You’re Offended? So What!

offendedI despise the word “offended.”  It is not a word I use to describe myself except in the ironic sense – i.e. That completely offends my sensibilities. <wink wink nudge nudge> – because I abhor its underlying implication.

It is designed to shut down dialog, to shut down communication, and that is never good.  Never.

youre_offended_tee_shirt-r72d6cc91b35c43af872d2984d44d749b_804gs_512Today’s political climate is consumed with shutting down dialog.  We are inundated on a nearly daily basis with stories of some segment of the population that has been offended by the actions or views by some other segment of the population.  At the core, these claims are designed to terminate the actions or speech of the “offending” group.  It is almost always bogus indignation, and even if it is legitimate, what difference does it make?  The last I checked, the Constitution was still the law of our land, and every individual has the right to hold views and make statements that may offend others.

Get used to it.

freedomFreedom comes with risks.

I had a conversation with a friend about this very issue recently, in a much more personal context.  It doesn’t change one iota of what I have said.  The intention is exactly the same…you have offended me with your <insert issue here>, and I want you to stop doing it.  There is no opening for dialog or discussion.  There is no opening for a mutually respectful conversation.  There is only an opening for listening to the reasons why you offended, and the reason why you should stop saying or doing that which offended.

It can be (and often is) enough simply that you offended.  Why is immaterial, you offended and you must stop offending.  Even if the relationship is over and there is no avenue for reconciliation, the burden of responsibility is still on the offender to fix him/herself.

This is stupid, and useless, because it accomplishes nothing.

stephen fry

Indeed!

I want to accomplish something in my life, and I don’t want to…I will not…do it by silencing opposing views. Say what you will, it does not offend me.

Shock me?  Maybe.

Annoy me?  Possibly.

Anger me?  Probably more than once.

Embitter me?  On occasion.

Offend me?  Never.

Eventually I will develop a thick enough skin that even the most infuriating things will roll off.  Eventually I will overcome the bitterness and cynicism that roots in.  What I will not do is be victimized by someone else’s words.  And I will not attempt to silence them.  I may despise what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. That’s the bottom line.

There is a lesson that can be gleaned from Voltaire in this regard:

tallentyreThe men who had hated [the book], and had not particularly loved Helvétius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional. ‘What a fuss about an omelette!’ he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that! ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’ was his attitude now.  —S. G. Tallentyrereferring to Voltaire. Often attributed to Voltaire.

Voltaire really had it right.  We should do no less.

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April 7 (G)…Great (Obsolete) Words, Ghastly Words (that should be obsolete)

I’m short on time again today, as I sit down at 10:00 to write my “G” post.  Promises that I’ll get back to regularly scheduled programming next week.  In the mean time, I thought I would share some old “G” words that I love, and some that I would love to see gallop right into obsolescense.

 

GREAT WORDS

gobemouche:   This (obsolete) word is of French origin and literally translated means, fly swallower.  So, a person who keeps their mouth open:  a silly or naive person.

gilly-gaupus:  A foolish person.  Also an awkward one.  For example:  “I am gilly-gaupus for not quitting my job right now.”

gormless:  Lacking intelligence and common sense.

gloppened:  Surprised.

gelastic:  Laughable.

gardyloo:  This is a warning that old timey folks used to holler when they tossed their dirty water and other foul liquid slop out the upper windows.  [Apparently, it was too much trouble to carry everything downstairs.]

Legend has it that King Phillipe Auguste of France got nailed by the nasty liquid from a chamber pot while walking through Paris.  He enacted a regulation for all upstairs residents to yell out the warning “gare a l’eau!”, which means “look out for the water!”, before dumping any liquids.  The Scots took the phrase as their own and anglicized it to gardyloo!

grammar folk:  Someone who is educated.

glaikery:  This is foolish and silly behavior.

groat:  Said of any person remarkably unsuccessful in his attempts or profession.   — Francis Grose’s The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

gargalesis:  Gargalesis is heavy tickling.  It comes from the Greek gargalismos, which means tickling.

gormandise:  In honor of Thanksgiving, a word meaning to eat excessively, overindulge, glut, stuff, engorge, binge, pig out, overgorge, ingurgitate, scarf out.

