Don’t Mean To Offend

A Fool In NH Column Heading

This is a tricky time to be alive.
It seems that most things you might say will offend someone in some way even when you believe what you are saying is not offensive.
But the rules change every day and unless you keep score you are bound to hurt someone’s feelings with something that may not have hurt their feelings last week.
This is not the fault of the person says the thing that hurts the feelings that wouldn’t have been hurt the week before and it isn’t the fault of the person who was offended by what was said but probably wouldn’t have been offended the week before.
It’s really the fault of the people who are deciding what is suddenly offensive.
Now, before you yell at me for offending you for saying something against things that are offensive, I ask that you take a few minutes to read what I have to say. (Asking someone to read what someone has to say wasn’t considered offensive when I wrote this, so if it is considered offensive now, I apologize.)
First off, you will get no argument from me that there are things that people used to say that they never should have said and now more and more people realize that they shouldn’t say those things and most of them don’t.
I agree this is a good thing.
Over the years, as people came to realize that certain things that were always said should no longer be said, more and more people decided that a lot of other things shouldn’t be said as well even though saying those things really wasn’t even close to being as bad as those original things that people used to say that everyone agreed shouldn’t be said any longer.
Over the years, the list of what shouldn’t be said grew so big that it became hard to keep track of what people were allowed to say and what they should never say. Sometimes a thing you said that was okay to say one day wouldn’t be okay to say the next and if you weren’t aware that now you weren’t allowed to say what it was you could say the day before you would say it and someone might be offended.
In fact, I can’t even repeat the words that we are no longer allowed to say because even by just writing them here to try to educate some readers about certain words that they used to say but should no longer say, I may hurt the feelings of someone whose feelings I am trying to stop from being hurt by educating people on certain words they shouldn’t be saying.
It certainly is complicated.
Sometimes new words come along that never existed before to replace older words that should never be said and sometimes before everyone realizes that there is a new word now to replace the old word someone has already decided that this new word should never be said by anyone either.
Usually, when this happens, another word, never before seen, is created to replace the older new word that no one should ever say which was originally created to replace another word no one should say. Still, there is no guarantee that the new word created to replace the newer older word will be correct to say next year. You will have to wait to see if that word will offend someone.
Chances are good that it will.
As someone who deals with words, I take this very seriously and I try to keep on top of what words that I may have used yesterday which may be offensive to someone today. I was thinking of putting together a new dictionary to help keep people abreast of what words they should no longer say and what words have replaced them. But that would really be an ongoing 24/7 project and I don’t think I am up to the task.
So, I will do my best to keep myself educated on what words were fine yesterday and are taboo today so as to make sure that I don’t offend anyone in my columns. (Of course, once this column goes to press one of the words within may be deemed inappropriate in the meantime and that is out of my hands, so I apologize in advance again.)
It’s a tricky time to be alive and we all need to keep on our toes to make sure we are up-to-date on what is offensive, what isn’t and what may soon be.
I wish you the best and good luck out there!

Visit Brendan’s website at www.BrendanTSmith.com