally handicapped person' or a similar definition, under the word retard. And so, I say again, every dictionary disagrees with you.

... Which is not the definition that I am arguing against. I said that using retarded as a synonym for stupid, as in 'that was a retarded decision', or 'that retard Billy forgot the paintballs', is improper and juvenile usage which ought to be frowned upon.

Oxford dictionary defines retard, when being used as a noun, as a person with a mental disability(often used as a term of abuse).

This usage is not improper and is not juvenile.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Skepsikyma
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3/16/2013 11:55:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 11:32:41 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:26:58 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:21:08 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:12:30 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.

Are you assuming that I am arguing that language never changes? Notice that I said radical descriptivists. Every dictionary would actually agree with my stance, which is that a mixture of descriptivism and prescriptivism is essential for the health of every language. This means that fleeting slang born of juvenile comparisons to the mentally disabled does not merit enshrinement in our collective lexicon, it merits a brief footnote on slang usage at best. And it certainly shouldn't be encouraged as proper usage by the authorities on such subjects.

By 'every dictionary disagrees with you', I meant that every dictionary I have found has listed 'a mentally handicapped person' or a similar definition, under the word retard. And so, I say again, every dictionary disagrees with you.

... Which is not the definition that I am arguing against. I said that using retarded as a synonym for stupid, as in 'that was a retarded decision', or 'that retard Billy forgot the paintballs', is improper and juvenile usage which ought to be frowned upon.


Oxford dictionary defines retard, when being used as a noun, as a person with a mental disability(often used as a term of abuse).

This usage is not improper and is not juvenile.

A person with a mental disability is not a stupid person. They are not the same thing. A disability is a medical and/or psychological condition. Forgetting the paintballs does not make one mentally disabled. Oxford is referring to mental retardation, a class of disability historically defined as an IQ under 70. Take a look at this table: http://www.aafp.org....

If you think it's not juvenile, attend a meeting of any group of professionals and suggest that someone who makes a bad suggestion is 'retarded'. See how much respect you garner.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
YYW
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3/17/2013 12:09:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 3:46:49 PM, muzebreak wrote:
Not to long ago, I was out drinking with a bunch of friends and my little brother. At some point an argument started between my brother and another guy. Now, one of the guys with us was gay and he claims that at some point during the argument my brother called the other guy gay as an insult. I, having stood next to my brother the entire time, disagree that this happend. But that's not the point. The guy started going crazy and calling my brother a homophobe and stuff like that. Im the argumentative type, so i tried to inform him that my brother said no such thing, and even if he did, the word has more the one meaning, and he was being overly sensitive. But my brother decided to leave, so I followed him off.

The point of me telling this story, is to ask, what do you guys think about terms like gay and f@g and retarded being used as insults? Do you think it's ok to call someone a f@g, in the same way you would call someone an azz hole? Or do you think that the fact that it also means homosexual, means that it is unacceptable to be used as an insult?

I think getting offended by words is pointless. Words have no more power than we give them, and the idea that some are taboo and others are not is absurd to me -but I make room for the idea that I'm not in the majority consensus on this subject.

Do I think it's appropriate to call anyone words with the intent to demean them? Yes. Do I think one demeaning word is necessarily worse than others... sure, but that's not to say that any should be off the table. But equally, one who would call another a "f@g" says more about their own character in calling another person a "f@g" than he says about the person to which he refers.

In any case, it's a meaningless exercise in ostentatiousness.
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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3/17/2013 12:25:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 12:09:03 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/16/2013 3:46:49 PM, muzebreak wrote:
Not to long ago, I was out drinking with a bunch of friends and my little brother. At some point an argument started between my brother and another guy. Now, one of the guys with us was gay and he claims that at some point during the argument my brother called the other guy gay as an insult. I, having stood next to my brother the entire time, disagree that this happend. But that's not the point. The guy started going crazy and calling my brother a homophobe and stuff like that. Im the argumentative type, so i tried to inform him that my brother said no such thing, and even if he did, the word has more the one meaning, and he was being overly sensitive. But my brother decided to leave, so I followed him off.