gilravage:  To hold a merry meeting, with noise and riot, but without doing injury to anyone.  It seems generally, if not always, to include the idea of a wasteful use of food, and of intemperate use of strong drink.  According to the first orthography, the term may have formed from gild, a society, a fraternity, and the verb to ravage, or from French ravager; the riotous meeting of a gild or fraternity.  Could we suppose that the proper pronunciation were guleravage, it might be derived from French gueule, the mouth, the throat, also the stomach, conjoined with the verb already mentioned; to waste… to gormandize.     – John Jamieson’s Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

gled’s claws:  We say of anything that has got into greedy keeping that it has “got into the gled’s claws,” where it will be kept until it be savagely devoured.   –John Mactaggart’s Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Took some searching to find what the gled was.  A gled is a common European kite, a raptorial bird, such as the hawk or falcon.  Gled has sometimes been applied as a name for the buzzard.

 

GHASTLY WORDS

goody-goody:  1. a person who is self-righteously, affectedly, or cloyingly good.   2. self-righteously or cloyingly good; affecting goodness.

ginormous:  extremely large; huge.

These are the only two I can come up with right now.  It’s late, and I’m tired…as good an excuse as any.

Goodnight!

Chaotic Cogitations

I love alliteration.  A lot.

I love watching the hubby and small child snuggle up on the couch, talking and watching whatever it is that their guy hearts desire.  It’s such a great change to observe how alike they are.  I kept thinking today as I watched them that I should get the camera and capture the moment…but I didn’t, ’cause I was comfortable, and I didn’t want to move.  Lazy, that.

The small child has mastered the use of the iPad to the point that he is VERY adept at shopping in the app store for games he thinks he must have.  I’ve limited him to free games (with the occasional $$ game thrown in), and he has displayed an uncanny ability to find every single free game in existence.  Glad he doesn’t know my iTunes password…that’s all I’m sayin’.

Just how many times does one adult need to sit through Scooby Doo before it constitutes enough?  Well, I’ll let you know…

Made homemade chili yesterday using the uber-delicious Chugwater Chili spice blend.  So easy that even I will do it.  I am not a magician in the kitchen by any stretch – that moniker is definitely reserved for my husband – but I have swerved into a few winners, of which this is one.  Follow the link to check out Chugwater products & recipes:  http://www.chugwaterchili.com.

Pumpkin mellows are yummy…and so much better than candy corn.

So I made this crazy, sort-of-halfway-sincere-maybe resolution to embark on a reading challenge for 12 months – October 2011 to October 2012 – in which I would read off my own shelves for a change.  I’m a library gal, and I can hardly resist buying a good book when it’s a steal (can we say used book stores & thrifting??!!), so the question is not whether or not it’s a good idea (it definitely is), but whether or not I can actually not indulge in the more-than-occasional book purchase.  We shall see.

Of course, the above has been made a bit more difficult now since my hubby got me a Kindle for my birthday.  Yay!  He rocks!

And speaking of the Kindle, I downloaded the ESV Bible (for free) and used it at church today.  Now that’s cool, and it weighs less too.

Added a tagline to my personal blog when I transitioned to WordPress.  A zaftig cogitating…  What do you think?

Man, I wish I could go up to Michigan and see my sweet friend Mandi, who just had her third child (second daughter).  She’s a cutie patootie, as are her big sis & big bro, and I am achin’ for some snuggles from darlin’ baby Em!!

My husband fixed my car today – a whole in the coolant reservoir that caused my car to steam vociferously from every crevice around the hood and spew dark red liquid into a nice big puddle under the car.  Thankfully it was minor, though it didn’t appear so at the time.  Of course, as he was concluding that repair, he found that the battery had given up the ghost as well.  Thankfully Walmart delivered some customer service (for a change…usually it’s customer no-service) and sold him the battery after the auto shop had closed.  So I’m back on the road again. 🙂

I love the word desultory.

And quixotic.

I wish I had the talent for words that Mark Twain had…that Flannery O’Connor had…that Jack Kerouac had…that Pat Conroy has…that J.K. Rowling has…that Kathryn Stockett has.  What an impressive mastery of the English language each one of them displays, in their own disparate styles, when spinning exquisitely written tales that transport me straight into the heart of the story.

Still struggling theologically over predestination & free will, particularly in how it is possible to have freedom to make choices while understanding that God knew us (and the course of our lives) before the foundation of the world.  Them’s some deep thoughts…for another day.