Political Correctness (Gervais, Twitter, possibly offensive word content)
Word Origin & History
cretinPosted 6 years ago
1779, from Fr. Alpine dialect crestin, “a dwarfed and deformed idiot” of a type formerly found in families in the Alpine lands, a condition caused by a congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones, from V.L. *christianus “a Christian,” a generic term for “anyone,” but often with a sense of “poor fellow.”maccruiskeenSubscriber
I will never use the word “cretin” again!
Theres a difference between what a something means now and what it meant in a specific alpine community 200 years ago. With a word like cretin, in common usage neither anyone who says it or anyone who hears it is thinking of hereditory throid conditions.
If you traced every derogatory word back to it origins and worried about it…. well you’d never have a bad word to say about anyone. And then where would we be? Eh? Knobjockey.Posted 6 years agoStonerSubscriber
My late aunt who lived with us for 20 years had Down’s Syndrome. Cant say Id ever heard the derivative of mongoloid in that context until some years after she died. There’s no denying that using mongoloid as an adjective is not specifically incorrect, since it describes a physical characteristic. The fact that it assumes an incorrect origination of the physical characteristic is really the only fault.
Like any word that PC has deemed not to be used, the automatic presumption by the high and mighty is that insult is always intended when it’s often just a combination of ignorance (did a memo go out?) and lingual inertia.
And who’s being slighted most, the mentally handicapped or the Asian orientals?Posted 6 years agowrightysonMember
Mmm! I once used the term whilst on a stag do totally flippantly, when describing someone who’d been on the weed all day, I referred to him as being “totally monged” a term used very readily as far as I was aware when describing dope smokers! However one of the lads overheard this, he has a downs daughter an he went a little postal! I explained it had no reference to downs in this case and left it at that, however some of the group wouldn’t let it lie and accused him of making it into an issue! I felt guilty, but I don’t know why?Posted 6 years agoyunkiMember
as far as I’m aware mong was in heavy use in the early nineties as a term for being very very stoned and later just very very mellow or stupefied by drugs or booze..
I then watched the children of those 90s users bring the word back into popularity for describing someone behaving stupidly.. those kids wouldn’t have ever heard of mongoloids..
So.. in my experience it’s a derogatory word for an idiot derived from watching your idiot parents and their mates getting wasted..
due to the out of touch knee jerking from middle aged reactionaries the word will have now been recharged with it’s more offensive energy..
good workPosted 6 years agovinnyehSubscriber
Without debating the rights and wrongs of using the word in conversation, i’m sure Gervais would have been aware that there would be fallout
As he he implies, using a word as an insult doesn’t mean that the dictionary definition applies to the victim.
It’s interesting how we’ve moved away from the ‘sticks and stones’ attitude of my childhood-the victim is no longer the recipient of the insult, but the broader population where the word originated.
[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRrISZAF7lo[/video]Posted 6 years agoshedbrewedMember
wrightyson – Member
I referred to him as being “totally monged” a term used very readily as far as I was aware when describing dope smokers!
Used it, and still use it, not just for the stoned descriptor, but also in general for a feeling of being tired, lethargic and generally out of it. I will be quite glad when the general population realise Gervais is a self-serving **** and someone pushes him under a bus.Posted 6 years ago
Nowt to do with the twitter thing, the guy just pisses me off.stumpy01Member
Blimey! You learn something new every day! I sometimes think i must be incredibly naive or just ignorant or stupid or something else.
Loads of people used to use the term ‘mong’ – “you’re such a mong” when I was at school and uni, generally for people who had just done something a bit stupid or clumsy. I don’t think any of us knew the real meaning & history of the word…..
In fact, I think sometimes I probably still say to someone in conversation something like “yeah, this evening I’ll just be monging out on the sofa, watching telly…..”Posted 6 years ago
So Gervais finds himself in trouble over the usage of the word “Mong” a number of times over the weekend.
