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View Full Version : Is the 'N' Word Profanity?


NCMojo
10-02-05, 10:55 AM
I was watching Kanye West on SNL last night, and he was essentially doing a radio edit of his song "Gold Digger":

Now I aint sayin she a gold digger
But she aint messin wit no broke - broke - (scratch)

As I was watching it, I just felt it was riddiculous. The word may be offensive, but is it obscene? If a black man chooses to call himself "******" should that be censored out?

Actually, in general -- should certain words, like "******" and "****" and "spic" and "honkey" -- be in the same league with curse words like "fuck" and "asshole"?

(Our friendly forum word censor caught the word used in the Kanye West song... along with a disparaging word for Jewish people that rhymes with "pike"... but missed the other two terms entirely. Case in point...)

Th0r S1mpson
10-02-05, 11:02 AM
I consider racial slurs worse than profanity. Black use of the N word is not a simple issue, however. But it's certainly not "clean" speech that kids should be hearing on TV if we're going to censor anything.

criptik28
10-02-05, 11:51 AM
Yes, it is.

FiveO
10-02-05, 11:55 AM
I would consider it an unnacceptable racial slur.

NCMojo
10-02-05, 11:58 AM
I would consider it an unnacceptable racial slur.
As would I, of course. But does that mean that the FCC should ban it from the air? (I don't know that they do, by the way... but it would seem to me to be one of the new "seven deadly words"...)

Kittydreamer
10-02-05, 12:08 PM
What's a "honkey"?

cultshock
10-02-05, 12:10 PM
What's a "honkey"?

It's a cross between a horse and a donkey, silly. :)

Phoenixignition
10-02-05, 12:15 PM
Its worse than profanity, IMO. Yes, they were right to censor it. Just because a black person used the word doesnt make it any less degrading or ignorant in use.

kvrdave
10-02-05, 12:20 PM
It is a word that shows you how much race still matters. Any word that is okay for one ethnic group to use, but offensive if another group uses, is so incredibly stupied. Either it is wrong for all groups, or okay for all groups, and I personally don't care which it is, so long as it is consistant.

Bronkster
10-02-05, 12:38 PM
I agree with the offensiveness of it, and the inconsistancy as mentioned above.

Oddly, I was sure that I heard the N-word used in the premiere of Everybody Hates Chris, where the white bully kid was picking on Chris. How can it be okay in "family" prime time but not on a late-night satirical-comedy (and I use "comedy" sparingly) show like SNL?

matta
10-02-05, 12:44 PM
I think the FCC should just ban Kanye West from speaking in general.

NCMojo
10-02-05, 12:52 PM
I agree with the offensiveness of it, and the inconsistancy as mentioned above.

Oddly, I was sure that I heard the N-word used in the premiere of Everybody Hates Chris, where the white bully kid was picking on Chris. How can it be okay in "family" prime time but not on a late-night satirical-comedy (and I use "comedy" sparingly) show like SNL?
Besides, who can forget the great skit (http://snltranscripts.jt.org/75/75ginterview.phtml) between Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase?

Interviewer: Alright, Mr. Wilson, you've done just fine on the Rorshact.. your papers are in good order.. your file's fine.. no difficulties with your motor skills.. And I think you're probably ready for this job. We've got one more psychological test we always do here. It's just a Word Association. I'll throw you out a few words - anything that comes to your mind, just throw back at me, okay? It's kind of an arbitrary thing. Like, if I say "dog", you'd say..?

Mr. Wilson: "Tree".

Interviewer: "Tree". [ nods head, prepares the test papers ] "Dog".

Mr. Wilson: "Tree".

Interviewer: "Fast".

Mr. Wilson: "Slow".

Interviewer: "Rain".

Mr. Wilson: "Snow".

Interviewer: "White".

Mr. Wilson: "Black".

Interviewer: "Bean".

Mr. Wilson: "Pod".

Interviewer: [ casually ] "Negro".

Mr. Wilson: "Whitey".

Interviewer: "Tarbaby".

Mr. Wilson: [ silent, sure he didn't hear what he thinks he heard ] What'd you say?

