I've been thinking about words and how much power they have. Remember the old phrase, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? That is so UNTRUE! Honestly, I think I'd rather have someone hurling sticks and stones at me than calling me names or gossiping about me behind my back.
I remember when I was in elementary school, there was one particular girl (Belinda) and a group of her friends who called me "Barbie Doll head" every day when I got on the bus. And I would cry. And try to find a way to get my mom to take me to school instead of having to ride the bus. It's funny that there are certainly worse things in life than being called "Barbie Doll head," but at the time, I would have had trouble thinking of them. I still remember the feeling I had every day when I scanned the back seat of the bus looking for Belinda. (Why is it the mean kids always sat in the back??)
And now, in this day of political-correctness, there are even fewer words we can say, with more and more groups being offended by more and more words. I was discussing that show "Little People, Big World" the other day with someone in public, and I said the word "midget (kind of loudly, I guess)." Did you know that is a bad word? Well, I didn't, but I sure do now! My friend shushed me, but several people looked around and glared in my general direction. I mean, who knew that was a bad word?? I may need to have lessons to make sure I don't offend the general public with my discussions!! I wasn't saying BAD things about "little people (apparently that is the correct term now)," we were just discussing the show!
I do not, in general, curse (anymore), and I do not use racial epithets to describe anyone. I always try to be kind with my speech and would be very sad to know that I have offended anyone. But these days, it is really really hard!! I agree that words can be very hurtful, but we have become a society of banners. I think many people look for reasons to be upset, and if they can't find anything legitimate (not too hard to find legitimate reasons to be upset right now!!), they make something up and then ban something.
Hmmmm, I have decided I am offended by blonde jokes. So, even when people are just being funny and are not actually insulting me or trying to offend, I am going to get all mad and write letters to the editor, stay up late nights finding blogs to scream at, call radio talk show hosts, etc to complain about blonde jokes. Then I'll get an ulcer, high blood pressure, have a "cardiac event" and fall over dead on the floor at the age of 40. And people will STILL be telling blonde jokes LONG after I have killed myself by looking for a reason to fly into a rage.
I think it's silly. And for the record, I love blonde jokes. Send me a few, if you have them!