Hi, folks:

Some of the recent drama here in the past year or so has been rather sad, and has made me reflect that it might be time to update the site rules slightly.  My suggestion especially relates to people in this community who use words like "fag", "blindy", retard, and other ableist, sexist, and racist terms.  audiogames.net is an international community, composed of all types of people, from all walks of life, with all kinds of abilities and skill sets.  My proposal is that anyone who uses a racist, sexist, or ablist term gets one warning, and a permanent ban if they continue. I think that posts containing these terms should probably be deleted as soon as someone sees them, warning or no.  I don't think this can be done with filters, because people can come up with racist terms for people faster than anyone could come up with filters, and because a post from someone who wants to call someone an offensive term because of what race they are doesn't deserve to stick around, even if the 1 offensive term is removed.  My hopes for a course of action like this would be:
1.  Make the community more inclusive to new members, from any and all walks of life.
2.  Put a damper on some of the heated flame wars that start up here every few months.  While calling someone a dumbass isn't particularly nice, it is, I think, at least less inflammatory than calling them a gay retard. 
3.  Keep this stuff out of the archived topics, so that people who find us via Google won't think this kind of behaviour is welcome. 

My goal isn't to make people be nice, because I've been around the Internet long enough to know that can't be done.  'Nor do I particularly want to stop people from cursing, even though I personally don't think it's really appropriate, I don't see any reason to want to force that opinion on others.  But as blind gamers are a minority group ourselves, the least we can do is be a bit more sensitive towards the members of our own and other minority communities.  And I think this will not only improve our public image, but I think it will also raise the level of discussion that takes place here.  I can see no time where using these terms could contribute to even an off-topic discussion.  But I can see times where anyone with mental or physical disabilities, or other sexual orientations, can and probably have been made to feel unwelcome. 

Maybe this is just an overreaction on my part, I dunno.  But putting it out there and getting feedback can only be a good thing.

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I'll say this forum compared to other places is one of the greatest places to be. Mainly because of the nice people here, but also because of the moderators, who, in my oppinion do a very good job of moderating as much as possible.
I agree that there can be pretty much drama sometimes, but as I see it, all the drama is hopefully not directed personally to the person who's being said something about or disagreed with, but rather the persons oppinion on something, or the way things have been said, but not personally. However I might be wrong, but that's just the way i see it.
Last time I used the word "blindy," I wrote "blindy comment." Not that you or any other person is a "blindy." There is a big difference in my oppinion, and I'm sorry if you or others have been offended by this or other of my posts.
Lastly but very importantly, we have to remember that english isn't the main language for many members on the forum, and not to forget about different coltures which can lead to many kinds of misunderstanding or maby weird siturations.
Well, I look forward to hear others oppinions regarding to all this, but again, I'll say this forum is one of the greatest places in the blind community. big_smile

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

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3 (edited by aaron 2014-02-03 12:33:54)

This post is my idea on this subject and is quite long. Brace yourselves.

I actually don't really see a problem with the word blindy, but I could see why it's offensive. It's definitely become a stereotype for those who, ur, might not want to step out of their comfort zone especially in the tech world. There are people who are adamant that Jaws or something like that is the best, and won't even try a free program like NVDA, not even for a few minutes. I tried NVDA for a day before finally saying that yes, I liked this a lot. I tried it because it was free, and it was available to me.
But there are those who won't try anything new, which I don't mind, but what I do mind, is when they won't try anything new and get annoyed at those who *do* try something new. Instead of saying "I don't want to try this, thank you, but thanks for asking", they say "oh, why do you want to try that new software? We've got this or that that does this job better and that new thing is crap." OK, for that moment, that other software is doing the job better. But the free alternative is looking for suggestions, is a startup company. No. It's volunteers.
In the case of steam, it's a platform within a platform. I'd definitely consider steam more accessible than any games console I own.
I don't mind those who aren't as computer literate or who might not want to try new things, but it's when those people don't even bother to learn how to use their system that it annoys me.
What gets me are companies who charge tons of money for a product that isn't even as good as Jaws! I forgot the name of one that happened recently, but it was something that took a very long time to load, and they were charging for it at the time, an introductory price. In the end I just moved on and instead of getting angry, I laughed it off and it became a joke, I did not contact that company as I did not want to get angry at them.
I call those companies typical blindy companies. I don't think they did their research beforehand. They just appeared. They didn't even ask for feedback from us, or a survey, they just saide "oh, buy this product."
I can understand that it takes time to learn new things, time that not everybody has on their side. But when someone doesn't even take the time to do a simple google search on a matter, then bam. They probably won't get much done and be stuck in a very, very small box. A box that governments almost force them into. They then get stuck listening to them, not realizing that there's a world of things out there to do, even if it's in virtual space. We then try to help them and they refuse our help because "oh, I've got a care worker who says that software is bad." But I bet that care worker never even tried that software or even did research on it.
I will leave you with one final thought: who, then, is really to blaim for this? The governments are ignoring stuff like NVDA. The governments don't even know that blind gamers exist. They say we should be in education and don't like us having any fun. What then, is the point, of buying new tech, if you can't mess around with it? Life is a serious thing, yes, but it does not have to be taken seriously *all* of the time. People need leisure to relax. We're a minority and it's time for us to make a stand. Slowly, yes, but make a stand none the less. Some people just refuse to even try to do that though.
Are we racist like hitler though? Do we want to get rid of these people? No. Actually, we want to help them where possible. But they refuse to listen to us. That really urks me.
What should be done about this one, single word, blindy though? Can we come up with an alternative that doesn't sound as nasty? We need to make people welcome, that much is true. But how? What can we do?

