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Behind the Headlines - 07/18/13 Offensive Language
07/18/13 Offensive Language

I don't understand the rules of our language anymore.  Words that were once acceptable in polite conversation are no longer.  How did this happen?

"€œHandicapped"€ and "retarded"€ are now off limits.

The homosexual community uses "€œgay"€ to describe themselves. But when middle schoolers use it to mean "€œdumb" -- "That's so gay!" --€“ they get punished.

The word "€œscheme" meaning a "plan"€ is used throughout the entire English-speaking world. Except here.  It'€™s underhanded.  Almost criminal.

"Profiling"€ has long been used in law enforcement.  But now the TSA assaults 3-year olds just so they aren'€™t seen as profiling people who --€“ fit the profile -- of men who blow-up jetliners.

In the very politically correct region of Washington, DC, the term "€œmaster bedroom"€ is now considered offensive because of the word “master.”

Then there’s the N-word. Considered by some as the most offensive word in English. Celebrity chef Paula Deen got fired for using it.  Decades ago.

Yet the word is heard every day in rap, hip-hop and in black comedy. 

One author even wrote a book with the N-word as the title.

Shouldn’t it be offensive no matter who uses it?

Awhile back, a Washington, DC staffer used the word “niggardly” – which means “miserly” – in describing tight fiscal policy.  He lost his job over it.

Who is making up the rules?

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07/18/13 Offensive Language

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