Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: Morning in Auckland,

    I can understand why criminals wouldn't really agree with censuses. I even think they've got a point. As a small subsection of society in NZ, they're never going to be able to feel comfortable answering a bunch of the questions honestly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Freedom of Speech,

    The one good thing about all of this is that we as a species have turned violence into semiotics. Where once we would have just been pounding away at each other with sticks and stones, we sublimate violent behaviour into words.

    Loud barking, chest beating, pissing on local trees, baring teeth etc, serve most of the same purposes as insults. I think the difference with humans is that we're capable of violence on a much more massive scale, so more sophisticated versions of the same thing have evolved. We spend lifetimes learning them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Freedom of Speech,

    I'm not entirely sure if parsing out the exact connotation of insults and insisting on correctness there is ever going to fly. The point is: Insulting people is insulting. It might also be insulting to whomsoever you use to insult them by comparing them to, but that's somewhat incidental - the negative attitude leading to the desire to insult will still be there, and can be expressed in the politest of terms, whilst still being incredibly insulting. Likewise, without the intent, the insult can even be a term of endearment. Calling people cunts is very often done that way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Freedom of Speech,

    Kids definitely use gay a lot to mean "soft, weak, pathetic, etc". But they don't use other more pejorative terms for gay much, which makes me wonder if it's just the connotation of that exact word. In some ways I think it's a very poor word for homosexual. Not all homosexuals display the qualities that it hints at, many are rough as guts, not particularly happy, very strong etc. But I can't think of too many other words that are better. Queer, fag, poof, queen, etc, all are loaded with imagery of difference, oppression, softness, effeminacy, etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Regulate What?,

    If I was a blogger, I don't think I'd want to sign up for any rules that said I had to be balanced and fair.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Freedom of Speech,

    Because it's gender specific in America, I think if you use it on men it carries a different meaning. It's saying they're like nasty women. Which probably drops the overall power of it, emphasizing the "you're a girl/gay" part over "you're really nasty". It could be closer to "bitch".

    Here, if you say it of a man, it really emphasizes the "you're nasty" possibly even "you're abusing your power". That's definitely how it's being used re PH in this thread. Now I think about it, over here, I don't hear it pointed at women very often, and when I heard it on OF the other night, it sounded more like the American usage.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: On Freedom of Speech,

    I always find it strange in American film - I've never heard it used of a male*. It clearly has a similar meaning to here, but exclusively for women. I wonder if that's why you also don't hear it often, why it's more taboo there than here.

    *Edit: Duh, in case it's not clear - the C word.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: At Last, David Haywood's 2010…,

    I'm not sure if spelling Nazism or pronunciation Nazism is worse. Both are pretty damned annoying, although probably necessary in some professions. I lost all taste for it during my time in Australia. It's not in any way conducive to understanding, almost always it's used to get on people's arse's. My standard rejoinder to attempts to get me to say Fish was to say "You're a butt of a duck, choose whichever one you like better".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: At Last, David Haywood's 2010…,

    I've never pronounced them differently, although I must note that it "feels" different when I say them with different meaning. But I don't think anyone could hear what I'm feeling there, would just have to work it out from context (which is probably why it doesn't matter much). Eventually you'll hear "they" instead of "she" and know which word it actually was.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: At Last, David Haywood's 2010…,

    I think the real problem is actually forming both singular and plural. Both sound like "Womn". I don't think I've every heard the last part pronounced as either "men" or "man". It's always "mn".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

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