Monday, August 06, 2007

Grammatical Hypocrisy



During my brief tenure as a high school teacher I tried to instill some modicum of empathy in my students, with varying degrees of disastrous failure, by insisting that they not use two popular words in a pejorative manner. Those words were 'Gay' and 'Retarded'. We went around and around about this, with some of them trying to find loopholes and others just refusing to comply, but some of them actually seemed to understand why it is wrong to use those words as blanket descriptors of that which is undesirable. Especially the day we had a guest lighting designer who is a rather butch lesbian, and one of my little geniuses said something was gay in front of her, and a chill fell over the room as she gave him a look that told him he was tap dancing in a mine field. She very quietly said, 'I beg your pardon?' He wisely backpedalled, and she let it go, but I felt vindicated that one of my kids, at least, might finally have gotten the message, even if it was at the risk of his physical well being.

Now here's the reason for my little confessional here. I think one of the funniest insults is 'retard', and it's lesser used diminutive 'tard'. There is a wonderful show on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim called Robot Chicken, and the other day I was watching an episode where they were lampooning nature documentaries. It was a three part segment, titled 1. The Mongoose: Nature's Assassin. 2. They Hyena: Nature's A##hole. And 3. The Lemming: Nature's Retard. Last night, as I was trying to go to sleep I kept thinking about the voice-over to the third one, done by a very serious sounding, movie-trailer type bass voice, and I couldn't help but laugh again. Bless me, father.

What about you? Are there any words that you publicly decry, but secretly love?

And yes, it is ungodly early in the morning, so if this post makes little to know sense, mea culpa.

Marius the Undercaffeinated.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah! The gay debate. I try to counter its use by responding "it has no sexual preference." As in : "This assignment is so gay."
"No, the assignment has no sexual preference."

It annoys them and seems to take the fun out of it. That's me- squashing fun since the 1990's.

As for me, I call people dumb all the time- usually "dumbass." Not students- save your outraged comments. Well, not aloud anyway. And since everyone is special, wonderful and uniquely talented, dumb should not even be in my vocabulary. But it is! And I love it.

celebhith said...

Uhhhm, that would be "little to NO sense." Ahhh, the English teacher lurking deep inside never quite goes away, does she? Try coffee BEFORE you blog!

I don't think I have any PI words that I secretly love. . . not that I'm perfect but my brain, most of the time, just doesn't work like that. Unless you count "doofus" . .. I use that one alot.