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Maybe we could just call each other blind monkeys? Lol, inn all seriusness though, i don't personally find the term blindy to be harsh. On this forum, i always gathered that it was more of a joking term, not a hate one. Now for words like fag and retard, you bet i'll ban someone who abuses them. For more serius flaming, i usually give a one time warning and then the person in question is gone if they keep it up. I think i have only put a ban on like 2 people who deserved it. So perhaps, the problem isn't quite as dramatic, or as wide spread at the end of the day. I do know that people will get angry, and start tossing around insults if they feel that there personal values are being questioned, i feel that it is just simply human nature to defend your personal beliefs. I'm guilty of this as well, i'm human after all, even though i try to be a good moderator around here. The only thing we can truly do i feel, is just handle issues as they come up. No need to lock down the forum, and put up a bunch of new rules today, as you can't prevent people from starting crap if they feel so inclined. Just my thoughts.

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While Aaron's post entered a lot of different areas and covered a lot of material, I think this discussion more properly belongs in the site rules area of the forum since Fastfinge is proposing a change to the rules, hence it's being moved.

Regarding the issue, well as I said Aaron makes a rather separate point, but I'll dal with   Fastfinge's comments.

On the one hand I fully and completely agree that  racist, sexist and other remarks against various minorities are an entirely bad thing when used in an insulting manner.  On the other hand, there are various terms that  change in meaning across the world quite markedly. For example, "fag" in British english  means cigarette, has nothing to do with homosexuality and indeed I believe I've used it in this vane myself.

I therefore completely agree with FAstfinge that  some sort of auto banning with filters would  be a deeply inadequate solution.   

That being said, %90 of the time when people use language such as "gay ritard" (not a term we have in Britain either), that the people involved are actually referring or professing  their real beliefs about people with profound learning disabilities or homosexuality, so much as simply using the term as a matter of insult,  albeit   an intentionally unpleasant one, and thus just as guilty of suffering a mod warning or  similar punishment as someone who called someone else an idiotic bastard for example.

If a person is! indeed being that insulting, well report theirpost and myself or the other mods will take it very seriously anyway.

The only direct application I can see for a specific rule on racist, ablist language  would be if topics of specifically racist or anti homosexual  opininos were raised on the forum, and thus far at least I don't think anyone has ever raised such a topic. Furthermore, I would be concerned that if we stated in the rules that we were anti racism etc people might believe   that such occurrences were commonplace on the forum, where as by simply leaving the matter as covered by the insult  clause of the rules  the moderators are still  able to act.

Of course, if there have! ever been any topics  directly discussing in a  general, rather than a specifically insulting way  racist, sexist or other unpleasant matters, please report them and let myself and  the other mods know, and as Arq says we'll certainly deal with such at the time.

About the  only example I can actually think of  of serious, general discussions revolving around a specifically anti minority term is when discussion of words like blink or blindy are used, and as Aaron stated these are cases more when the word is used as an illustration  of a group sterriotype held by others, rather than a condemnation of anyone in particular on the forum, rather in the same way that  many feminists when discussing male sterriotyped views of women will use terms like "the poor little  woman is expected to stay at home" as a discussion of the views of others, not an teration of their own  views.

