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Picture of arnie
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In the "false friends" thread I mention that "intellectual" can often be used as shorthand for "ivory-tower intellectual", so the word has taken on a slightly pejorative meaning.

I came across a similar case today. The bus company is experimenting with hydrogen-fuelled buses on a route that runs near where I work. On the backs of the buses are signs that proudly claim "NO EMISSIONS".

This is patently untrue, as anyone with half an eye can see the thick white plume coming from the exhaust. What they mean is, of course, "no harmful emissions". The exhaust from the hydrogen-fuelled bus is composed simply of steam, so it is "eco-friendly".

Can anyone think of similar examples?


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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It is interesting that a perfectly good word, such as "emissions," has taken on a negative connotation. In trying to come up with some others, I Googled "pejorative terms" and generally came up with offensive terms, such as "Kraut," "retard," "bitch," "faggot," etc., and of course we have discussed the word "gay" on various occasions. However, one word they said was pejorative was "taco." Is that word now used negatively against the Latino population? I hadn't heard that use of "taco" before.
 
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Food is a great source for this sort of thing. Claims that foods are "chemical-free" are nonsense, of course, since everything is composed of chemicals.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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In this neighborhood (where I work), "taco" is a pejorative term for woman. Also used for this purpose are "ho", "bitch", "booty" and others that I am (ahem) too polite to mention. Wink


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In another thread I ranted about the term, "organic," as though all food were not organic. Mad
 
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I have lost track of the number of well-meaning people who have recommended that I try herbal remedies to ward off the symptoms of menopause since I am hesitant to use hormone therapy because of other health complications. I keep pointing out that, even though they are "all natural", those herbs still mess around with your internal chemistry - that's why they work. I don't drink caffeine because it's a stimulant . . . and when I first started opting for herbal teas I discovered that rose hips give about the same kind of stimulation. Herbal doesn't always mean harmless.


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Caterwauller:
_Herbal_ doesn't always mean _harmless_.


And neither does natural. Although anyone who know me well will know I'm an advocate for natural/holistic over man-made/mutated wherever possible, I have never, and will never, insist that natural is always harmless. Deadly nightshade is natural, after all. As are angry tigers.
 
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Yes, Cat! You are so right!


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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'Bisexual' (or androgynophilia - not one I've heard before today!) is another one that's taken on different - and unpleasant - meanings. When many people say the word, they generally mean: slutty; promiscuous; indiscriminate; kinky; greedy; unable to make up mind (as if anyone has any choice over their sexuality); confused; going through a phase; polyamorous; unable to be monogamous or commit; must have lovers of both sexes at the same time...etc. None of which are any more true of every bi person as they are of every straight / gay / asexual person. Makes me mad.

And don't get me started on stupid straight girls who pretend they're bi to attract men / get their picture in the paper. Grr...

Re. 'organic' and 'chemical': you're both right, of course - but we do need a word for food that's not been tampered with or come into contact with chemi...er, things that it wouldn't normally come into contact with in its wild state. We've already established that 'natural' can be confusing...
 
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And don't get me started on stupid straight girls who pretend they're bi to attract men / get their picture in the paper. Grr...

Either I am naive, or that doesn't happen here.
 
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My dear, good friend Kalleh (to whom I now owe 2 original poems) . . . in this case you are naive.


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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quote:
I Googled "pejorative terms" and generally came up with offensive terms, such as "Kraut," "retard," "bitch,"

The Rhode Island Dept of Health, Retardation and (other descriptive words)" has now officially removed "retardation" from its title, noting the word's negativity. Of course, in time the phrase they replace it with will sooner or later gain the same stigma and "have to be" eliminated.
 
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Yup. Kids who are two sandwiches short of a picnic/retarded/moronic/stupid/slow/whatever presently have the label "special needs" attached to them. "Special" is such a nice cuddly word. Of course, it hasn't taken long for it to have become a playground insult. I imagine that the experts are frantically searching for a new term to use, without the overtones of "special". And so it will go on ...


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I've also seen "exceptional" applied to low-IQ kids. For that matter, high-IQ kids are exceptional, but they don't count.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Oh, I don't know, Geoff. In our schools the high-IQ kids are catered to. It's the middle kids I've always felt sorry for.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
I've also seen "exceptional" applied to low-IQ kids. For that matter, high-IQ kids are exceptional, but they don't count.
I've not come across that. FWIW, my first thought would be that they were referring the the high attainers, not those at the lower end of the scale.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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True, arnie, yet the term is usually applied to low-achievers. Go figure... It's also applied to medically fragile children, I've just learned, as in this site: http://www.exceptionalcare.org/


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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