Interviewer: [ repeating ] "Tarbaby".

Mr. Wilson: "Ofay".

Interviewer: "Colored".

Mr. Wilson: "Redneck".

Interviewer: "Junglebunny".

Mr. Wilson: [ starting to get angry ] "**********!"

Interviewer: "Burrhead".

Mr. Wilson: [ defensive ] "Cracker!"

Interviewer: [ aggressive ] "Spearchucker".

Mr. Wilson: "White trash!"

Interviewer: "Jungle Bunny!"

Mr. Wilson: [ upset ] "Honky!"

Interviewer: "Spade!

Mr. Wilson: [ really upset ] "Honky Honky!"

Interviewer: [ relentless ] "******!"

Mr. Wilson: [ immediate ] "Dead honky!" [ face starts to flinch ]

Interviewer: [ quickly wraps the interview up ] Okay, Mr. Wilson, I think you're qualified for this job. How about a starting salary of $5,000?

Mr. Wilson: Your momma!

Interviewer: [ fumbling ] Uh.. $7,500 a year?

Mr. Wilson: Your grandmomma!

Interviewer: [ desperate ] $15,000, Mr. Wilson. You'll be the highest paid janitor in America. Just, don't.. don't hurt me, please..

Mr. Wilson: Okay.

Interviewer: [ relieved ] Okay.

Mr. Wilson: You want me to start now?

Interviewer: Oh, no, no.. that's alright. I'll clean all this up. Take a couple of weeks off, you look tired.

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/75/pics/75ginterview2.jpg

That whole sketch would be neutered if they hadn't used the "N" word.

Kittydreamer
10-02-05, 01:03 PM
It's a cross between a horse and a donkey, silly. :)

Oh you're just too helpful. Thanks. :lol:

DodgingCars
10-02-05, 01:12 PM
As would I, of course. But does that mean that the FCC should ban it from the air? (I don't know that they do, by the way... but it would seem to me to be one of the new "seven deadly words"...)

Are you sure it was the FCC who was responsible?

Myster X
10-02-05, 01:44 PM
Are there any other races out there besides blacks that use a racial slur among themselves?

Th0r S1mpson
10-02-05, 02:04 PM
Are there any other races out there besides blacks that use a racial slur among themselves?
Yes, certainly among friends. But not nearly used on the same level to my knowledge. Not even close. And certainly not on the same level publicly.

kvrdave
10-02-05, 02:08 PM
I agree with white bread.

Actually, the only thing close I could think of would be the gay community.

Kittydreamer
10-02-05, 02:17 PM
So is anyone here going to answer my question or am I actually going to have to look it up myself? :grunt:

kvrdave
10-02-05, 02:19 PM
So is anyone here going to answer my question or am I actually going to have to look it up myself? :grunt:

It's white people.

NCMojo
10-02-05, 02:27 PM
Are you sure it was the FCC who was responsible?
No. Thus my parenthetical comment. But I have seen this word censored on radio and on TV.

scottall
10-02-05, 02:45 PM
But I have seen this word censored on radio and on TV.
It's censored on BET.

kevin75
10-02-05, 03:04 PM
i don't think that it's profanity. i do agree with the above comments about the hypocrisy of the usage though. am i for using it? nope, but it shouldn't be okay for some people to use it and not for others.

natevines
10-02-05, 03:10 PM
Use 'coon' instead

talemyn
10-02-05, 03:17 PM
As would I, of course. But does that mean that the FCC should ban it from the air? (I don't know that they do, by the way... but it would seem to me to be one of the new "seven deadly words"...)The FCC has much broader standards to determine what can and can't be broadcast (and when) than just the "seven dirty words" (linky (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/obscene.html)).

Excerpt:

It’s Against the Law

It is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. It is also a violation of federal law to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours. Congress has given the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the responsibility for administratively enforcing these laws. The FCC may revoke a station license, impose a monetary forfeiture, or issue a warning, if a station airs obscene, indecent, or profane material.