I am however open to different people's opinions on this,  so feel free to considder the discussion,  I will say that when composing the  site faq I did considder at least some of these issues, which is  why the point  about insulting behaviour and about insulting language is included in the faq.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Personally, I agree with all of you. However, we cannot change peoples behavior around here; banning them isn't going to work. People, including me, have found ways around bans before. Its not difficult at all. However, to do such things is cruel and disrespectfull to the people who banned you in the first place because they will hate you further.
About the inclusive language, I have used it myself, and while wiktionary defines "faggot" to mean "(offensive, vulgar, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) A gay person, particularly a man", it provides many examples. Here's the entire list of definitions so we can set this word strate:

Alternative forms

  1. fagot

Etymology From Middle English, from Old French fagot (“bundle of sticks”), from Old Italian fagotto, diminutive of Vulgar Latin *facus, from Latin fascis (“bundle of wood”). See also fag. Noun faggot (plural faggots)

  1. (rare, dated in US) A burning or smouldering piece of firewood.

  2. (chiefly UK) A bundle of sticks tied together. (Some sources specify that a faggot is tied with two bands or withes, whereas a bavin is tied with just one.) 1853, Sir Francis Bond Head, A faggot of French sticks: or, Paris in 1851, page 2: In the depth of, winter, however, a faggot of real French Sticks — although of little intrinsic value — may possibly enliven for a few moments an English Fireside.

  3. (obsolete) Burdensome baggage.

  4. (UK, Ireland, colloquial, pejorative, obsolete) A shrewish woman. 1591, Thomas Lodge, Catharos Diogenes in his Singularity (Oxford English Dictionary, faggot, fagot, n., 2nd Edition, 1989, Oxford University Press, accessed 12 Jan 2009) A filbert is better than a faggot, except it be an Athenian she handfull. 1796, Theobald Wolfe Tone, Autobiography: she wants me to go to bed to her, and I won't, ... for she is as crooked as a ram's horn ... and as ugly as sin besides ; rot her, the dirty little faggot, she torments me. 1834, William Carleton, The Midnight Mass: The woman, in accordance with the custom of the country, raised the Irish cry, in a loud melancholy wail ... Darby, who prided himself on maintaining silence, could not preserve the consistency of his character upon this occasion ... "Your sowl to the divil, you faggot!" he exclaimed, "what do you mane? The divil whip the tongue out o' you! ..." 1973, Hugh Leonard, Da: MOTHER: To see who? DA: You faggot, you; don't let on you don't know.

  5. (offensive, vulgar, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) A gay person, particularly a man. 2009, David L. Gold, Studies in Etymology and Etiology, page 781: Fleissner's explanation presumably implies that Dickens meant Fag as an allusion to the derogatory English words fag 'homosexual', and faggot 'homosexual' 1914, Louis E. Jackson and C.R. Hellyer, Vocabulary of Criminal Slang (Portland, OR: Modern Printing Co., 1914) page 30: Drag, Example: “All the fagots (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight. 2004, Dennis Cooper, The Sluts, page 228: We're a hot looking crew that's your average faggot's wet dream, so we pull some pretty max tricks.

  6. (offensive, vulgar, US) An annoying or inconsiderate person.

  7. (used in the UK, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, obsolete in North America) The cast off end of a smoked cigarette.

  8. (chiefly UK) A meatball made from pork.

Coordinate terms

  1. dyke, scissor sister


  1. (male homosexual): fag, fairy, poof (British), queer

See also Wikisaurus:male homosexual

  1. (end of cigarette): butt

Derived terms

  1. fag, fagboy, faggy, faggoty, fagdom, faggotry, fagface, niggerfaggot, faglet, furfag

Verb faggot (third-person singular simple present faggots, present participle faggoting, simple past and past participle faggoted)
Alternative form of fagot.

Another word I've seen used around the web is "nigger", which means "black person". I personally find htis word offensive, and if anyone uses it I'd ban then strate away.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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@Ethin, that exactly shows my point, Faggot is only an offensive  word in  some countries, for example in lord of the rings Boromir  advises people to  each cut  and carry a faggot with them when travelling in the cold mountains, which  of course meant the first meaning on the list, ie, a bundle of sticks for firewood. I'll also add that in the North of england the meetball dish mentioned  in the final definition on that list is still very much eaten, indeed my local butcher makes the most wonderful faggots, ---- though the recipe is closer to something like a properly made Haslet or black pudding rather than  the  more usually beef or pork  meetball, so that is another occasion  where simply disallowing the word wouldn't work.

