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Language sensitivity in league channels (and all chatrooms)


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Reply to topic    Magic-League.com Forum Index -> General Magic-League Issues
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hawkeye1542



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 197

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Language sensitivity in league channels (and all chatrooms) Reply with quote

This forum post stems from a recent discussion in the main league channel regarding the use of “offensive language” and “swearing” such as “gay”, “fag”, “nigger”, etc. The use of such words in a hateful fashion is, as I would hope any decent human being would agree, deplorable and detrimental. That is not to say that the words themselves are, however, hateful in and of themselves. The attitude behind these words determines the hatefulness of their use. As a society (and magic-league is a microcosm of society at large with regards to social interaction) we must realize that immediately disparaging and attacking someone for using these words can, in fact, be more detrimental than simply letting it pass.

Take the words “gay” and “fag” for example. Society has evolved to the point that these words, when used in a casual context, almost never pertain specifically to homosexuality. If we allow ourselves to become offended by the word itself we actually promote the attitude of hate that we are trying to defeat. When your opponent says something like “wow that mana screw was gay”, it’s silly to imagine that he or she said this with a hate for homosexuality in mind. The word itself has evolved to the point of losing it’s inherent hatefulness as many words have before it. How many people say “I got gyped” when they feel they should’ve gotten something and did not? I would imagine that most people don’t even know the hateful origin of this word/phrase. The term “gyped” used 60 years ago, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, would probably have evoked the same response that we see from the word “gay” today. “Gyped”, as you can tell from the spelling, was originally a derogative term used in regards to gypsies in Europe and today nobody thinks twice about its use in our vocabulary.

To those who argue that we should not use such words because some people might be offended by them I present two arguments. Primarily I would ask you to ponder this question: Does the common use of such words inherently promote the bigoted and hateful attitude that originally spawned the words? My answer for you is NO! In fact, if we reach the point that we can use the word without jumping immediately to its hateful nature, we are actually destroying the odious power of the word. If we can use such words without immediately connoting them with hate, then we are making steps to defeating that hate. My secondary point is more of a comment than an argument. If we wish to live in a society of mixed cultures, ideologies, and lifestyles then we have to accept that there are going to be bigoted people and bigoted attitudes that spawn hateful language. It’s a harsh reality that such attitudes are going to exist. How we deal with these attitudes helps determine the damaging nature of these attitudes. By making an issue out of every small detail we are not actually fighting the hate, we are just bringing it to the forefront time and time again instead of letting the bigots be washed away by the strength of unity among the majority.

Please note that I have specifically focused on words pertaining to homosexuality because it is the most prevalent at the moment, but this argument is the same in regards to all hateful speech.
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WildCard
Level 1 Judge


Joined: 06 Sep 2004
Posts: 802
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well. All good points. If you would like to look up George Carlin quotes then he believes the same. It dosen't look like this post is about complaing about anything happening in the channels. I will mention that we do not have an age limit, so we try to keep the language from getting to the point that if a parent of some of these people look over there shoulder they don't get kicked off the computer. Good post by the way.
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Gerrardfo



Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Posts: 361

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice job. But it isn't easy to calm a sea during a storm, no?
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Laplie



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The original "Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television" (from george carlin) are Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits

You can read the fulltext in all its glory:

http://www.erenkrantz.com/Humor/SevenDirtyWords.shtml

I find it very funny.

.........

Back on topic, it depends who you talk to if they get offended by a word like "gyped". The 2-3 gypsies I know have taken offense, so I stopped saying it. "Jewed" is another word, almost exactly the same as "Gyped" but because there are more jewish people in the US, it is less acceptable (just ask Michael Jackson when he released "They Don't Care About Us").

Obviously, words are subjective. For the most part, we don't ban for language unless its spammy or excessive. (There are exceptions, some days some people ban for language more than others)

EDIT: Had to mess around with the word filter to get this post Smile
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Laplie



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZenthForbias wrote:
The term "gyped" comes from the Gypsies, Not gay. Please do reasearch.


Did you read the whole post?