Obscene Broadcasts Are Prohibited at All Times

The Supreme Court established the definition of obscenity. The Supreme Court’s definition is designed to cover hard-core pornography. Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment and cannot be broadcast at any time. To be obscene, material must meet a three-prong test:

* An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
* The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law; and
* The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Indecent Broadcast Restrictions

The FCC has defined broadcast indecency as “language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community broadcast standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities.” Indecent programming contains patently offensive sexual or excretory material that does not rise to the level of obscenity.

As such, the courts have held that indecent material is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be banned entirely. It may, however, be restricted in order to avoid its broadcast during times of the day when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience.

Consistent with a federal statute and federal court decisions interpreting the indecency statute, the Commission adopted a rule pursuant to which broadcasts -- both on television and radio -- that fit within the indecency definition and that are aired between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. are subject to indecency enforcement action.

Profane Broadcast Restrictions

The FCC has defined profanity as “including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.”

Like indecency, profane speech is prohibited on broadcast radio and television between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.The only one of those three categories that the "n" word could possibly fall into would be profanity (by the FCC definition), but, even if it did, if it was on SNL, it would be during the "can broadcast" window.

Sounds like the network sensors jumped on this one.

BigPete
10-02-05, 03:19 PM
Are there any other races out there besides blacks that use a racial slur among themselves?

Carlos Mencia is having no issues with "wetback" jokes.

vaporware
10-02-05, 03:25 PM
What's a "honkey"?


Back in the old days in the deep south the white people couldn't resist trying to run over the black people with their cars. For sport they would "honk" their horns to alert the black people. Thus the saying, "Oh no, watch out for the honky" started.

Ok, really I have no idea.

Kittydreamer
10-02-05, 03:49 PM
It's white people.

:hscratch: I don't get it.

Kittydreamer
10-02-05, 03:49 PM
Back in the old days in the deep south the white people couldn't resist trying to run over the black people with their cars. For sport they would "honk" their horns to alert the black people. Thus the saying, "Oh no, watch out for the honky" started.

Ok, really I have no idea.

:lol: :whofart:

crazyronin
10-02-05, 04:02 PM
:hscratch: I don't get it.

Honky used to be the word hunkey (before that word got another connotation) and is a derogatory term for Hungarian. How it got used for all white folks I have no idea.

ShallowHal
10-02-05, 04:17 PM
There's no such thing as profanity, swearing, cursing, whatever the uptight church folks like to call it. Darn is ok, but damn isn't? There's no such thing as bad words, only bad intentions behind those words. If people worried about important things, not stupid words that they choose to be offended by, they'd be alot happier.

Seriously, is there anywhere in "the bible" that specifically lists shit and fuck as words not to say? Anywhere in other "holy" books? Show me where!!

Stupid fucks. You think it when you say "Fudge!" :lol:

NCMojo
10-02-05, 04:24 PM
Honky used to be the word hunkey (before that word got another connotation) and is a derogatory term for Hungarian. How it got used for all white folks I have no idea.
From the Straight Dope (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_257b.html):
Dear Cecil:

Your tireless research into etymology is to be applauded. The word I want you to trace for me is "honky"--where does it come from and how long has it been in use? --David J., Paris, France

PS: I love your books. The only thing wrong with living in France is that I can't get your column or barbecue potato chips.

Dear David:

I like a man who's got his priorities straight. Honky comes from bohunk and hunky, derogatory terms for Bohemian, Hungarian, and Polish immigrants that came into use around the turn of the century. According to Robert Hendrickson, author of the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, black workers in Chicago meat-packing plants picked up the term from white workers and began applying it indiscriminately to all Caucasians. Probably thought they all looked alike.

ANOTHER SOURCE FOR HONKY

Dear Cecil:

Your source for the origin of honky only gave you half the story. Another probable etymon for honky, cited by David Dalby in his "African Element in American English" (to be found in my Rappin' and Stylin' Out: Communication in Urban Black America) is the Wolof term honq, "red, pink," a term frequently used in to describe white men in African languages. --Tom Kochman, professor of communication, University of Illinois at Chicago

--CECIL ADAMS

Ranger
10-02-05, 04:36 PM
I don't think it's profanity, but I still consider it "inappropriate" to use. when I had a black roommate a couple years ago, he and his (also black) friends always used the N word with each other, which didn't offend me but it just made me think that they were rather immature. I just think it shows maturity when people are able to speak without using curse words or slurs so often, but I'm stil all for free speech and speaking whatever is on your mind, it does make it easier for me to judge people's maturity. :)

talemyn
10-02-05, 04:37 PM
There's no such thing as profanity, swearing, cursing, whatever the uptight church folks like to call it. Darn is ok, but damn isn't? There's no such thing as bad words, only bad intentions behind those words. If people worried about important things, not stupid words that they choose to be offended by, they'd be alot happier.

