Author Topic: Thinking of you all  (Read 3606 times)

On the edge

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #75 on: 14 Jul 2021 10:46AM »
ps I just had a extra thought, does that fact words like woke and coloniser were used in good faith only to be hijack take away from the initial value and intent of the words?
I think using these silly terms just add more grist to a never-ending mill.  I though disabled particularly, were totally against 'labels' of any kind? that we aren't jars? we are individuals?  You cannot be different AND the same.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #76 on: 14 Jul 2021 11:42AM »
ps I just had a extra thought, does that fact words like woke and coloniser were used in good faith only to be hijack take away from the initial value and intent of the words?
I think using these silly terms just add more grist to a never-ending mill.  I though disabled particularly, were totally against 'labels' of any kind? that we aren't jars? we are individuals?  You cannot be different AND the same.
My memory must be failing me.  I thought it was you that chose to introduce the term woke to the discussion, and did so very emphatically.  Why do that if you find it silly?  Or was it so that you could make a point of mocking it?
 
Other dialect words spread and get used.  English is an amazing language with one of the largest vocabularies of any language.  We have a gift for adopting words if we have a use for them.  The everyday example I give is 'sup' and 'soup'.  They're etymologically connected, so why is the vowel so different?  We adopted them at different times in history, and when we did so, we anglicised them differently.

We have mobile phones.  We can call them phones, but we can also call them mobiles. When I was a child, a mobile was a decoration, often made for Christmas, that you hung off something.  But we wanted a word to describe a particular sort of phone, so we used that word.

At a particular point in time, African Americans woke to their rights.  The concept was both narrow - a fightback against the racism and oppression they experienced, and wider, meshing in with overlapping awakenings to people's rights.  So the word woke filled a sociolinguistic gap and was used.

But then people who objected to this awakening started using woke as an insult.  It's been done with lots of words people use to declare their rights.  Which isn't to say that this process of distorting the meaning of a word to take away people's necessary vocabulary is only used to attack the left, it's  just that, as I've said, those on the right tend to use this more as a political tactic.

As for being different and the same, personally I want equality, not sameness.  But 'same' gets used in different ways in different contexts, because you could want, for instance, the same right to access a particular building or service whilst not wanting it in the same way.

As for labels, it depends what's meant by labels.  I think that usually when people say they're against labels, they are against terms that denigrate them or socially exclude them vel sim.  Not wanting labels doesn't mean not wanting words for things.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #77 on: 14 Jul 2021 12:01PM »
I like the point of why use a word if you object to its use?

It could turnout to be that a word has to be used by enough people before it becomes part of our everyday language- a kind of majority rule.

Then again definition is another thing, so as us oldies die out so will our objections or support and the world will be for the people we hope are woke enough to help and care for us and give us good deaths

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #78 on: 14 Jul 2021 01:03PM »
I had a fun chat elsewhere with people who objected to the use of the terms 'passed' and 'passed away' for 'died'.  I suddenly realised that some thought they were new terms.  I suggested that after those terms had been in use for about 700 years, it was a bit late to suggest that we shouldn't start using them.

Which doesn't mean, of course, that we couldn't decide to stop using a word.

I have long thought, for instance, that 'handicapped' might come back into use as an acceptable word, shorn of its insult-vibe.  I also find it funny as someone with ataxia that we can talk about someone being ataxic both in the sense of having the symptom and in the sense of having a condition characterised by it, but oops, spastic was abandoned because of the use of it as an insult.

I rather like reclaiming terms that are used as insults.  An 'out and proud' approach.  But it doesn't always work, so maybe it's as well it's not me framing the vocabulary on this. 

