If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us NO.
If I had to ban a word I guess I’d choose the word ‘ban’ itself.
I have an aversion to censorship generally.
I understand the need to prevent the circulation of illegal & abusive material, but otherwise I think people should be left alone to make their own choices.
I think words are like anything else, their nature changes depending on who’s using them.
A word may be acceptable in some circumstances & not in others, with some people & not with others, in some tones & not in others.
The word itself hasn’t changed, but what it conveys has.
We don’t ban cars because they get used in bank robberies, we don’t ban knives because people get cut & we don’t ban mobile phones because people send offensive texts.
It’s true that some words are generally considered to be ‘bad’.
Let’s take the ‘F’ word as an example. It’s not one to use around your mum or boss, & overused it becomes tedious to say the least, but many stand-up comedians would be utterly lost without it, & used sparingly it can add a touch of hilarity to a funny story told among friends.
Some words become unacceptable with time. When I was young it was perfectly acceptable to ‘toss’ a pancake or salad, but nowadays if say such a thing in front of my kids the older two roar with laughter while the youngest cringes & begs me not to use ‘that word’.
Other words become acceptable with time. If I had used the word ‘bitch’ in any context when I was young, I would have been banished to the bedroom at the very least. These days it’s bandied around to mean all sorts of things & no-one seems to care.
The media , of course, has a huge influence on what is & what is not acceptable. If people are exposed to a word for long enough many just give in & start using it. This is not always the case though & some words however much we hear them will never filter into common use.
I’m talking about words that carry a message of discrimination & abuse, like the ‘N’ word for instance. Black rappers like to use this word & I understand that, maybe they feel entitled to use it, but I don’t think it helps anyone & personally I feel their, often flippant, use of the word belittles the suffering of those that went before them & actually had to fight for their rights, but it doesn’t stop me listening to & enjoying rap.
So basically I think that you should all think, write & say whatever you want.
Be bold, be creative, be outspoken & if anyone gets offended make your apologies & move on.