Progressives are always ready to be offended on behalf of others, even, and especially if, no one knows something was supposedly offensive. The country is full of extreme left-wing organizations and non-profits that exist to make sure things that no one would have otherwise noticed or thought of as offensive are thought of as just this side of a Klan rally.
This is exemplified by the word “niggardly.” Ever used it? Doubtful. Ever heard of it? Probably not.
Niggardly means “reluctant to give or spend; stingy; miserly.” OK. But the chances of you needing to describe someone who is stingy using any word other than stingy are pretty slim, so it doesn’t get a lot of use outside of people trying to impress others with their large vocabulary.
Insecure nerds who spent their childhood reading the dictionary aside, no one uses the word because, well, no one knows what it means.
But it sounds very similar to a word that is offensive and racist, so…
When those few nerds who do know what it means have used it, they’ve gotten into PC Police trouble for it, which may be the only reason you’ve ever heard of it. (I know that’s why I know it.)
Thanks to the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, we now have more words and phrases to add to the list of things you may not have ever thought were offensive, or have long-forgotten, but you will be deemed racist for saying now.
Buzzfeed put together this handy video with examples like “peanut gallery,” which allegedly has racist origins. Never mind the fact that no one knows that or uses it in a racist way; before anyone you know was born, it apparently originated to refer to black people in movie theater balconies.
Yes, it’s that stupid. Watch the video and see.
They are: gyp, ghetto, Chinese whispers, Irish goodbye, sold down the river, peanut galleries, uppity, hip hip hooray, and call a spade a spade.
Some of them – Chinese whispers and Irish goodbye – I’d never heard before. But I probably would have used them at some point if I knew what they meant because what they apparently mean isn’t offensive.
Chinese whisper means “transmit gossip poorly.” But in their explanation of how awful and racist it is, HuffPo points out that it originated as “Russian gossip.” Somehow it changed, and who cares why? No one uses it. If you’re going to have this on your list of offensive things you might as well add “the sun rising in the west,” because that’s only slightly less likely to happen than you hearing this phrase.
Irish goodbye means leaving someplace without saying goodbye. I’ve “Irish goodbyed” a lot of events in my life without even knowing it. Wish I knew the phrase because I wouldn’t said the hell out of it.
HuffPo explains it’s also called a French exit, and the French use the English in their version of it. But, they conclude, “At any rate, you might want to think before you use a phrase that stereotypes an entire nationality of people as being rude.” Maybe bring this up to whoever you next go “Dutch” with to dinner, which oddly didn’t make the list because WHO THE HELL CARES?!?!?!
How miserable do you have to be as a person to sit around and hunt for things that you think people should be upset about? I hate to “call a spade a spade” here, but if this is how you earn a living, you’re an awful person. If were to be forcibly be sent to the International Space Station the world would instantly become a better, happier place.
By the way, HuffPo admits that “call a spade a spade” “had absolutely no racial connotation whatsoever. It referred to the gardening tool.” But the word “spade” became a racial slur in the 1920s, so even though the gardening tool still exists, is still called a spade, and the saying still has nothing to do with race – and never has you shouldn’t use it.
To quote William Shatner in one of the best SNL skits ever, “GET A LIFE!”
If you can’t bring yourself to do that, I’m sure you’ll be a perfect fit at Media Matters in their “Watching TV/Listening To Radio You Hate and Complaining About It On The Internet” department.
By the way, someone named Christi C tore this post apart with simple facts in the comment section. That would matter if facts mattered to progressives, but they don’t…