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View Diary: Violence in our Vernacular - Do you notice when you use it to shift the emotional tone? (114 comments)

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  •  I rarely drop "F" bombs. (12+ / 0-)

    It's not that I find them particularly offensive, certainly not on a par with racial epithets or those used against minorities and women.  I simply find that by keeping that particular powder dry, it is more likely to have an impact on the rare occasion that I let fly.

    I don't remember ever having been tempted to do so online.  The word is so ubiquitous here as to be a waste of pixels, and it is utterly impossible to convey tone of voice so the risk of misinterpretation is enormous.

    STFU is what I'd call an "F-word variant," and one the meaning of which is entirely dependent upon context and tone.  I had commented in one of your earlier diaries that it always elicited a deep emotional reaction in me.  It turns out there's an exception which didn't occur to me at the time -- as a response to a surprising or unlikely declaration (e.g., "I won the lottery on Saturday!"  "STFU!")  Even then, it's not a usage I'd employ -- not that I have any objection, it simply wouldn't occur to me.

    I'm still thinking about a lot of what has been said in these diaries and the comments they've inspired.

    •  Hi jghousen, Your example there is the way (9+ / 0-)

      I would use it. I would never express in in anger. I can toss some trash talk at times, but it's usually in casual situation when a close group of friends are happy, and just horseing around. We would use exactly this way, in response to postitive good news.

      "I won the lottery on Saturday!"  "STFU!"

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:48:14 AM PDT

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      •  re: " I would never express in in anger" (8+ / 0-)

        Conversely, this is the only way I've been exposed to it's usage.  That is how I read it.

        "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

        by blackhand on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:56:59 AM PDT

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        •  I most commonly see it here in sentences . . . (9+ / 0-)

          which make that reading impossible. (e.g. "You need to just STFU.)

          •  I would include that usage (6+ / 0-)

            In the same context as being used in anger.  It is being used as in a manner meant as an affront or an invective.

            "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

            by blackhand on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:34:26 AM PDT

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          •  I'm trying to think if there is a time where (8+ / 0-)

            I've actually resorted to using that.  I've got to say, it would have to be an ongoing troll because I can't think of any.

            Most of the time, even with trolls, I say keep talking.  Just show how you're a fool and then that does my work for me.

            There are times where I get on my high-horse and bothered by certain things and I can't let it go.   I get that too... when you know you should back out of an argument and you just can't.. been there, done that.

            I wish I knew what about the human condition causes that.  Maybe it's pride or anger or adrenaline or something.

            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

            by Chris Reeves on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:10:04 AM PDT

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            •  For me, it's the reopening of old wounds . . . (6+ / 0-)

              which I would very much like to think, having just turned sixty-three, that I had put to rest long ago.

              The good news is I find myself on auto-pilot in such cases far less frequently than in the past, but have to admit I still let it happen sometimes.

              •  God I get that.. (9+ / 0-)

                I don't go into this too often.. but there is a window in January, and another one in May that mark weird anniversaries for me.  First was a violent attack (January) that put me in coma/knocked me out of college for a while/etc.  and May is when we got to the sentencing of the people involved.

                It's been 19 years.. twenty years next year.  And every year it comes around and I'm just way more sensitive to that issue.

                A few years ago, the leader of that escaped jail, and he was finally recaptured two years ago... it's been better since then, but boy do I get the old triggers :(

                Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                by Chris Reeves on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:39:30 AM PDT

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                •  Yes, it's clear you "get it." (9+ / 0-)

                  I've been reluctant to share any details of my triggers in the instant discourse for fear of their being misconstrued as a claim of equivalence.

                  Or perhaps I should say "perfect equivalence," since to some extent violence is violence.  It's just that there are distinctives of certain types of violence which are unique, and I would be loathe to say anything that might sound dismissive of the rampant misogyny in our society (to which even DK is not immune).

                    •  I think everone who has ever been through (9+ / 0-)

                      Something terrible or known people who have are never immune to it.   The year after my attacker broke out of prison, I refused to go to a function in my college home town where it happened.

                      Mentally, I knew this person would not be there.. they had fled far away.   But for whatever reason, I couldn't bring myself to walk by where it happened.. I was just too 'raw' I guess.

                      I had put a lot of it behind me but that year was really brutal.   I finally did make it back that way and when a friend was like 'oooh.. let's walk by the park!' I, yeah, a 30+ year old grown man at that point about cried.  It just struck me as so horribly insensitive that I couldn't relate to it.  I didn't want to go walk to the place where I was life-flighted from.. I didn't want to think about it.  When I said: "I don't want to" the guy response is: 'You're such a (guess the word)'

                      I haven't talked much to that friend in the 9 years since then.  Other friends just don't get it.. 'stop being a victim'..  I heard that same thing when I worked with women who had been through sexual abuse 'stop being'..