Quote:
The term “gyped” used 60 years ago, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, would probably have evoked the same response that we see from the word “gay” today. “Gyped”, as you can tell from the spelling, was originally a derogative term used in regards to gypsies in Europe and today nobody thinks twice about its use in our vocabulary.
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Sandler



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol george carlin is so sweet."you can say TeeT but u cant say tit"
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Draconis



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: interesting Reply with quote

While I agree that if you were to say that somthing is gay your not necessaarily trying to offend anyone. Other words you mentioned in your paragraph such as "nigger" i feel are highly offensive. There that I can see a use of that word that is offensive. Of course i may be bias as i am black but i still believe its very offensive for people to use that word in any context
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Kaesh



Joined: 10 Nov 2004
Posts: 376

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was completely and utterly unnecessary. Calm down. - Vacancy
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Draconis



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: interesting Reply with quote

ZenthForbias wrote:
Draconis wrote:
While I agree that if you were to say that somthing is gay your not necessaarily trying to offend anyone. Other words you mentioned in your paragraph such as "nigger" i feel are highly offensive. There that I can see a use of that word that is offensive. Of course i may be bias as i am black but i still believe its very offensive for people to use that word in any context


Can I ask you something? Do any of your black friends say nigger or do you even say nigger in real life?


As matter of fact yes i do call my other friends that and vice versa. Is it a double standard yes. Its highly offensive if a white person says it but its taken as friendly if another black person says it. I dun really wanna start up a convo of why its ok for us to say it and not you. The fact is it just is.
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Taodd
Level 1 Judge


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A strange double standard you probably never thought of... If a black guy calls a white guy a 'white boy' it's like a white guy calling a black guy a nigger, just not as strongly offensive. But if a white guy calls a white guy a 'white boy' (and is seriously trying to use it as a derogative) it's just hilarious.

I actually had that happen to me once, and yes he was a total wigger. Even his two wigger buddies were laughing at him behind his back about it, he didn't seem to think anything about him calling me white boy was strange. And worse still, it started by him saying "Watcha lookin' at?!" while I was looking at dog and he thought I was looking at him. The whole coversation was 100% one-sided. He walked away smiling, apparently believing he'd um... defeated me or something. I was just too busy recovering from the oddness of it to say anything at first, but when he turned away I busted out laughing. That's like the #2 most hilarious thing that's ever happened to me.
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saurgoth



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 267

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:49 pm    Post subject: Re: interesting Reply with quote

ZenthForbias wrote:
Draconis wrote:
ZenthForbias wrote:
Draconis wrote:
While I agree that if you were to say that somthing is gay your not necessaarily trying to offend anyone. Other words you mentioned in your paragraph such as "nigger" i feel are highly offensive. There that I can see a use of that word that is offensive. Of course i may be bias as i am black but i still believe its very offensive for people to use that word in any context


Can I ask you something? Do any of your black friends say nigger or do you even say nigger in real life?


As matter of fact yes i do call my other friends that and vice versa. Is it a double standard yes. Its highly offensive if a white person says it but its taken as friendly if another black person says it. I dun really wanna start up a convo of why its ok for us to say it and not you. The fact is it just is.


That "It Just Is" won't get you anywhere. How do you know there aren't other black people on IRC? I could be black. Are you honestly that stupid? These "Hate Crimes" are becoming retarded. So, If a black person punches a white person its okay, but if a white person punches a black person its a hate crime. Stupidity is a disease that everyone has and some people hide better then others. I tend to show mine a lot, and obviously yours is showing big time.


Draconis is right, and I know that - despite being white - because it has been explained to me. A few times. It doesn't always sink very easily. So while I understand that you can get really tired of explaining this, Draconis, I think you should suck it up and give people your shpiel again. And again. And again, if necessary. The more often people talk about issues like this and <insert big word to describe the "gay issue">, upon which I totally disagree with hawkeye, the more (greater number of) people become informed and respectful.
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WildCard
Level 1 Judge