Regarding banning members, well there are other steps that can be taken if the basic ban doesn't work, I won't detail them here but suffice   it to say there are admin tools I haven't felt the  need to use and further  extentions we could install, however since  thankfully we've very rarely had to ban members perminantly looking into those sorts of security arrangements hasn't become necessary as yet, and I personally hope it wont' be since ending up in a hacker  war with a disgruntled member would be a bad thing, which is also why we don't hand out bans  every day.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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My points of view can be found on my site. I investigate the stigmas and what motivates people to use such language.
I'm also one of those people who doesn't fit into the blindness cup of people who feel all safe and secure from the enabled world, where everything becomes stereotyped. For that I'll give you a thumbs up. And if you would like to do so in return you are welcome to do so.
But back to the main topic: I don't have much to say except that I am more interested in the actual meaning of language, the etymology, and how and why people find it offensive, and how we can use that to raise awareness. If we only skim the surface of the problem we'd only get little accomplished, but if we look at the problem from the inner-depts. and different angles, then we'd know how to take on different approaches to dealing with the problem in an alternative fashion.

AKA Green_Gables_fan and HeavenlyHarmony
My new, self-hosted version of WordPress!

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9 (edited by fastfinge 2014-02-05 16:05:28)

So what I'm getting from this discussion is that blindy is a discriminatory term to be used against a group of blind people who are not technology literate, and have no interest in becoming so.  It can also be used to disregard anyone who disagrees with you about tech issues, so you don't have to actually respond to them.  And for some reason, that's OK.  I'm still not really understanding why having an insulting term that can be used against any part of our small community of blind people is in any way fine, or should ever be laughed off.  I don't have a term reserved exclusively for insulting my sighted friends who aren't techy, and dismissively mocking them for having no interest in learning new software wouldn't be accepted by anyone.  So why is it OK in the blind community?  I'm afraid reading these discussions is only serving to reinforce my original feeling that blindy is an inappropriate term, and its use should be stopped.

To respond a bit more directly to @slj and some others: If you try replacing the word blindy in your examples with the offensive n word for black people, you might be better able to see why that's not OK:
"That's just a n***** company. Those are just n***** posts, and a n***** opinion. Some of these n*****s in our community refuse to learn anything new."
It's not directed at anyone in particular, but it still isn't OK.

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Fastfinge while I do see your point, at the same time I think you might be confusing an issue. "blindy" as I believe it is meant is not indicative of understanding or  not understanding tech issues, indeed it's not overly related to technology at all. Rather it is a term for the sterriotypical blind = helpless = won't try  anything other than what the sighted world presents to them type of attitude that regretably some blind people do fall under.

This is rather the way people in race  relations used to use the term "uncle tom" for someone of African descent who  behaved in the way that the  over whelming  caucasian majority perceived them to be, ie, ignorant, eager to please, subserviant and content with a social role created by slavery, and if you replace the term "blindy" with the term "uncle tom" you'll get an idea.

For example "that company just wants uncle toms to work for them and only listens to you if your an Uncle Tom"

I'm not saying it's correct, while I dislike the sterriotypical blind attitude I prefer myself to  clarify the statement  by identifying the attitude I'm speaking of, however equally I don't believe the intention of Slj and Aaron and others who use the term "blindy" is quite as simple as say a person who habitually uses words like Nigger, mong, Honky, retard bitch, cannoc, prod, vegitable, midget, scrounger,  man  bitch, or  other     pejorative  descriptions of certain social groups to which they  themselves do not belong.

Oh and btw,   no I don't mind people using such language in a frank discussion of linguistics and ethics (I've read ethics papers that do as much), as long as  the intention is clear, one reason why I chose to use an above set of examples which ran the gammet of social,  racial,  religious, disability and gender sterriotypes.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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11 (edited by fastfinge 2014-02-06 02:37:58)

@Dark: your more nuanced explanation of the term is probably more correct; personally, I have only heard/read the term blindy used in the technology community, because it's the only community where I associate with blind people at all.  But though the intention may be more complex than I originally believed, I don't think it's any better. It's still a term used to put down a group of people because they are blind people who hold opinions the person using the word blindy disagrees with.  If I was moderating a debate about black race relations, I think I would make it clear that the term Uncle Tom was unacceptable.  Thus, I remain unconvinced that we should be OK with the use of the word blindy.  Especially, perhaps, in debates about issues relating to the blind community.  The fact that someone calling another person an asshole bothers me a lot less than someone calling that same person a blindy is something I can't rationally explain, I guess.

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@fastfinge: Dark is correct. Unfortunately blindy has become a term which basically means those who won't tryanything thrown at them by the sighted wrold.

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Well fastfinge,  it is  true that if a person on this forum used blindy as a direct personal insult, ie, "Why are you doing that you stupid blindy", it would be a bad  thing, and much like  any insult based on social  grouping, the same way  if someone called myself or Aaron Limies reflecting our residency in the Uk.. Were the term used in the boards on this way it would, as I previously said be covered by  the insult clause of the rules, however this is not how I've seen the term "blindy" used.

