Bill Kirby

Online news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Paula Deen serves up reminder that some words must be left unsaid

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For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect.

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– James 3:1

Paula Deen’s well-publicized remark and her over-publicized attempts at apology remind us again that there are certain words one does not say.

In Deen’s case it was what editorial writers from The New York Times to The Augusta Chronicle refer to as the “n-word.”

But we have other words, equally avoided, that have risen to monogram status.

In fact, there is a whole alphabet of them.

Just go to the Google Machine.

There is an “a-word,” a “b-word” and a “c-word,” which refer to either body parts, spiteful women or both.

There’s a “d-word,” that is considered bad in filmmaking. It means your movie is as exciting as a “documentary.”

There’s an “e-word,” although I’m not sure what it is. I found a reference to it in a Kansas City Star story about the Missouri Legislature. It was never defined.

There’s an “f-word” and a “g-word” and an “h-word,” which is so common on TV it’s lost its ability to shock.

There’s an “i-word,” which I think The Associ­ated Press and others sug­gest slurs “illegal immigrants.”

The “j-word” is not that bad and seems to refer to jazz music in Scotland. (Soulful bagpipers?)

The “k-word” refers to evil, ex-girlfriends. The “l-word” also involves women.

The “m-word” is a multi­tasker, often meaning “money.” However, I found a reference to former Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson apologizing for using the “m-word” on the House floor.He was referring to short people.

“N-word,” you know. But were you aware the “o-word” refers to obesity?

“P-word” is common when referring to bathroom breaks, but can be a slur against people from Pakistan.

The “q-word” means “quality” for the National Community Tax Coalition. It has other meanings, as well.

The “r-word” refers to people with mental handicaps. The “s-word” should be the “s-words” because there are a bunch of them – the mildest, I found, being “socialism.”

There’s a “t-word” – that CNN and others say refers to “terror” or “terrorists.” Something the White House is averse to admitting/using.

There’s a “u-word,” but it is perhaps the weakest on our list because it refers to a Samoan word for sex.

The “v-word” deals with vegetarians or vegans. The “w-word” came up on CNN and involves a derogatory term for Hispanic laborers. The “x-word” is defined as a made-up reference to nothing specific.

The “y-word” is a clipped slur against people of the Jewish faith.

And the “z word,” I discovered, deals with zombies, which is either hurtful to congressmen or those of us who keep electing them.

What can we say about all of this?

I return to St. James, who pointed out in the first century that the tongue is our most dangerous human element, able to destroy a great forest with a single, small spark.

I’m sure Paula Deen, no stranger to the heat of kitchens, would agree.

Comments (3) Add comment
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Casting_Fool
1133
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Casting_Fool 06/30/13 - 03:02 am
2
0
Words are just words. There

Words are just words. There are a few that, out of repect for others, you shouldn't use in polite society, a few that you should probably never use.

But there should never be words that can be used for power over others, simply because someone, somewhere is offended by them. After all they're just words and we should be able to ignore the ignorance of others who use them to describe us.

In the words of the late singer, Michael Jackson, "I'm not going to spend my life being a color." Whether it's red, yellow, black, brown or white.

Just my own two cents...

junkyardpig
417
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junkyardpig 06/30/13 - 04:51 am
1
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certain words one does not say

unless your the young butt showing thumpers who roam the street in gangs. every other word they say uses the n, b and h word.

itsanotherday1
42933
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itsanotherday1 07/01/13 - 09:35 am
0
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junkyard

and "f" and "mf". Those are more popular than any others.

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