Personally, the etymology of the word would make me feel uncomfortable, but then I’m a bit of a hand wringer in general. I grew up in a tight knit neighbourhood where we used to play with a kid with Downs Syndrome. I’m pretty sure our parents were describing him as “mongol(oid?)” back then. As kids we just didn’t care – yeah, he was different and a bit dangerous if someone gave him a hurley, but we just let him do his thing and heaven help any outside kids who came into the neighbourhood and gave him a hard time. That is the experience which colours my opinion on the use of the word “Mong” to suggest stupidity.
Is it the mythical PC Brigade coming down too hard again?Posted 6 years agods3000Member
Gervais is an amateurish **** who has been told by unknowing hollywood types and the media that he’s a genius. Far from it, he just got lucky.
I wonder if Gervais would use the term in front someone with Down’s Syndrome, it would be pretty presumtive to assume that the person would find it funny and see the ‘irony’ in its use, as it would calling, for example, a Chinese person a Chink.
Oh the genius in his irony, only those on a higher plain of understanding can appreciate the hilarity.
Gervais is more like David Brent than he likes to admit, maybe that’s how he played the character so well.Posted 6 years agoalba23Member
Never thought of it as a nasty word for down syndrome . As an ex full time skunk abuser it was always used to describe the look or feeling of being mega stoned. Most people of my age use the expression Joey, as mentioned above after the star of Blue Peter. Why all the outrage if you called someone a spastic? If they were a spastic would they take offence ? Or is it only others who would take offence for you . As there was a spastic society I assume it was a term used to describe a disability .Posted 6 years ago
Gervais is a bit of a tit, but words do change. I was surprised to find that idiot used to be a ‘medical’ term.
Psychology. (no longer in technical use; considered offensive) a person of the lowest order in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.
There are places marked on old maps as ‘idiot colony’ – ie what we would now call some kind of care home for people with learning difficulties.Posted 6 years agopslingSubscriber
Well, I have learnt a new word this morning as a result of the reporting of this story. Disabilist [disableist?]. Apparantly that’s what Gervais is being, according to a lady representing disabled groups who was speaking about the issue on a radio report earlier today.Posted 6 years agoxiphonMember
‘Spastic Society’ changed to ‘SCOPE’ as people kept using the word ‘spastic’ as an insult.
Now the kids use “scopey”….
Words change over time, and some get replaced by the PC crowd when a word is deemed ‘offensive’.
Still, society still manages to turn the ‘new’ word into an insult.
( ‘cack-handed’ apparently means ‘left-handed’, from when kids were forced to write with their right hand, even if they were naturally left handed. My dad’s now ambidextrous because of this.. )Posted 6 years ago
Stewart Lee sums up my feelings on political correctness pretty well.
When I was four years old, my grandfather drove me around Birmingham, where the Tories fought an election campaign saying “if you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour,” and he drove me around saying, “this is where all the niggers and the coons and the jungle bunnies live.” And I remember being at school in the early 80s and my teacher, when he read the register, instead of saying the name of the one Asian boy in the class, he would say, “is the Black Spot in”.
And all these things have gradually been eroded by political correctness, which seems to me to be about an institutionalised politeness at its worst. And if there is some fallout from this, which means that someone in an office might get in trouble one day for saying something that someone was a bit unsure about because they couldn’t decide whether it was sexist or homophobic or racist, it’s a small price to pay for the massive benefits and improvements in the quality of life for millions of people that political correctness has made.Posted 6 years agostumpy01Member
xiphon – Member
‘cack-handed’ apparently means ‘left-handed’, from when kids were forced to write with their right hand, even if they were naturally left handed. My dad’s now ambidextrous because of this..
Woooo! I’m a cack-hander!! People call me it quite often & I take it as something to be proud of….a mate of my brother used to always wind me up about it, then one day I noticed he was also cack handed….! 🙂
EDIT – although thinking about it, my Nan was left handed, but wrote right handed as she was forced to at school.Posted 6 years agoemszMember
I’ve used mong as in “monged out” to describe myself when your absolutely shattered, didn’t really think about the source of the word. But then again, if it’s just me saying it to one other person (whose not downs) is that offensive? Sara and me both sometimes use the word gay to describe something that’s a bit lame, but there’s a girl in the office who uses it and it sort of winds me up.
Doesn’t take away from the fact that gervais is a bit of a tit. (no offence to breats 🙂 )Posted 6 years ago
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