The point of me telling this story, is to ask, what do you guys think about terms like gay and f@g and retarded being used as insults? Do you think it's ok to call someone a f@g, in the same way you would call someone an azz hole? Or do you think that the fact that it also means homosexual, means that it is unacceptable to be used as an insult?

I think getting offended by words is pointless. Words have no more power than we give them, and the idea that some are taboo and others are not is absurd to me -but I make room for the idea that I'm not in the majority consensus on this subject.

Do I think it's appropriate to call anyone words with the intent to demean them? Yes. Do I think one demeaning word is necessarily worse than others... sure, but that's not to say that any should be off the table. But equally, one who would call another a "f@g" says more about their own character in calling another person a "f@g" than he says about the person to which he refers.

In any case, it's a meaningless exercise in ostentatiousness.

I concur.
YYW
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3/17/2013 1:12:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 12:25:02 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/17/2013 12:09:03 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/16/2013 3:46:49 PM, muzebreak wrote:
Not to long ago, I was out drinking with a bunch of friends and my little brother. At some point an argument started between my brother and another guy. Now, one of the guys with us was gay and he claims that at some point during the argument my brother called the other guy gay as an insult. I, having stood next to my brother the entire time, disagree that this happend. But that's not the point. The guy started going crazy and calling my brother a homophobe and stuff like that. Im the argumentative type, so i tried to inform him that my brother said no such thing, and even if he did, the word has more the one meaning, and he was being overly sensitive. But my brother decided to leave, so I followed him off.

The point of me telling this story, is to ask, what do you guys think about terms like gay and f@g and retarded being used as insults? Do you think it's ok to call someone a f@g, in the same way you would call someone an azz hole? Or do you think that the fact that it also means homosexual, means that it is unacceptable to be used as an insult?

I think getting offended by words is pointless. Words have no more power than we give them, and the idea that some are taboo and others are not is absurd to me -but I make room for the idea that I'm not in the majority consensus on this subject.

Do I think it's appropriate to call anyone words with the intent to demean them? Yes. Do I think one demeaning word is necessarily worse than others... sure, but that's not to say that any should be off the table. But equally, one who would call another a "f@g" says more about their own character in calling another person a "f@g" than he says about the person to which he refers.

In any case, it's a meaningless exercise in ostentatiousness.

I concur.

Good to know I'm not the only insane person on here... lol
Tsar of DDO
Cermank
Posts: 3,773
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3/17/2013 1:31:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 3:46:49 PM, muzebreak wrote:
Not to long ago, I was out drinking with a bunch of friends and my little brother. At some point an argument started between my brother and another guy. Now, one of the guys with us was gay and he claims that at some point during the argument my brother called the other guy gay as an insult. I, having stood next to my brother the entire time, disagree that this happend. But that's not the point. The guy started going crazy and calling my brother a homophobe and stuff like that. Im the argumentative type, so i tried to inform him that my brother said no such thing, and even if he did, the word has more the one meaning, and he was being overly sensitive. But my brother decided to leave, so I followed him off.

The point of me telling this story, is to ask, what do you guys think about terms like gay and f@g and retarded being used as insults? Do you think it's ok to call someone a f@g, in the same way you would call someone an azz hole? Or do you think that the fact that it also means homosexual, means that it is unacceptable to be used as an insult?

Reminds me of the Harbhajan Singh- Ricky Ponting sledging scandal. During this action packed cricket game, Singh and Ponting hurled abuses at each other. Ponting claimed Singh called him a monkey, which is a racist slur, him being an Australian. Case was registered, and fine was payed because it was SO insulting and unprofessional.

Harbhajan couldn't even defend himself, even though he hadn't cast any racial slur. He had shouted out 'Teri maa ki' which is a Hindi abuse meaning 'your mom's'.

