Stephen Fry said this
'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?'
this week and I'm starting to agree with him. Being offended seems to be what social media does best. Use a word incorrectly and it's requests for your sacking, your head on a plate and pitchforks at dawn.
It used to be that there were a few 'offensive' swear words like (&*^^& and *&*"@(# and of course £*&~~@% and we knew what they were and we didn't use them until we dropped a hammer on our foot. There were laws in place for obvious threats and hate crime. But now, every day new words are deemed offensive, just using them can get you threatened with physical violence!
It feels like we are drifting into George Orwell's vision of NewSpeak from 1984. Soon we may lose the ability to articulate clearly what we mean as there will be few words left we can use.
Do you agree or do you think it's appropriate to be told what to say based on what may be offensive?
Take care in your comments, people that are easily offended offend me.
Updated to add a link to this excellent piece on the culture of outrage http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-daum-column-rivers-levenson-20140911-column.html