Mostly it is used in say "that company produces blindy phones" or "A given organization are only interested in blindies" ie, to highlight  people or organizations who might interact with visually impared people  and discuss their! attitudes.

Myself, I see nothing wrong with this use, since it is not directed at any person, merely  used as a short hand to explain a certain state of a given provider of services or the set of expectations that some people have of visually impared people, both of which are quite legitimate  topics for discussion.

interestingly enough, the "uncle tom" example was from a paper I read on the affects and uses of shame and was used to indicate how the attitudes of certain  individuals and groups in society towards! people of african descent interacted  with  those people and created  personal shame and a sense of a deminished identity, the paper also used the term "little woman" in exactly the same light to  illustrate  the dangers of social   expectations of gender being internalised.

All this is basically to say that while I do agree using the term "blindy"  as a direct insult against another   person would be as bad as any other insult, I don't myself see a problem with using the term as a  general measure of social attitude and expectation, since then it is being used as a term of social critique and analysis, not as a given insult.

I personally myself wouldn't use the term, but that is because having studdied ethics in detail for years I like to clarrify my ethical language, but there's no need to expect  everyone on a casual forum to  write like philosophers, particularly  as with the  exception of personal attacks or insults, freedom of speech is  what we're going for.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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@Dark: But I'm still not getting the difference. Why is an insulting term for an entire group OK?  Because it doesn't refer to a particular person, it's OK to diminish and insult the entire group?  These things feel so similar that the distinction doesn't seem worth it, to me.

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15 (edited by aaron 2014-02-06 22:05:17)

@fastfinge: I seriously think you are over reacting. I don't consider the term blindy to be racist and, it seems, neither does anyone else.

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At fastfinge: I think it would be ilogical to assume that just because a term like blindy is offensive to you, that it must be to everyone else. Just because you say so, doesn't mean it has to be so. I still stand that the term is more of a joking, rather playful term that shouldn't harm anyone. If someone is offended by the term, then they should speak up, however, based on the answers in this thread, i gather that most folks here don't find the term to be all that bothersome.

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Well whether person x finds a given term offensive or not is really not the matter under  discussion, neither can it be a credible way to formulate forum rules. For example, the term "fanny"  in  England is quite a crude and offensive term  for female genitalia, while the terms fag and faggot are perfectly fine and acceptable, therefore if we simply worked on what I myself find offensive, "fany" would be banned while "faggot"  would be fine.

this is why in formulating forum rules   we need to be a little more    thoughtful, particularly when dealing with terms of prejudice against given groups.

Regarding "blindy" however Fastfinge, I'm still not exactly certain that it is being used in the way you  believe it to  be, as an insult for a group of people, rather to me it seems to be used as a  form of social critique.

It is the  difference between "Everyone who goes to that  colidge is a blindy" and "that colidge just  tries to turn people into blindies"

The first is a  direct statement about a group of people, ie,  those who went to the colidge, the second is a critique of the colidge itself which does not  say anything about graduates from the colidge.

This is the same distinction as "everyone from that school  fails their exams" and "the school has a very poor pass reccord"

One is  an insult of a group which tells nothing, the other a form of critique which can actually be quite important.

I've only myself thus far seen "blindy"  used in the second sense, which is not only legitimate but absolutely what this sort of forum is for, since while personal attacks are out turning us into a politically correct police state where in an effort to not offend anyone nobody can say anything would be dire!

As I said, if you or anyone believe that someone is intending personal insult, well that is what the report  link is for, but since that is a matter of intention I don't myself see banning certain words as helping with that.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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Good point dark. Here in america, fanny refers to a person's buttics. It's not particularly rude, but a pussy, could mean someone who is weak, or a coward, and also refers to a woman's vagina. One word that you never want to say to a woman in this country is kunt, which is actually one case of a word that makes even me crinj. It also refers to a vagina, but for whatever reason, it just sounds harsh, and is used in arguments quite a bit over here.

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Actually arq cunt is used over here as  well, but I believe here it is more used as a term for the actual part of the body (albiet still a pretty  offensive one), than for a term of insult to a  woman, and  outside rappers I've never heard pussy used   offensively either, though of course with  America exporting but not importing culture (another debate), that has changed slightly.

Amusingly enough however, the term "berk" over here is a  a sort of slightly slangy, mild term for idiot of a person of either gender and is  relatively acceptable as such, however it's original meaning was a shortening of the cockney rhyming slang berkshire hunt! big_smile.

Another case where language is a thorny problem and why we need to go by intention.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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