The point? There is no rationality when it comes to offensive words. Indians believed your mom is decidedly worse than 'monkey', which incidently, is a god form in their culture. Australians believed being called a monkey is SO worse. Your mom wasn't even considered a slur.

There's no ' Is this insult worse than this one', some pinch more than others, regardless of your intention because that's someones weak spot.
muzebreak
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3/17/2013 1:41:33 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/16/2013 11:55:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:32:41 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:26:58 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:21:08 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:12:30 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.

Are you assuming that I am arguing that language never changes? Notice that I said radical descriptivists. Every dictionary would actually agree with my stance, which is that a mixture of descriptivism and prescriptivism is essential for the health of every language. This means that fleeting slang born of juvenile comparisons to the mentally disabled does not merit enshrinement in our collective lexicon, it merits a brief footnote on slang usage at best. And it certainly shouldn't be encouraged as proper usage by the authorities on such subjects.

By 'every dictionary disagrees with you', I meant that every dictionary I have found has listed 'a mentally handicapped person' or a similar definition, under the word retard. And so, I say again, every dictionary disagrees with you.

... Which is not the definition that I am arguing against. I said that using retarded as a synonym for stupid, as in 'that was a retarded decision', or 'that retard Billy forgot the paintballs', is improper and juvenile usage which ought to be frowned upon.


Oxford dictionary defines retard, when being used as a noun, as a person with a mental disability(often used as a term of abuse).

This usage is not improper and is not juvenile.

A person with a mental disability is not a stupid person. They are not the same thing. A disability is a medical and/or psychological condition. Forgetting the paintballs does not make one mentally disabled. Oxford is referring to mental retardation, a class of disability historically defined as an IQ under 70. Take a look at this table: http://www.aafp.org....

Oxford dictionary defines retard, when being used as a noun, as a person with a mental disability(often used as a term of abuse).


If you think it's not juvenile, attend a meeting of any group of professionals and suggest that someone who makes a bad suggestion is 'retarded'. See how much respect you garner.

Non-sequitur. Just because a group of professionals does not appreciate my language, does not make it juvenile. And whether even they would consider it inappropriate is up for question, it all depends on what kind of professionals they are. For instance, if they are professional bmxers or snowboarders then they probably use the same language. Just because someone is a professional, does not mean the ascribe to the same language philosophy as you, no matter what their profession is.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
muzebreak
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3/17/2013 1:45:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 12:09:03 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/16/2013 3:46:49 PM, muzebreak wrote:
Not to long ago, I was out drinking with a bunch of friends and my little brother. At some point an argument started between my brother and another guy. Now, one of the guys with us was gay and he claims that at some point during the argument my brother called the other guy gay as an insult. I, having stood next to my brother the entire time, disagree that this happend. But that's not the point. The guy started going crazy and calling my brother a homophobe and stuff like that. Im the argumentative type, so i tried to inform him that my brother said no such thing, and even if he did, the word has more the one meaning, and he was being overly sensitive. But my brother decided to leave, so I followed him off.

The point of me telling this story, is to ask, what do you guys think about terms like gay and f@g and retarded being used as insults? Do you think it's ok to call someone a f@g, in the same way you would call someone an azz hole? Or do you think that the fact that it also means homosexual, means that it is unacceptable to be used as an insult?

I think getting offended by words is pointless. Words have no more power than we give them, and the idea that some are taboo and others are not is absurd to me -but I make room for the idea that I'm not in the majority consensus on this subject.

I whole heartedly agree with this.


Do I think it's appropriate to call anyone words with the intent to demean them? Yes. Do I think one demeaning word is necessarily worse than others... sure, but that's not to say that any should be off the table. But equally, one who would call another a "f@g" says more about their own character in calling another person a "f@g" than he says about the person to which he refers.

In any case, it's a meaningless exercise in ostentatiousness.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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3/17/2013 2:02:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 1:41:33 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:55:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:32:41 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:26:58 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:21:08 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:12:30 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.

