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"sucks" offensive or not?

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  • User profile image
    Jaz

    Hey all.

    ok i'm risking alot here, but to be honest i think it's probably worth it.

    So i was somewhere today (somewhere in connection with Microsoft) and got told off for using the word "sucks".  i said something like "this sucks" and someone told me that people might find the word "sucks" offensive.  this being based on the fact that it's an international event and international people might find it offensive.

    now is it me (more than likely), or is this person being overly politically correct (bearing in mind it is their job to moderate such events).  Now i thought microsoft was over this attitude and actually ive seen employees jumping in and saying "this sucks right now but in 3 more months you're gonna be drooling all over the floor" or similar words.

    will sucks be banned from channel9 since it could cause great offence (apparently it already has, hence why ive been asked not to use the word).  i can understand all the words in the bad word filter being their, f*ck sh*t etc aren't nice words, but sucks? give me a break.

    any Microsoft employees want to comment and say i'm completely wrong. 

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    If you were at lunch with the Pope and you were served a rotten olive on your salad, would you broadcast "this salad sucks!" ?

    I didn't think so.

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    John, i don't care for the pope so yeah i probably would.

    i agree language changes year to year, do you remember the nursery rhyme eenie meenie miney moe, it certainly wasn't a kipper that was caught by it's tail back in the old days.

    i think this is completely unjust and silly. i use "this sucks, that sucks" etc in day to day conversation with young and old.

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    The last half of your word de jour is still offensive, even to a bull.

    I would opt for "bovine scat" in mixed company, etc.

    It may boil down to just how much class you are comfortable showing.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Isn't diplomacy wonderful.

    I fondly remember spending some quality detention time for using the term "you suck" to describe an aquaintance in middle school.  Suffice to say, that acquaintance did, indeed, suck for what they had done.

    Now, it's a common term and aside from 2 groups of people, I can't see anyone having a problem with using it.  The 2 groups?

    1) Marketing/PR/legal types who are keenly aware of the potential for libel.
    2) Anal retentive, politically correct busybodies who, frankly, suck.

    As for JohnAskew's example, it has no bearing:  You wouldn't say the salad sucks because that would be rude.  Just as rude as saying the salad stinks, is icky, or makes you want to vomit.

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    i'm now going to be intrested in which country everyone comes from, judging by irc reactions it's the americans who seem uptight about it, also finding "i screwed things up" offensive.

  • User profile image
    harumscarum

    not - USA

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    JohnAskew wrote:
    The last half of your word de jour is still offensive, even to a bull.

    I would opt for "bovine scat" in mixed company, etc.

    It may boil down to just how much class you are comfortable showing.


    Yeah.  OK.

    Look, You obviously have children, so funny alternatives to the real word are neccessary, but bovine scat comes out of a cow and it smells like feces. 

    Your intention, though, was to refer to the real word which has a real meaning other than cow dung.  The only way anyone would know that is if they knew the original word.

    So just use the original word.

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Use the original word... ok, but remember that the word itself may be offensive, you have to have some social sensibility, or you will never see the inside of a boardroom, (unless you are 'da man).

    While my own kids don't use profanity around me, I have taught them the meanings to any/all words they ask about and demonstrate the most common forms of using profanity in sentences. Yep, sure do. Censorship sucks.

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    Jaz wrote:
    i'm now going to be intrested in which country everyone comes from, judging by irc reactions it's the americans who seem uptight about it, also finding "i screwed things up" offensive.


    The only americans that find that offensive are perverts who think of nothing but "getting jiggy with it". ... Percent: 100.

    If you guys would of only seen and heard the stuff in 7th and 8th grade; 13 and 14 year old girls getting pregnant .. why? I'm not getting into that, but you all know.

    haha.
    - Steve

  • User profile image
    BryanF

    I don't personally find the term offensive at all, but you have to be considerate of your audience.

    When I'm around people I'm close to, I'm a lot less restained. For instance, I remember when I was younger and my baby brother would swear, I'd occasionally  tell him "Hey! Watch your goddam language or I'll tell Mom!" We'd get a cheap laugh out of the moment and move on.

    When I'm around professionals and strangers, I'm more careful. I recall reading somewhere that "manners are a collection of meaningless sacrifices." That, I think, is the point. People appreciate it when you make an effort--even a miniscule one--to treat them with respect. I think that we technically-oriented people tend to lose sight of those sorts of light touches, since we're used to the very blunt "meritocracy" where we expect to be respected because "I'm right and you're wrong" or something to that effect.

    I'm in no position to preach, because heaven knows I've had lapses of judgement, but it's still something worth thinking about.