Seriously, is there anywhere in "the bible" that specifically lists shit and fuck as words not to say? Anywhere in other "holy" books? Show me where!!

Stupid fucks. You think it when you say "Fudge!" :lol:How did "church people" get dragged into this? :whofart:

I though this was a conversation about FCC regulation? :hscratch:

ShallowHal
10-02-05, 04:43 PM
Wait a second . . . how did "church people" get drug into this? :whofart: I though this was a conversation about FCC regulation?
The FCC is enforcing values they believe are best for the kids, which really comes from (IMO) Christian values. If that's not where they get it, what is the basis for any words being "bad"? That takes me right back to my question, though. Where in the bible does it specifically say that shit and fuck are words we shouldn't say? No one has been able to show me yet.

That's just a point I made to support my own belief that there are no bad words, just bad intentions behind words. ;)

Kittydreamer
10-02-05, 04:51 PM
Honky used to be the word hunkey (before that word got another connotation) and is a derogatory term for Hungarian. How it got used for all white folks I have no idea.

Oh. Ok...

Brain Stew
10-02-05, 05:06 PM
No, ****** is not profane. To be profane, a word has to be against God. Whether or not it's obscene is the real question you are searching for answers to.

Cygnet74
10-02-05, 05:47 PM
It is a word that shows you how much race still matters. Any word that is okay for one ethnic group to use, but offensive if another group uses, is so incredibly stupied. Either it is wrong for all groups, or okay for all groups, and I personally don't care which it is, so long as it is consistant.
i think there is (understandably) a gray area that this word falls into. it carries a different context in its use by blacks than it does for whites and for good reason. expecting something to have to be the same for all groups, all people, is a politically correct line of thinking that i don't agree with. different things have different meanings to different people.

ShallowHal
10-02-05, 05:55 PM
No, ****** is not profane. To be profane, a word has to be against God. Whether or not it's obscene is the real question you are searching for answers to.
That's along the same lines as what I'm saying, but what about the people who don't believe in the same thing you do? It all goes back to religion, which forces one person (or a group)'s belief on the entire nation.

al_bundy
10-02-05, 05:57 PM
in NYC i see kids calling each other n**** all the time even if they aren't black

NCMojo
10-02-05, 06:12 PM
No, ****** is not profane. To be profane, a word has to be against God. Whether or not it's obscene is the real question you are searching for answers to.
Well, OK, sure. Let's go with the word "obscene". :shrug:

Breakfast with Girls
10-02-05, 07:37 PM
I was watching Kanye West on SNL last night, and he was essentially doing a radio edit of his song "Gold Digger"George Bush doesn't care about ******s. :(

NCMojo
10-02-05, 08:02 PM
George Bush doesn't care about ******s. :(
I ain't saying he a goldigger, but he ain't fucking with no broke niggas
I ain't saying he a goldigger, but he ain't messing with no broke niggas
George Bush don't like black people
George Bush don't like black people
George Bush don't like black people
George Bush don't like black people

-- The Legendary K.O. (http://www.k-otix.com/)

Th0r S1mpson
10-02-05, 08:02 PM
CPT, I'll answer your question, though I will leave it at this so as to not derail the thread.

The Bible does teach not to let "unwholesome" or "filthy" talk come out of your mouth. Why doesn't it mention those words specifically? Well, first of all, these guys didn't speak English. But profanity has been around since long before the time of Christ, in just about any language. Bottom line is, if you know something is considered to be "profane" by people, you should not use it around them. That doesn't mean it's okay to just use language that is regularly used by them, as they may very well be using words that they know to be "profane." Simply put, the Bible teaches us to control our tongues and to speak in a respectable manner, not to just say whatever comes to our mind or what will make you "fit in with the crowd."