Are you assuming that I am arguing that language never changes? Notice that I said radical descriptivists. Every dictionary would actually agree with my stance, which is that a mixture of descriptivism and prescriptivism is essential for the health of every language. This means that fleeting slang born of juvenile comparisons to the mentally disabled does not merit enshrinement in our collective lexicon, it merits a brief footnote on slang usage at best. And it certainly shouldn't be encouraged as proper usage by the authorities on such subjects.

By 'every dictionary disagrees with you', I meant that every dictionary I have found has listed 'a mentally handicapped person' or a similar definition, under the word retard. And so, I say again, every dictionary disagrees with you.

... Which is not the definition that I am arguing against. I said that using retarded as a synonym for stupid, as in 'that was a retarded decision', or 'that retard Billy forgot the paintballs', is improper and juvenile usage which ought to be frowned upon.


Oxford dictionary defines retard, when being used as a noun, as a person with a mental disability(often used as a term of abuse).

This usage is not improper and is not juvenile.

A person with a mental disability is not a stupid person. They are not the same thing. A disability is a medical and/or psychological condition. Forgetting the paintballs does not make one mentally disabled. Oxford is referring to mental retardation, a class of disability historically defined as an IQ under 70. Take a look at this table: http://www.aafp.org....

Oxford dictionary defines retard, when being used as a noun, as a person with a mental disability(often used as a term of abuse).


Remember what I said a while back about side notes regarding slang usage? That's what that is. Hence the parentheses. In botanical guides we mention the defunct and outdated names for species, but that doesn't mean that their use in any way encouraged.

If you think it's not juvenile, attend a meeting of any group of professionals and suggest that someone who makes a bad suggestion is 'retarded'. See how much respect you garner.

Non-sequitur. Just because a group of professionals does not appreciate my language, does not make it juvenile. And whether even they would consider it inappropriate is up for question, it all depends on what kind of professionals they are. For instance, if they are professional bmxers or snowboarders then they probably use the same language. Just because someone is a professional, does not mean the ascribe to the same language philosophy as you, no matter what their profession is.

Have you noticed that the groups which you use as counterexamples tend to be populated by... juveniles? The argument is that if groups of adults reject a behavior while adolescents and young adults accept it, then that behavior is juvenile.

American Heritage Dictionary:
2. Characteristic of, intended for, or appropriate for children or young people: juvenile fashions.
3. Marked by immaturity; childish: juvenile behavior
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
muzebreak
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3/17/2013 2:17:56 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 2:02:16 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/17/2013 1:41:33 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:55:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:32:41 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:26:58 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:21:08 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 11:12:30 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/16/2013 10:48:26 PM, muzebreak wrote:
At 3/16/2013 7:52:31 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
No, it refers to someone who is developmentally set back. Do you speak a romance language? The etymology derives from the latin re, a prefix denoting repetition, and tardus, which means slow. Hence 'en retard' means late in French, and tardy means the same in English. Many people wrongly believe that it means stupid and use it that way because they conflate any developmental retardation, or lateness, as it were, with stupidity. How a word is being used does not determine what it means. To quote Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean " neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

The answer is that you can't, otherwise words lose their specific meanings, which is the source of their utility in discerning things from one another and communicating such differences in a concise, lucid manner. It's something that I wish the smug radical descriptivists of this world would get through their thick skulls. I'm not slighting you, as you were probably brought up with the 'words mean exactly what one chooses them to mean' mentality, as most of my generation were. But surely you must see that, without set definitions, language becomes mercurial to the point of obsolescence? Here's a rather humorous example:

I'm sorry, but every dictionary in existence disagrees with you. And please do tell, how is it that you think words gained meanings in the first place? I'm pretty sure it wasn't that they just magically appeared. People started to use a word to refer to something, and as such that word gained a definition. All your doing is trying to apply a slippery slope argument, but it isn't really valid. Words can have several meanings, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that. And words can gain meaning through every day use of that word to mean something. It's called the evolution of language.

