Why force yourself to find offence in word whose perfectly innocent meaning is well understood? How many other words might have a “gnarly history” according to somebody out there if we dig around hard enough?

Or what about words like faggot, which is widely considered a gay slur, but was originally used to describe a bundle of sticks or in Britain a kind of meatball. Is the word offensive or not? Because if words can become offensive, we’d better hope they can stop being offensive too. Otherwise we’ll run out.

Again, these linguistic games don’t help anything. All they do is teach people to take offence first and consider intent afterwards (if at all). As adult human beings we should be able to do better.

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