I had a longer response to your question, but instead, a brief search provided what looks like a much better explanation with some verses for your reference. If you are genuinely interested in the topic, it could be a good read:

http://www.christiancourier.com/penpoints/profanity2.htm

NotThatGuy
10-02-05, 08:11 PM
I consider racial slurs worse than profanity. Black use of the N word is not a simple issue, however. But it's certainly not "clean" speech that kids should be hearing on TV if we're going to censor anything.

Exactly.

I think using terms like that perpetuates ignorance and are a major contributor to in-fighting. How can you teach self-respect, respect for others, etc when the channels of communication are full of slurs and hate?

ShallowHal
10-02-05, 09:17 PM
CPT, I'll answer your question, though I will leave it at this so as to not derail the thread.

I had a longer response to your question, but instead, a brief search provided what looks like a much better explanation with some verses for your reference. If you are genuinely interested in the topic, it could be a good read:

http://www.christiancourier.com/penpoints/profanity2.htm
Thanks for the reply. From your link, I found basically the same thing (IMO) that I'm saying:

"Words become “bad” by virtue of their connotation, motive, etc., and such circumstances can change from time-to-time, or from place-to-place."

I have yet to understand why some people are offended by the "F" word, instead of the person speaking or intent behind it. The same could be said about the "N" word, I think quite a few people aren't actually offended by it, but they'd like it to only be used in times they approve of. That can be said for all words, which I think comes down to the main point of every disagreement ever- Most people are satisfied to "win" and not be heard, rather than understood.

boredsilly
10-02-05, 09:23 PM
Exactly.

I think using terms like that perpetuates ignorance and are a major contributor to in-fighting. How can you teach self-respect, respect for others, etc when the channels of communication are full of slurs and hate?

But see it isn't hateful when used by blacks...at least not in the same way it would be truly "hateful" when used by a person to degrade a person because they're black. It really is a loaded question. Like even if a black person called another person a "ni**a" in a negative way, it would hae a meaning closer to say "asshole" or "mother******", it wouldn't be meant as a "true" racial slur for the most part if that makes any sense. Like if my friend was mad at me and said "Ni**a, you're really pissing me off" it wouldn't mean the same as David Duke saying it. There is also the difference, and there is one, between ni**a and ni**er. There just is.

Personally I tend to not use it in my everyday speech. I don't greet friends with a "What's up nigga?" or anything like that. I used to throw it around all the time in middle school, just like I used to great everybody with "Yo", but I've become sort of hyper aware of the word and it just doesn't feel right to me to use often. That's not to say I don't use it now and then.

And I don't really know of other races taking slurs and owning them, but I do know that a lot of gay people use "fa*" in a similar vein as blacks use "ni**a". Same with some women using "bitch" or "slut" amongst friends.

NotThatGuy
10-02-05, 09:34 PM
You commented on the intent of the word, which is an important distinction. Even if they take ownership of the word, it doesn't take away the implied derogatory origin of it. Bitch is another word that bothers me. Many women have taken ownership of it....but I think they are applying it incorrectly. Bitch has a negative connotation to it, though the qualities many of the women associate with it aren't all negative. I think they can still have those qualities, but without pairing it with the word. The last thing we need is a generation of young women who embrace the word bitch.

PopcornTreeCt
10-02-05, 09:42 PM
Black people use it because they want to stick it to the man. Look what I can say and you can't!!

VinVega
10-02-05, 09:53 PM
I would not call a black person a **********, but the fact that it's offensive if I'm quoting someone else's use of it, is ridiculous. For example: "Why do some blacks insist on calling each other **********s?" Just the fact that I mentioned the word, even without calling any individual that name is somehow still offensive. That makes no sense.