I love debating stuff like this with OtE because as is so often the case, we come from opposite sides of the argument and both feel ferociously strongly, but I'm fine with that because OtE always comes across to me, as do others here, as having passionate views born of a desire for people to be treated properly.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #79 on: 16 Jul 2021 06:00AM »
I'm not keen on the term passed, rather than died. I only heard it fairly recently for the first time and it bemused me and I found it weird. Passed where? Reminds me of Monopoly, do not pass Go. Died, is in my eyes a more accurate term but suspect some people are comforted by the term passed rather than the say it how it is term, died. And with words and terms I'm happy to let others use terms they are happy using, who am I to say others are wrong. 

I do always notice the misspelling of "hear hear" though but again, wouldn't correct anyone. The grammar police on social media bI find rude very often and wonder why they take on such a role.

oldtone27

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #80 on: 16 Jul 2021 09:14AM »
I've heard the term 'passed' used over the years, but I think mostly in American films and TV dramas. I wonder if this is in common usage there and is another import?

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #81 on: 16 Jul 2021 02:08PM »
Passed and passed over for died are first recorded in English in mediaeval times in church literature, and have been in use over the centuries in a variety of contexts.  Passed, with or without a word such as 'over', 'away' etc., is more frequently used these days within some communities, some regions, some cultures than others.  I think that it would be right, then, to have mental associations with particular contexts in which one has heard it.  I personally would associate it more with some sorts of Christianity than others, for instance.

The concept of dying = passing is that dying can be seen as passing from one state to the next. 

If you believe that there is another life/existence/incarnation after death, then when you die, you pass on from this existence to that next existence.  If you don't believe in another existence, you can still believe in death as the point at which you pass from being to not being, from life to death.

Think of it perhaps as analogous to 'being born' and 'coming into this world'.  Personally, I haven't come across anyone express irritation or annoyance in relation to the latter expression as an alternative for the former, although for all I know maybe some people do find it annoying.

Thus for many users of the term 'passed', it isn't a euphemism, it's simply either an alternative way of expressing what is happening, or just an everyday word that they can't get hung up about.  But if it's not a way of describing dying that you're familiar with, it can, obviously, jar.

I must admit that having a linguistic bent, I find it funny how old words, phrases, expressions etc. can become 'new' again.  Shakespeare seemed content to use 'they' as a gender-neutral singular pronoun, and when I was younger it was still ok to use it that way, but these days if you use it that way, you risk being accused of misusing English to deny people their gender identity or whatever.

English is a fantastic language with an amazing vocabulary and an amazing number of dialects, but oh dear, the potential for clashes!
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

oldtone27

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #82 on: 16 Jul 2021 03:58PM »
Quote
Shakespeare seemed content to use 'they' as a gender-neutral singular pronoun, and when I was younger it was still ok to use it that way, but these days if you use it that way, you risk being accused of misusing English to deny people their gender identity or whatever.


I thought that nowadays 'they' was the preferred pronoun for people who regard themselves as gender neutral. Certainly is for one New Scientist columnist.

Treading on eggshells is easier than navigating the fashions of language.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Thinking of you all
« Reply #83 on: 16 Jul 2021 04:38PM »
Quote
Shakespeare seemed content to use 'they' as a gender-neutral singular pronoun, and when I was younger it was still ok to use it that way, but these days if you use it that way, you risk being accused of misusing English to deny people their gender identity or whatever.


I thought that nowadays 'they' was the preferred pronoun for people who regard themselves as gender neutral. Certainly is for one New Scientist columnist.

Treading on eggshells is easier than navigating the fashions of language.
I think it probably is their preferred pronoun, but what I find difficult is that some people twitch if you use it for someone who identifies as male or female not as neutral or whatever.  Mind you, when I discovered that Finnish apparently doesn't use gendered pronouns, I found myself wishing heartily that English didn't.  Gosh, how angsty some people can get if you use 'they' rather than 'he' or 'she' when they consider the gender to be obvious.

Where I laugh at myself is that when I'm talking with people from outside my area, I usually use what I consider to be a fairly standardised form of English, but just once in a while I find I've used a regional word and not realised that it was regional.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)