    Smiley

  • User profile image
    Escamillo

    I think that "sucks" is fine today.  I've heard it on radio and TV ads (the "Our TV sucks" ad comes to mind) and TV shows, and even Bush's red-state FCC hasn't done anything about it. Tongue Out

    The phrase "<something> sucks" originated from anti-homosexual based insults in the 70's.  The original phrase was, "<something> sucks ***", which likened the <something> to the activities of homesexual males, and was therefore "bad".  You know how school children call each other "gay" (and the like) as an insult?  Well, in the 70's, the insult was "You suck ***", later shortened to "You suck".  Over time, "<something> sucks" lost its original meaning, and now just means that something is bad.
     

    (Historical footnote: In the late 70's, when Disco ruled the music charts, those that didn't like disco adopted the phrase, "Disco sucks", a phrase created because gays were very heavily into disco (even more than the general population at the time).)



    (Some have tried to clean up the "<something> sucks" heritage by asserting that it's a shortened version of "<something> sucks wind", but that's BS. Tongue Out)

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    Escamillo wrote:
    I think that "sucks" is fine today.  I've heard it on radio and TV ads (the "Our TV sucks" ad comes to mind) and TV shows, and even Bush's red-state FCC hasn't done anything about it.

    The phrase "<something> sucks" originated from anti-homosexual based insults in the 70's.  The original phrase was, "<something> sucks ***", which likened the <something> to the activities of homesexual males, and was therefore "bad".  You know how school children call each other "gay" (and the like) as an insult?  Well, in the 70's, the insult was "You suck ***", later shortened to "You suck".  Over time, "<something> sucks" lost its original meaning, and now just means that something is bad.
     

    (Historical footnote: In the late 70's, when Disco ruled the music charts, those that didn't like disco adopted the phrase, "Disco sucks", a phrase created because gays were very heavily into disco (even more than the general population at the time).)



    (Some have tried to clean up the "<something> sucks" heritage by asserting that it's a shortened version of "<something> sucks wind", but that's BS. )


    They're allowed to say "Bitc*H" on TV; which is worse than "sucks".

    - Steve

  • User profile image
    anilp
  • User profile image
    ricodued

    I swear, this tread was created specifically for me.

    No word is ever offensive for a valid reason. Ever. (excepting racial slurs and the like)

    Take, for example, a four-letter word that begins with F. When used in a context not relating to sexual intercourse, all it does is express frustration. There's no hidden meaning. It doesn't refer to any race, let alone derogatorily. If I were to say, "Why the f**k are there mashed potatoes in my computer?" I would merely be expressing anger and/or frustration, etc. Nothing offensive. I could just as easily replace the word with a more socially acceptable one, but the meaning remains the same. All you do is replace some letters.

    Again, example: Some people take to saying "frick" (or "frigging/fricking" in the case of a present participle) instead of the well-known four-letter no-no. Why? What are you changing? Nothing. The meaning and intention are the same, all you've done is changed a couple letters.

    Someone give me one good, solid reason why any words are EVER offensive. There aren't any, except for racial slurs and things of that nature. They're words, people. A lot of them have the same meaning but are still considered "rude" or "offensive" for no particular reason, other than that our parents told us they were offensive.

    And getting to your question, no, the word "sucks" is not offensive. All it does is describe the horrible quality or whatever of the thing you're describing. It's absolutely no different than saying "is extremely horrible."

    So many aspects of modern culture suck.

    EDIT: And I'd thought I'd get this out of the way: one of the posters above pointed out that sucks was originally durogatory but now it isn't. That's fine. It was offensive, and I can see good reasons for it being so, but now it isn't.

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Off the fence, ric, don't exclude racial slurs.

    Andrew Dice Clay made a living (for a short while), as did Lenny Bruce, as stand-up comedians with filthy mouths. Their philosophies were that "words can never hurt you", and they are right.

    That being true, you don't swear in front of your grandparents, do you?

    Tongue Out

    Imho, the word 'sucks' is not ok. It shows off like a fresh tattoo.

    Argue that tattoos are socially acceptible and I will tell you there are social circles that don't see tatoos, today or ever.

    'Sucks' is on the bubble in my house. My kids won't use that word when they mean to be respectful. They use it with me or with each other in a casual setting, but not with strangers or with guests or in a formal setting.  

    For your reference, I am 44 and have an 11 and 9 year old son and daughter.

  • User profile image
    ricodued

    JohnAskew:

    Good points, and no, I don't talk like that around my grandparents because although I believe the concept of "swear" words is ridiculous, they don't. That sort of language I typically reserve for friends anyways, but I really do find the whole concept ridiculous.

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