Social Question

prescottman2008's avatar

When did "offending" someone become as bad as murder?

Asked by prescottman2008 (775points) June 12th, 2010

As a country we seem to be obsessed with not offending people. Have we become overly sensitive? What about the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.”? My favorite answer to someone trying to insult me is this: “since I have absolutely ZERO respect for you as a person there is NOTHING you can say that will offend me.”

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17 Answers

Ltryptophan's avatar

People like attention. Being offended is giving all the bad attention you don’t want to someone else, yet still getting all the pats on the back from everyone else.

MacBean's avatar

What about the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.”?

I can answer this part of your question: it’s bullshit.

Talimze's avatar

When peoples’ assholes contracted so tight that not even Gordon Freeman could pry them open again. This might have happened sometime in the 90s, but it could have happened even earlier than that.

The only real way to combat this is to offend people as much humanly possible. Incorporate things like rape and child sex slaves into your humor and share it with your friends.

prescottman2008's avatar

@MacBean sure we get our feelings hurt, especially as kids, by people’s words, but my point is, SO WHAT! Your feelings are hurt, get over it, move on, grow up, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not saying I never get offended by what people say or do. I’m asking why have we made things like “hate speech” criminal in nature. There are lots of hateful people on here, just try and answer some of the political or social questions and the hate mongers come pouring out of the word work if your answer doesn’t line up with theirs. I just shrug it off as some kind of mental or emotional disability on their part. I don’t seek a restraining order or try and have them arrested.

lillycoyote's avatar

Offending someone has not become as bad as murder. Offending people is offending people, that simple. Instead of getting all bent out of shape about how “offended” people get, maybe we should listen to them and learn why something is offensive to them instead of thinking they should just “get over it.”

DominicX's avatar

Is this question a manifestation of butthurt about the gay marriage question?

Just wondering. No offense.

prescottman2008's avatar

@DominicX it’s related to that question in that I’m so totally amazed at how people will turn rabid in anger when someone offers an opposing viewpoint.

Silhouette's avatar

I don’t know, I didn’t get the memo. I still offend people, without trying, yeah I’m that good. The PC parade has run amok and I lost interest in trying to please everyone when I was 22.

prescottman2008's avatar

“I am a repeat offender. I repeat, I will offend again.”

DominicX's avatar


I don’t see “rabid anger” in that question. I see you taking anything that disagrees with you as “anger”.

prescottman2008's avatar

@DominicX as so goes the circular argument.

DominicX's avatar

I think you were offended and are now trying to act like you just “brush it off” when you really don’t. Hence this question.

prescottman2008's avatar

@DominicX Thank you for your input

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Talimze ROFL. Sharp and on target as usual. ;^D

DominicX's avatar


You’re welcome.

Now, to answer the “real” question: Offending someone is not as bad as murder. Some people actually like being offended so they have something to complain about. They may not admit to this, but there are people who seem to seek out opportunities to be offended. And you really don’t continue to choose to do something unless if benefits you in some way, even if it’s short-term. (Extremist Muslims seeking out drawings of Mohammed to be outraged about ring a bell?)

Other times, despite the claims that “words can’t hurt”, they do. Kids have committed suicide because of verbal bullying and harassment. Words (not just petty or inaccurate insults) express people’s feelings of hate. Being hated is not pleasant.

Also, yes, some people have lower self-esteem and let things get to them easily. Numerous reasons for that that may not be all that clear, but that is a very real phenomenon.

Berserker's avatar

I think it’s because people are too politically correct about everything. Also, uptight yuppies who consider church picnics the epitome of mayhem.

perspicacious's avatar

PC is out of control. That’s what you are talking about.

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