Joined: 06 Sep 2004
Posts: 802
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Carlin wrote:
There's a different group to get pissed off at you in this country for everything your not supposed to say. Can't say Nigger, Boogie, Jig, Jigaboo, Skinhead, Moolimoolinyon, Schvatzit, Junglebunny. Greaser, Greaseball, Dago, Guinea, Whop, Ginzo, Kike, Zebe, Heed, Yid, Mocky, Himie, Mick, Donkey, Turkey, Limey, Frog. Zip, Zipperhead, Squarehead, Crout, Hiney, Jerry, Hun, Slope, Slopehead, Chink, Gook. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those words in and of themselves. Their only words. It's the context that counts. It's the user. It's the intention behind the words that makes them good or bad. The words are completely neutral. The words are innocent. I get tired of people talking about bad words and bad language. Bullshit! It's the context that makes them good or bad. The context. That makes them good or bad. For instance, you take the word "Nigger." There is absolutely nothing wrong with the word "Nigger" in and of itself. It's the racist **** who's using it that you ought to be concerned about. We don't mind when Richard Pryer or Eddie Murphy say it. Why? Because we know their not racist. Their Niggers! Context. Context. We don't mind their context because we know their black. Hey, I know I'm whitey, the blue-eyed devil, paddy-o, fay gray boy, honkey, mother-fucker myself. Don't bother my ass. Their only words. You can't be afraid of words that speak the truth, even if it's an unpleasant truth, like the fact that there's a bigot and a racist in every living room on every street corner in this country.
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Draconis



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZenthForbias wrote:
It's retarded for one to say, "No one else can use that word cause its our word." NO ONE OWNS THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE! How can someone say they own a word (unless copyrighted)? It's just retarded. I mean, If I go around saying "Cracker is racist" People will just say no it isn't. And then I can go around saying "Its only for my people to use." People will just laugh. Racism=retarded. Lets just use word freely.


I dindt say no one else could use the word but i did say that if a white person was to say nigger it would be taken as derogatory. While if its black person used it it is normal. I woiudl compare it to how females call each other bitch. When females say that to one another (ussally if there friends) its in no way offensive but let a female or a male call them one and instantly its offensive. By all means if IRL you wanna go around sayin nigger around blck ppl go right ahead, you will learn a lesson hard way.
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Draconis



Joined: 03 Sep 2004
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ZenthForbias wrote:
What i'm trying to get across is to just tear down the whole barrier. Just get rid of the meanings of those words and JUST LET THEM BE WORDS! It's getting retarded hearing about all this random stupidity everywhere. I feel down wit it, I feel like a nigger sometimes. What if I wanna say it to some of them to let me hang wit' em? It's just getting retarded. Kill the real meanings of these derogatory words and let that be that.


Hmm ya have a very utopian point of veiw. Very unrealistic but it is a nice ideal. I would like to give you some advice dont go up ta black people and say nigger. If your tryna befriend them i can almost gaurantee that will not work.
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RThomas
Level 1 Judge


Joined: 31 Aug 2004
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Phillip Stanton's Rules to Post by:

Quote:
To be safe, keep your swearing to a minimum, as well. If you can't think of a better word at least most of the time, you should probably be spending your time reading books to expand your vocabulary instead of posting something vulgar. Smile


As much as I enjoy the internet's ability to let me say what I want, there still remain certain principles for "decent" behavior that we value. Intellectual discussion is much less likely to take place when we use abused profanity like
Quote:
Nigger, Boogie, Jig, Jigaboo, Skinhead, Moolimoolinyon, Schvatzit, Junglebunny. Greaser, Greaseball, Dago, Guinea, Whop, Ginzo, Kike, Zebe, Heed, Yid, Mocky, Himie, Mick, Donkey, Turkey, Limey, Frog. Zip, Zipperhead, Squarehead, Crout, Hiney, Jerry, Hun, Slope, Slopehead, Chink, Gook


This is a place for discussion and strategy of Magic, and to encourage this, we uphold positive values in terms of language. The occasional "swear word" is not reprehensible, as there come times where emotion gets the best of us, or we certainly do not have the time to investigate a more suitable word. However, if your chief vocabulary consists of those certain seven words, perhaps you should curb your enthusiasm for those words by taking it somewhere else.
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