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I Find That Offensive: The Four Most Dangerous Words in the English Language

Updated on August 6, 2019
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The author has an M.A. in history and German from SWTSU and over 30 years of teaching experience at public high schools.

Words are powerful ... words can hurt ... words have consequences; and in this modern world of mass communication with the internet and social media, we find ourselves living under a constant blitz of words and messages from around the world. Fewer free speech restrictions combined with an ability to propagate any thought to the entire planet often leaves one feeling overwhelmed. We hear leaders from across the globe on news sites and average citizens espouse their beliefs through Facebook and Twitter.

All of this instant media is wonderful. The ability to see many different sides of an argument from a variety of people, all with different backgrounds is what brings about tolerance. And only through tolerance can we eliminate hate and prejudice. Therefore, free speech is of paramount importance in promoting positive viewpoints. As despotic governments around the world deal with mass communication they are having a difficult time keeping their citizens ignorant and obedient. Perhaps one might argue historically that the developments in communication at the end of the 20th Century helped spur revolutions throughout the world.

As a result, words have become even more important as people around the world gain support for their respective causes. Words can help disseminate information, heal wounds and solve problems. On the other hand, however, there are certain words that are very offensive and make certain situations worse. So, what are those words?

Well, offensive words are those words that stymie all further conversation. Anyone who disagrees with or has a different opinion on any particular topic only needs to utter four words to completely halt a discussion. Those four words create the most awful phrase which has the intention to intimidate others into silence. The phrase simply means, "I don’t want to hear what you have to say on the matter because I don’t want to listen." Anyone who uses this curt phrase simply does not want to change their mind, to ponder different evidence, to perhaps think differently or even to learn. It is an inherently fraudulent statement designed to maintain ignorance.

And who seems to say it most often? The people most often using the phrase are those who are the most intolerant, the most ignorant and the most blatantly one-sided of us all. Those who espouse their beliefs on others, but refuse to listen to any other ideas. Those who proselytize but do not consider others’ beliefs. Those who recruit but decline to be recruited. These are the most blatantly offensive people on our planet, because they refuse to see the other side, and yet they are the quickest to use the most offensive words ever.

Whenever confronted with a counter argument, they respond fervently with four simple words. When uttered, those words stop people in their tracks and cause concern. Those four words, "I find that offensive," is meant to stop any further conversation, and that in its own right, is truly offensive.


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