ShallowHal
10-02-05, 09:53 PM
The last thing we need is a generation of young women who embrace the word bitch.
There's nothing wrong with them embracing it! If a word empowers someone, it's their choice. I'd rather not have two generations fighting over what a stupid word means, especially since we'll all probably be in homes waiting for them to bring us jello. :lol:

Th0r S1mpson
10-02-05, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the reply. From your link, I found basically the same thing (IMO) that I'm saying:

"Words become “bad” by virtue of their connotation, motive, etc., and such circumstances can change from time-to-time, or from place-to-place."
Close, but don't confuse this with the notion that all words are okay to use in certain environments and that if the people around you aren't offended by it or you didn't mean any offense by it, it must be okay. The F word can be used to describe a sexual act, though doing so with that word would in almost all cases be considered lewd any way, but it is most commonly thrown around in jest as a verb, adjective, or noun, in what would almost certainly not be described as a Christian manner of having control over one's langauge. There's pretty much no way of using that word that is remotely constructive (from a Godly perspective) where a more appropriate word could not be used in its place. It may not be intended to offend (as it is often not) but that doesn't make it the right adjective to throw into a sentence.

This is coming from someone who used to use it every other sentence, but I've elminated it from my vocabulary finally. I used to think that the best way to reach some people would be for some Christians to go out and make songs with cuss words and a good message. I've come to think that was pure ignorance and lack of maturity on my part.

While some ordinary terms can become vulgar in their connotation (innocent words or phrases that have been turned into dirty references), some words, such as the F word, can pretty much be considered vulgar in their very root. It's not likely that such words will become "clean" words any time soon, even if society accepts them more. Christianity isn't about conforming to society.

Iif you would like to discuss this further, feel free to email me. It's something I've struggled with a lot over the years, and obviously I still do but to a lesser degree. I'm constantly making corrections as I notice them and make myself more accountable.

<i>Edited to add:</i>

I suggest email as discussions like this can go downhill quickly on a public forum, and discussions about profanity by the general public vs. Christians are really two different topics. I don't hold a non-Christian to any sort of standard when it comes to their speech, but I would have different advice for a Christian struggling with or interested in the issue.

That's what makes the issue of obscentiy in public difficult to nail down... it's not a question of right and wrong, but a question of finding the limits of respecting others vs. being offensive. And what's offensive to some is not offensive to others... but I think it's okay to ask people (from a societal view) to be respectful when something is clearly offensive to people.

ShallowHal
10-02-05, 10:20 PM
Close, but don't confuse this with the notion that all words are okay to use in certain environments and that if the people around you aren't offended by it or you didn't mean any offense by it, it must be okay.
That's exactly what I believe, and it's not a notion. A word is only a word, and if there's no one around who is offended, anyone who argues against the word in that situation is (IMO) forcing their beliefs on someone else. That has nothing to do with religion, but with someone thinking their own beliefs should be shared by everyone else.

Example: 4 women call each other bitches all day. Who can tell them that's negative? If they don't use it negatively, it's not. It's an opinion of the word, not the reality of it's use.

Th0r S1mpson
10-02-05, 10:28 PM
CPT, I don't know if you're a Christian, so I don't know the proper way to respond. But like a said before, I'm happy to take the discussion to email.

If you're not a Christian, then I see no problem with that view, except that if nobody is around who would be offended, it would never be an issue any way and nobody will be "forcing their beliefs" on someone else, so no harm done.

NotThatGuy
10-02-05, 10:31 PM
Example: 4 women call each other bitches all day. Who can tell them that's negative? If they don't use it negatively, it's not. It's an opinion of the word, not the reality of it's use.

I can tell them it is negative. Just because they all call each other it, doesn't make it right, it just makes it present. It is still negative, even if they don't mean it to me.

ShallowHal
10-02-05, 10:35 PM
CPT, I don't know if you're a Christian, so I don't know the proper way to respond. But like a said before, I'm happy to take the discussion to email.

If you're not a Christian, then I see no problem with that view, except that if nobody is around who would be offended, it would never be an issue any way and nobody will be "forcing their beliefs" on someone else, so no harm done.
I was raised in that environment, but I don't define myself in that way. Actually, because of that, I can't define myself that way.

