Language is a simple and basic tool used for communication. Yet, it is a skill that is required to maintain happy and lasting relationships. People of all ages and ethnicity often overlook the implication of words they misuse in their daily lives.
Let’s suppose you’re just sitting there watching your favorite show using Cox Contour TV services, and your young ones are somewhere close by. Suddenly, you hear some unpleasant words (e.g., ‘You’re fat and crazy’) spoken by someone on the show, and your kids pick it up. If you are a conscientious person, you will educate your kids about the ramifications of using these words.
Here at 10 offensive and hurtful words that everyone should be cautious about.
The real purpose of the word retarded was to categorize people with disabilities of intellectual nature. Throwing this word in people’s faces with the intent of simply calling them stupid is truly unappealing. The way you speak tells a lot about you, and the language you use defines your character. So, always be mindful of using this word, and don’t be afraid to correct others who use it thoughtlessly.
#2. Black, Nigga, or Colored
If you feel the need to point out someone’s skin color, tread carefully instead of running your mouth. If your intention is not to make them uncomfortable, then do not say the word Black, or colored around them. As for the N-word, that one is especially disrespectful and can get you into serious trouble. These words pose you as a racist person. Instead, it is better to use their actual ethnicity to label them (e.g., the African-American community).
#3. Insane, or Crazy
Almost everyone uses the word ‘crazy’ or ‘insane’ as if it is no big deal. Just because it is very common, does not mean it is alright. These words are actually supposed to poke fun at people with a mental illness. If you are calling your boss crazy or insane just because he/she is intense, gives you a hard time, and expects you to perform better, you should stop. Your boss may be stern, but they are definitely not crazy or insane!
An act such as stealing can be termed as illegal, but not a person. People often call immigrants ‘illegal’ without giving it a second thought. That is not only impolite but also racist. It is a word that has been consistently misused by people who advocate for strict immigration policies. There is no doubt that undocumented immigrants exist everywhere but being undocumented doesn’t make their existence ‘illegal’.
If you hear a name that is unique and unheard of, think twice before telling the owner that they have an ‘exotic’ name. Especially, don’t ever tell a woman that she is exotic. It is a word that is actually meant for animals and plants that are unique to an environment. This word also has severe racial foundations. It is an impolite word to use without thinking.
It is no secret that people with shorter heights can get offended if you refer to them as ‘midget’. To you, it may sound like fun, but it is extremely insensitive to marginalize people by saying negative things about them. It may seem normal if you have heard others use this term to label short heightened people your whole life, but it is offensive and unfriendly.
Calling others ‘fat’ and making them feel ashamed just because they don’t fit into the beauty standards set by our society, is not cool. One simple reason is that saying this word with such intentions means you support the idea that people should be thin. Fat is also a part of our body, and not everyone has complete control over their fat to body ratio. Learn to celebrate people of all sizes, shapes, and colors.
#8. Addict or Alcoholic
There is no denying that addiction of any kind is actually a disease. Knowing that someone is suffering from this issue does not mean that you can stigmatize their identity with labels like ‘addict’ or ‘alcoholic’. Doing so promotes the negative stereotypes that exist in our society making it harder for people who are battling such diseases. Instead of labeling people insensitively with such words, you should care more about supporting them. Try to use better words (e.g., substance abuse disorder) to describe their issue.
‘Ghetto’ is a term that is supposedly derived from an Italian slang word used for ‘waste’. It is a word that was also associated with the concentration camps that formed as a result of World War II. For quite some time, this word has been used for describing communities that are forced to live in deteriorated neighborhoods due to economic and social drawbacks. Labeling people into a specific class (e.g., elite, or ghetto) is very cringy and is completely unfair.
I once overheard my teen mumbling this word in frustration after talking to a rep on the Cox bill pay customer support number. We had a long discussion after that!
Though everybody is quite familiar with the German Nazis, people have twisted the meaning of this term over the years. The word ‘Nazi’ is now used to describe someone who has a rigid personality or is strict. Use better words to express your feelings and think carefully next time before you equate somebody with a controversial race of people.