                      You can't stop being that thing.  It is what you are now.  Like it or not, I can't change the past.. I can't make that event not happen.  It is who I am, part of my life experience now.   Same for every woman who's been through abuse or rape.  They can get far away from it, move on, but it is still part of who we are.

                      It doesn't mean I dwell on it, or it makes me so unhappy I can't live with things.. or that I'm 'broken'.  In fact, in many ways I think it makes me stronger.  I've seen women who learned alot about themselves from terrible happenings..

                      But yeah, I don't get into that conversation with very many people.  For years, I would speak to High Schools about violent crime and abuse.. and there I would lay it all out.  But I would never have to deal with them again after that day.

                      And I will bet money that in many of those audiences there were kids (probably young boys, but I'm sure some young girls two) who were busy saying: "what a (word I removed from above).

                      And I think..

                      If you haven't seen the mountain, don't mock those of us who've made the climb.  You just don't have that experience.  And all of us hope you never do.  :)

                      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

                      by Chris Reeves on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 01:19:58 PM PDT

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          •  you know what? it's the "shut up" part (8+ / 0-)

            that bothers me. When I hear it in real life, I react badly to it. It feels like a punch in the gut. I may even react worse to plain "shut up" than to STFU. Spoken or written, t's just always seemed such an ugly sentiment, though even for me, there have probably been exceptions. Further complicating things,  written v. real life doesn't always translate the same way. Context.

            In real life, I'd honestly rather hear a string of cursing than to hear "shut up". If I had kids, the phrase would not be allowed in their vocabulary. I don't allow it from my nephews in my presence.

            As for the diary with that in the title, it had a particular context that I understood when I read the diary.

            •  Good point. (8+ / 0-)

              In connection to gender, a non-cuss phrase like "shut up" has a fundamentally different meaning.  

              That's why I thought the diary telling guys STFU-and-listen was worthwhile.  Men have long presumed to tell women to "shut up."  Traditionally, women have been able to do so (to men) only at the risk of violence or ridicule.

            •  If you want people to listen (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener, wasatch

              it is very helpful not to insult them first.  I really do not like the words "Shut Up."  I have always viewed them as demeaning.  Adding the "F" word makes me think that the person who used it is very juvenile. It just piles a juvenile cuss word onto an already insulting phrase which immediately turns me off. JMHO.

              "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~ SouthernLiberalinMD

              by gulfgal98 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 06:25:02 AM PDT

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      •  Hi, Lillith. Now, to answer your question: (10+ / 0-)

        "Do you notice when you use it to shift the emotional tone?"

        I assume the "it" is violent vernacular.  Since civility has always been a high priority to me, I have always guarded against allowing violent, sexist, homophobic, or racially charged language entering into my lexicon.  So, if I fall into using it, it is certainly unwittingly.

        That said, I have certainly been guilty here of letting my tone get hostile in some of my comments, particularly in response to what I perceive as displays of prejudice or bigotry.  Since you started this series, I've been intentionally reviewing my posts and the reactions to them to determine how I might have communicated more clearly and with less (sometimes unintentional) hostility.

    •  Mentally rewarding (9+ / 0-)

      I wish I could say that I rarely drop them.  And in real conversation, I rarely do.  

      But I find that if I'm by myself, talking to myself I will use it often.  (Yes, I will talk outloud to a computer, even though I'm in IT, and I will give them a tongue lashing now and again)

      There is something rewarding about yelling at a high end piece of computer hardware with "YOU piece of S**.  What the F* is this now?  Come on!"

      I know that the receiver of my message - an inaminate piece of hardware cannot hear, respond or relate to anything I'm saying.

      But I still find it so rewarding to just say it out loud.  There is something very mentally rewarding about it.

      Last summer when trying to repair my raised garden, accidentally cut my leg - not bad but enough to hurt like heck moving a bush I didn't realize had needles on it.   I probably walked around the yard swearing profusely to the heavens above in a tapestry of profanity that if heard by any real person would have made me seem to have a real anger issue.

      But, once I was done I did 'feel' better.

      Can't explain it.   But I'll bet you that you also know someone who has sworn like a sailor at a washing machine, dish washer, garbage disposal, plumbing, a computer or a car once or twice.

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:19:14 AM PDT

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