Go Down

Topic: A common language? (Read 6655 times) previous topic - next topic

Grumpy_Mike

Dec 02, 2010, 10:39 am Last Edit: Dec 02, 2010, 10:39 am by Grumpy_Mike Reason: 1
There have been a few occasions on this forum where several of us have objected to the word "spastic" being used to describe jerky movements. It seems that no one in the U.S. knows how offensive this word is. So much so a U.S toy company have tried to launch a Transformer toy called "Captain Spastic"
The reaction has been quite obvious as detailed in this story:-
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3237465/Transformers-toy-called-Spastic-is-banned.html

Discussing this with one of my children last night he said he thought there was a toy called Captain Scope (joke for the U.K. only)

SteampunkProfessor

I'd always go for "jitter" if it's small and "thrashing" if it's a large movement. Mind you some may question the last one  ;)

Grumpy_Mike

It does work both ways. My son just came back from the U.S. and when he said "I am just going outside to smoke a fag" they were horrified.

Translator's note:-
U.S. - I am going out to shoot a homosexual
U.K. - I am going out to consume a cigarette  

GrooveFlotilla

#3
Dec 02, 2010, 12:53 pm Last Edit: Dec 02, 2010, 12:54 pm by GrooveFlotilla Reason: 1
Could've been worse - he could've tried to bum a fag.

Bum == scrounge
Some people are like Slinkies.

Not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

biocow

My wife worked with and became good friends with a British woman a few years ago, but the first few months were rough. Wife said she would suddenly become aggressive and stand-offish for no reason. They finally narrowed it down to the fact that when the British woman said something my wife didn't hear or understand she would say "What?" which here in the US is a casual way of saying "I didn't hear/understand that, could you repeat it?" but over seas is considered rude and disrespectful. I suppose quite a lengthy message for such a small word I've never felt offended when it was said to me.

P.S. Isn't a "fag" also a bundle of small sticks or twigs? Either way, I've known about it's use as a term for a cig for years so i guess it doesn't bother me.

Osgeld

I am not really sure when spastic became generally OK, as a kid it was used in a negative meaning to those with muscle control problems, which unless you were a crackhead or something was usually not under your control and really should not be made fun of

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?action=unread;boards=2,3,4,5,67,6,7,8,9,10,11,66,12,13,15,14,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,86,87,89,1;ALL

GrooveFlotilla

Faggot is also a meat dish in the Midlands.
But then there used to be a bus company called PMT*, so they're all a bit odd.


*Potteries Motor Traction.
Some people are like Slinkies.

Not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

retrolefty

I've also read that "can I knock you up in the morning" can raise eyebrows in the US.  ;)


keeper63

Quote
I am not really sure when spastic became generally OK, as a kid it was used in a negative meaning to those with muscle control problems, which unless you were a crackhead or something was usually not under your control and really should not be made fun of


I grew up in California, during the whole "valley girl" years (1980s, mainly); the term "spaz" (and "awesome", "rightous", "gag me with a spoon", "gnarly", etc) was used to denote someone being shifty/stupid/waffling/moody - that kind of thing.

Its roots were in the whole "medical" term of spastic and spasm; allover uncontrollable body tremors, that kind of thing, and it was a word of denigration - but I don't remember it being offensive...

Stupid, yes - but offensive? I guess we didn't have many real people with spastic problems around in my town...?

Meh - old word nobody in their right age uses, anyhow, I would hope...

:-/
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

cowjam

I don't really have anything to add, I just wanted to say this thread has amused me.

I used to share a house with a cerebral palsy sufferer.  He walked in to a Scope shop and demanded the contents of the till, the staff were absoltuely flummoxed.

mowcius

Isn't rubber classed as rude in the US or something?

Instead they use 'eraser' which to most people in the UK sounds weird.

biocow

#11
Dec 02, 2010, 05:18 pm Last Edit: Dec 02, 2010, 05:18 pm by biocow Reason: 1
A "rubber" is a condom. So you wouldn't use a condom to correct a mistake, you use it to prevent one.  ;D

Also hearing someone say "Put on your rubbers, it's wet outside." just sounds wrong.

keeper63

Quote
the term "spaz" (and "awesome", "rightous", "gag me with a spoon", "gnarly", etc) was used to denote someone being shifty/stupid/waffling/moody - that kind of thing.


This sentence of mine was a little "spazzy", I'll admit.

I didn't mean to imply that those other terms ("awesome", "rightous", "gag me with a spoon", "gnarly", etc) were equivalent in meaning to "spaz" (they obviously aren't), but I didn't word that sentence properly...

...thus my being a "spaz"...

;D
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.

biocow

I caught that but was going to let it go. (Grew up with a sister who was a bay area version of a valley girl)

I've never really used "spastic" and never knew it could be offensive. But, again here in Cali, we grew up with "spazing out" which is like "freaking out".

I guess the equivalent here in CA/the states is "retarded" which was used A LOT growing up. Although I have used it I'm a bit torn on my feelings for it. I won't say I haven't used it in the last year cause that would be a lie, but I don't use it often.

And living in the bay area with San Francisco just 20 minutes away "That's so gay" is another term that is used quite often but has a large group that can be offended by it.

westfw

Quote
"That's so gay" is another term that is used quite often but has a large group that can be offended by it.

http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2003-03-12  :-)
(superior web comic, IMO.  Though not much to do with this crowd.)

Go Up