My point was that people talking about 4 women who call each other bitches are judging the use of a word that someone else is speaking. That's pointless, and that's what I've been trying to say. There are no bad words, just the intentions behind those words. If you're offended by it, it's not because of the word they said, it's because of the word you heard. ;)

Lemdog
10-03-05, 12:43 AM
It is a word that shows you how much race still matters. Any word that is okay for one ethnic group to use, but offensive if another group uses, is so incredibly stupied. Either it is wrong for all groups, or okay for all groups, and I personally don't care which it is, so long as it is consistant.
:thumbsup:

Th0r S1mpson
10-03-05, 12:46 AM
Okay, I <i>guess</i> you're right in the fact that "words" themselves are somewhat arbitrary. They are a human invention to represent concepts... but the sound of them coming out of someone's mouth isn't necessarily offensive, it's what we hear and interpret the words to mean that can be offensive. Welcome to philosophy hour.

That doesn't take away from the fact the the words have roots and societal implications associated with them. If someone (let's say a white guy) was raised in the jungle by apes and had only a Kanye West album to learn english from, then was released into society and crawled into an old folks home with a bunch of black people and started calling them a bunch of N-ers, he would have no ill intentions with that, but it wouldn't be right to just let it go on and not try and teach him how to speak properly to the people around him. This is because words <i>do</i> have meaning associated with them, and some of those meanings can inherently be offensive concepts.

DonnachaOne
10-03-05, 01:31 AM
Yes.

Th0r S1mpson
10-03-05, 01:46 AM
Yes.
You just blew my mind.

talemyn
10-03-05, 12:03 PM
Okay, I <i>guess</i> you're right in the fact that "words" themselves are somewhat arbitrary. They are a human invention to represent concepts... but the sound of them coming out of someone's mouth isn't necessarily offensive, it's what we hear and interpret the words to mean that can be offensive. Welcome to philosophy hour.Sort of the verbal equivalent of the tree in the forest question: "If someone shouts '**********' in the forest and no one is around it hear it, is it offensive?" :lol:

CPT, I understand what you are saying, but, realistically, it's impractical, from a broadcast standpoint, to only use "bad words" when people who won't be offended aren't watching. As such, the FCC and the network censors take into account the current prevalant public standard for what words are or aren't appropriate for broadcast to the public. It's pretty much the only approach that they can take. As such, over the years we have seen an introduction of words that used to be considered inappropriate for broadcast, slowly slip into the realm of the appropriate (just watch some of the nighttime dramas for evidence).


One more quick side note in regards to the religious aspect . . . an intolerance for "bad words" is hardly a Christianity thing. There similar stances in all of the worlds major religions (with Buddhism being the possible exception). In addition, there are non-religious people who take profanity pretty seriously, as something that they simply find distasteful or insulting. It may be that they were influenced by religious beliefs when they formed their opinions, but it doesn't change the fact that they have made them their own since then.

You need to be careful in attributing certain trends to any given religious groups . . . it's too easy to slip into the logical fallacy that, because an idea is accepted by a religious belief, it must be from that religious belief.

Borst
10-03-05, 12:25 PM
Carlos Mencia is having no issues with "wetback" jokes.

Why would he? His real name is Ned Holness and he isn't mexican he is half german and half honduran. He is about the biggest hack comic around these days.

resinrats
10-03-05, 12:27 PM
That's just a point I made to support my own belief that there are no bad words, just bad intentions behind words. ;)

Then when you have a kid, keep saying shit and fuck around him/her so it will be the first word they say. If it isn't a bad word if not used in the context, you should have no problem when the kid points at something in the mall and yells 'shit fuck'.

chente
10-03-05, 12:41 PM
Are there any other races out there besides blacks that use a racial slur among themselves?

You might be a redneck if .....

That being said, I've searched long and hard, with no success, for a phrase that we Mexicans can use with each other as evocative as

Nigga please

that a few of my black friends use with each other.

Tarantino
10-03-05, 02:49 PM
"Nigga preeze."

I don't think it should have been bleeped out.

