Monday, 8 October 2007

Words mean So Much

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." That was one of the common things we used to say as kids, usually after someone calling us names had just hurt us! Words, as you know, mean so much. usually it is not the words themselves but the way we use them. In the UK it used to be common to describe any Asian who was seen as 'Paki.' Paki as in short for Pakistan. In Edinburgh in the seventies it caused no offence, except to that nice Mr Kyaham who insisted he was "Indian and no bloody Paki!" No-one of Pakistan descent worried about it. later of course it was used in a derogatory fashion by neo right wing groups and fell out of use. 'Jock' is a term for Scotsmen, and I think should always be viewed as complimentary. After all, what can be better than saying "I am a Scotsman?" However on occasion even that word can be used to hurt and insult rather than compliment.

Words are often misunderstood. When she asks "Does my bum look big in this" and you honestly answer that it does, she will deliberately use that as an excuse to remain stonily silent for several hours. Women seem to specialise in misunderstanding words in such situations. A "Yes" often appears to mean "no" and if you misunderstand and accept at face value here word all sorts of trouble can arise. Possibly women and words needs to be for another time?

Politicians and words are marvellous, the emphasis on the 'lous' part. If they lose a vote they will claim they have actually got everybody on their side! In 1968 I remember a Communist being elected in a council seat I think in Inverness. "This is a sign that the people are turning to us," said the leader of the Scottish Communists, ignoring the Scottish Nationalist Party winning 368 seats on the same night! To reach the top in politics it is advisable to avoid truth and stick to being devious. No one wants an honest politician anyway, they might expect it back from the citizens. That would never do!

One day every idle word we utter will be brought back to us,as I discovered when I found some things I wrote a hundred years ago. How frightening is that? Did I really think those thoughts and say those words? What else have I said in all these years I have drifted through life? The mind boggles at the cobblers I have come out with! Anyway I found some folks who may also regret the words they have used, but at least they give us a laugh.

Moving from Wales to Italy is like moving to a different country - Ian Rush

I never criticise referees and I'm not going to change a habit for that prat. - Ron Atkinson

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life," -- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances." --Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina
"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record." --Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

"As God once said, and I think rightly..."
- Margaret Thatcher.

Think before you speak, you know it makes sense.....


Robert Morschel said...

I have nearly wet myself! The Mariah Carey quote is absolutely superb. :-D

Jane said...

So true and so funny!! Loved reading this post and some of the others too!