What’s a little labeling between enemies?

I have an avid interest in labels. I find it interesting to see what words people choose to call each other. I think it defines the person saying it more than the person they’re saying it about.

For instance, a ‘friend’ of mine recently called a girl he knows a ‘ho.’ If you didn’t know this girl, you wouldn’t be justified in concluding she was a ‘ho.’ In fact, this comment would only tell you one thing: my ‘friend’ deemed it appropriate to call her a ‘ho.’

From this piece of evidence all of these conclusions are equally supported:

  • This friend has Tourette’s, or some other ailment in which he uses inappropriate words.
  • He wants you to believe she’s a ho or that he believes she’s a ‘ho.’
  • She really is a ho and he thinks it’s a defining characteristic of hers.
  • He thinks not being a ‘ho’ is important enough to warrant a comment when someone breaks this norm.

Personally, I think the final conclusion is most often the correct one. At least, that’s what I’m afraid of. In all the conclusions, one could arguably say that you can find out more about the person making the comment than the person the comment is about. That’s one of the reasons I avoid making comments about people or describing people. I worry that some other hyper-analytical person will get more out of what I’m saying than I mean him to.

What labels do you use? And what do they say about you? Do you know? Do you have the courage to find out?

One comment

  1. I call people jackasses a lot. I know they’re not really jackasses in the actual sense. They’re just really stupid. But that would be mean to call them stupid. They don’t take kindly to that. They do, oddly, find being called a jackass amusing. Maybe they’re too stupid to know what that means.

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