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Are Hate Words Really Better As A Single Letter in Quotes

Updated on April 10, 2007

The Whole "insert letter here" Word Thing Is On My Nerves - Don't Get Me Started!

I can't take it anymore. Do you hear me? I simply can not take the whole big deal that everyone is making trying to be politically correct with their slurs of hate as of late. Don't say the word but just use the first letter and then pat yourself on the back for being a swell person. Oh, by all means, go ahead and think the word but don't ever, ever actually say it and then you're safe. Is it long before we hear kids on the playground screaming, "You're an N" or "Stop being such an "F"? Can someone explain to me where in our conscious thinking we've reasoned that this is the answer to hate? The whole "insert letter here" word thing is on my nerves - Don't Get Me Started!

Does anyone really think that by using the first letter, it's going to make it all more palatable? That it makes it sound better than using the word so therefore it actually is better? Now don't get me wrong, as someone who heard the "FAG" word every day (sometimes many times a day) for all four years of high school and beyond (along with being slammed into lockers, punched, etc.) I am keenly aware just how damaging this word can be but I can tell you that having people use the first letter (even as a way to refer to what happened) instead of saying the whole word wouldn't make it feel any better (or should I say worse) and we're ridiculous to think that it would or does. I get that people don't want to repeat the word that was used by say Michael Richards but come on, it's a real joke to think that you're being more civilized by just using a letter to represent the words that hurt.

What's worse is that now it's started to become an advertising trend! Currently there's a commercial running for Burlington Coat Factory (a discount, warehouse-type clothing and home furnishings place for those that don't know) that shows a woman and her children shopping at a department store. When the "mother" sees the prices she says something to her kids similar to, "We need to go to Burlington." All the sales clerks huddle horrified and say, "She said the "B" word!" The Marketing department of this place knew exactly what they were doing and I guess good for them for tapping into the current trend of our politically correct bandwagon of stupidity.

I have to wonder if this isn't all part of American laziness taking over. When you see all the abbreviations people use in text messages and online perhaps the one letter thing is just an extension of that - a way to get your message across without giving yourself carpal tunnel of the brain. I don't know but I just don't think this is the answer kids.

For years my family (and many Jewish families) have taken to whispering "bad" or distasteful words. You know, like, "Your Aunt Helen has (lower your voice so it's barely audible) cancer." or "He was such a nice boy, we had no idea he had been in (make no sound but mouth the word so broadly that you seem as if you're in a silent movie) prison." This never made sense to me either but at least it is fun to watch and never fails to make me laugh.

Perhaps that's the real deal here, we all have to stop taking ourselves so seriously. Also, the groups that hate the words being used as slams against them can't make up rules to make it acceptable to use among each other but not for others to say. Black people need to stop using the word amongst each other yet being offended when someone else says it. The same thing goes for us "Fs"! I get how it currently works because it's like my older brother when we were kids. He could beat the crap out of me but no one else better touch me. Maybe we feel that if we use the words amongst ourselves we will desensitize ourselves to them and show the people who use them against us a thing or two. But all we do is continue the stereotypes and the stupidity.

I know this is going to be shocking for some of you but I don't think that we'll ever get rid of hate. It's like Miss America wishing for world peace. Sure it would be nice if it happened but if I can't have that I'll take the convertible, the sash, roses and my walk down the runway with the dead Bert Parks singing to me. Where we could really do some work here is in the education of our children and ourselves. After all, if we were all more educated then we would know more words to use but since we're all reading at a fifth grade level we're just working with what we got here.

The hardest thing we all need to do is to be a bit more courageous. We have to stop other people from being hurtful when they're doing it otherwise we're just trying to put a puppy's nose in a pile of pee from six hours ago. And what good does that do really? I guess just say what you mean and if it's mean, know that we're going to fight back from now on. But we're going to fight fair and call a spade a spade or is that call an "S" an "S"? (A definition from online - To call a spade a spade, which means, ironically for this discussion, 'to speak plainly and bluntly; to speak without euphemisms') The whole "insert letter here" word thing is on my nerves - Don't Get Me Started!

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