Are you assuming that I am arguing that language never changes? Notice that I said radical descriptivists. Every dictionary would actually agree with my stance, which is that a mixture of descriptivism and prescriptivism is essential for the health of every language. This means that fleeting slang born of juvenile comparisons to the mentally disabled does not merit enshrinement in our collective lexicon, it merits a brief footnote on slang usage at best. And it certainly shouldn't be encouraged as proper usage by the authorities on such subjects.

By 'every dictionary disagrees with you', I meant that every dictionary I have found has listed 'a mentally handicapped person' or a similar definition, under the word retard. And so, I say again, every dictionary disagrees with you.

... Which is not the definition that I am arguing against. I said that using retarded as a synonym for stupid, as in 'that was a retarded decision', or 'that retard Billy forgot the paintballs', is improper and juvenile usage which ought to be frowned upon.


Oxford dictionary defines retard, when being used as a noun, as a person with a mental disability(often used as a term of abuse).

This usage is not improper and is not juvenile.

A person with a mental disability is not a stupid person. They are not the same thing. A disability is a medical and/or psychological condition. Forgetting the paintballs does not make one mentally disabled. Oxford is referring to mental retardation, a class of disability historically defined as an IQ under 70. Take a look at this table: http://www.aafp.org....

Oxford dictionary defines retard, when being used as a noun, as a person with a mental disability(often used as a term of abuse).


Remember what I said a while back about side notes regarding slang usage? That's what that is. Hence the parentheses. In botanical guides we mention the defunct and outdated names for species, but that doesn't mean that their use in any way encouraged.

It is in parenthesis because it follows the same definition, but is used in a different way. And even if it is slang, what is the difference between slang and other words?


If you think it's not juvenile, attend a meeting of any group of professionals and suggest that someone who makes a bad suggestion is 'retarded'. See how much respect you garner.

Non-sequitur. Just because a group of professionals does not appreciate my language, does not make it juvenile. And whether even they would consider it inappropriate is up for question, it all depends on what kind of professionals they are. For instance, if they are professional bmxers or snowboarders then they probably use the same language. Just because someone is a professional, does not mean the ascribe to the same language philosophy as you, no matter what their profession is.

Have you noticed that the groups which you use as counterexamples tend to be populated by... juveniles?

Yeah, because all snowboarders and bmxers are juveniles.......

The argument is that if groups of adults reject a behavior while adolescents and young adults accept it, then that behavior is juvenile.

American Heritage Dictionary:
2. Characteristic of, intended for, or appropriate for children or young people: juvenile fashions.
3. Marked by immaturity; childish: juvenile behavior

And I don't even need any counter examples. As I stated, it doesn't matter what profession the group is, you cannot guarantee me that none of them will use retard in this fashion, or find this use acceptable. And even if you could, that does not make it juvenile.
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3/17/2013 2:19:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/17/2013 2:02:16 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/17/2013 1:41:33 AM, muzebreak wrote:

Non-sequitur. Just because a group of professionals does not appreciate my language, does not make it juvenile. And whether even they would consider it inappropriate is up for question, it all depends on what kind of professionals they are. For instance, if they are professional bmxers or snowboarders then they probably use the same language. Just because someone is a professional, does not mean the ascribe to the same language philosophy as you, no matter what their profession is.

Don't forget porn star and professional bowler, man.

Have you noticed that the groups which you use as counterexamples tend to be populated by... juveniles? The argument is that if groups of adults reject a behavior while adolescents and young adults accept it, then that behavior is juvenile.

American Heritage Dictionary:
2. Characteristic of, intended for, or appropriate for children or young people: juvenile fashions.
3. Marked by immaturity; childish: juvenile behavior

Perhaps, but take Abby Hoffman and the Yippies for example. On their face, they seemed incredibly immature, but their outward irreverence for the system they were parodying and attempting to tear down stemmed from a place of deep knowledge and contempt.

Immaturity isn't always immaturity. Sometimes it simply marks someone who chooses to be gay over morose.
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