= J

ShallowHal
10-03-05, 03:49 PM
Then when you have a kid, keep saying shit and fuck around him/her so it will be the first word they say. If it isn't a bad word if not used in the context, you should have no problem when the kid points at something in the mall and yells 'shit fuck'.
Sure, just let me know what mall you'll be at. :rolleyes:

Groucho
10-03-05, 03:59 PM
I always thought that "honky" came from the stereotype that white people talk with nasal voices.

Rockmjd23
10-03-05, 04:38 PM
I thought it came from Honkey-Tonk.

resinrats
10-03-05, 05:51 PM
Sure, just let me know what mall you'll be at. :rolleyes:

On the same token, you must not mind racial slur words unless they are said towards the person. You must not have any problems with the N-word being said if not being used towards a black person?

ShallowHal
10-03-05, 06:00 PM
On the same token, you must not mind racial slur words unless they are said towards the person. You must not have any problems with the N-word being said if not being used towards a black person?
I replied with what I said, read it again if you don't understand.

If you'd like someone to put in a corner with things like "so you must think this", or "you must not have problems with this", find someone else.

:)

BassDude
10-03-05, 06:03 PM
I always thought that "honky" came from the stereotype that white people talk with nasal voices.

This is what I heard as well. When blacks first heard the voices of whites they were amazed at how nasal thier voices sounded, and started calling them honky. No idea how the N word started.

resinrats
10-03-05, 06:28 PM
This is what I heard as well. When blacks first heard the voices of whites they were amazed at how nasal thier voices sounded, and started calling them honky. No idea how the N word started.
While I don't know where it got turned into **********, it was dirived from 'negro', Spanish for 'black'.

Rypro 525
10-03-05, 06:31 PM
I thought it came from Honkey-Tonk.
http://www.wrestlingworld.it/Historical/Biografie/honkytonkman/honkylogo.jpg

WhoGirl
10-03-05, 06:54 PM
Heh. Deja vu.

It depends on where it's coming from. I guess if it's from someone you're on friendly terms with, it probably isn't offensive (unless they say it the "right" way.) If it's from someone you're on bad terms with, then it is. White or black, as I've known white guys who have jokingly called black friends the N-word, and it was no harm, no foul.

I can see that with the women calling each other "bitch" thing.

But I guess being white, I don't entirely get it. If another white person called me a "honky" I'd be more confused than anything. "You're white, too... :whofart: "

Cameron
10-04-05, 01:27 AM
ever heard of the niger river....or nigeria...they are in africa....where the slaves came from...connect the dots...

what i think is funny is that kanye west was on SNL....Mike Myers seemed pretty pissed at the whole situation a few weeks back....strange he didn't call up lorne and say F- that non canadian....

The Bus
10-04-05, 08:26 AM
You might be a redneck if .....

That being said, I've searched long and hard, with no success, for a phrase that we Mexicans can use with each other as evocative as

Nigga please

that a few of my black friends use with each other.

It's kind of weird if white people call each other esse.

chente
10-04-05, 12:40 PM
It's kind of weird if white people call each other esse.

Probably the closest phrase

ai guey

BassDude
10-04-05, 01:22 PM
ever heard of the niger river....or nigeria...they are in africa....where the slaves came from...connect the dots...


Nigeria................................................................Nigerians

Still wondering where the N word started. I doubt many slave owners knew there was a country in Africa called Nigeria. More apt to believe the word Negro got bastardized into it. Maybe they felt their slaves worked "niggardly?" Hmmm

NotThatGuy
10-04-05, 02:57 PM
I can see that with the women calling each other "bitch" thing.

But I guess being white, I don't entirely get it. If another white person called me a "honky" I'd be more confused than anything. "You're white, too... :whofart: "

Much like Chris Rock's often referenced diatribe about Black People vs ******s....there is a difference, which causes a split within the group. It is interesting because some people within the group want to identify with the word, and others want to avoid being indentified in that sub-section. So in your example, the "you're white too" doesn't really matter, because if one person doesn't identify with being a honky, and one does....they don't view themselves as the same, and therefore the word doesn't apply.

Giles
10-04-05, 03:46 PM
actually been meaning to pick up the book:

http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0375713719.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

NotThatGuy
10-04-05, 05:47 PM
*adds to amazon list*