Fluorescent Dreams Wax Cylinders - Death of a mailmare...

25th of February, 2012

12:01 - Death of a mailmare...

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From:loganberrybunny
Date:2012-Feb-26 12:34 am (UTC)
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Not being a pony person, I'm not entirely sure (even after reading the linked text) what the actual reason for changing the name was. Not being American, either, I don't know how strong a term "derpy" actually is. Does anyone actually consider it offensive, for example? (Here in the UK, for example, "retarded" is widely considered very offensive, which doesn't seem to be quite so much the case in the US.)
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From:chipuni
Date:2012-Feb-26 01:12 am (UTC)
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It's a new term, spread through the Internet.

Is it offensive? I consider it so... but not strongly offensive.




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From:loganberrybunny
Date:2012-Feb-26 02:37 am (UTC)
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I think it's a Transatlantic divide thing. To me, "retard" in particular is very offensive, as much so in its way as the likes of "nigger". You simply didn't see it in the UK before the internet unless someone was trying to be that offensive. It's probably the AmEng term of abuse I have the most difficulty with accepting as relatively mild.

It works the other way as well, of course, though in different fields. For example, the game most Americans call "Telephone" is still almost universally known as "Chinese whispers" in the UK, even in quite formal contexts. (Here's a Cambridgeshire NHS page using it, in point 6.)
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From:oliver_otter
Date:2012-Feb-26 03:15 pm (UTC)
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In US usage, even spelling out "The N-Word" when referring to it is considered offensive. *deletes your name and changes your voice for it* ;-)
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From:loganberrybunny
Date:2012-Feb-26 06:59 pm (UTC)
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A lot of British media outlets would write "n*****" or the sort, too. However, the paper I read (The Guardian) has what I think is a good policy: either write a word out in full, or don't use it at all. The paper considers things like "the n-word" and "the f-word" to be cop-outs. (Obviously I'm not on my own LJ here, so chipuni would have every right to delete my comment if desired!)
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From:oliver_otter
Date:2012-Feb-27 12:24 am (UTC)
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Nah, I meant only to poke fun at the idea that because you may possibly have offended someone, your entire identity should be deleted.

It's an undeserved fate for either you, or poor Derpy.
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From:loganberrybunny
Date:2012-Feb-27 01:53 am (UTC)
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Indeed. Basic human rights do not include the right never to be offended.
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From:rowyn
Date:2012-Feb-26 01:34 pm (UTC)
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I've only heard 'derpy' in the context of people describing an action they took, to mean 'that was silly/stupid of me'. So I don't think of it as offensive, not having heard it used to denigrate people. Obviously, other people have different experiences.
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From:bernmarx
Date:2012-Feb-26 03:10 pm (UTC)
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I think the problem might have to do with a rapidly evolving term and cultural clashes in that regard.

In the US, it's typical for teens to use words to refer to something as stupid that are offensive to some group: "That's so retarded" and "that's so gay" are the two most common, although I've also heard people complain about "that's so lame" (I don't see the problem as clearly there, because "lame" can refer to either a person or a thing).

I've never heard someone say "that's so derpy", but I *have* seen several high school students apparently mimic a person with a cognitive impairment while saying "Derptyderptyderp". One of them apologized to me (their teacher) afterwards by saying, "Oh, I guess I shouldn't make fun of them". So for at least *some* US teens, "derpy" is becoming a synonym for "retarded".

The thing is, though, I don't know how widespread that is. Obviously, for a lot of people, "derpy" just means "stupid", in a non-offensive and even self-deprecatory way. The most famous person with derped eyes was Marty Feldman, well before the term "derp" was in use, and he played silly and vaguely stupid but not cognitively impaired characters, such as Igor in Young Frankenstein.

So I don't know. I imagine most people who actually use "derpy" mean it to be non-offensive and silly, but there are a small number who use it to mean something offensive. But terms evolve, and there might be the concern that over time the word might well become much more widely offensive. Or this might be trigger happy political correctness based on a small group of offended individuals who think a group that rightfully shouldn't be laughed at because of their impairment aren't being laughed at (I'm reminded of the original Jar Jar Binks kerfuffle, where Lucas was accused of being racist for creating a "Sambo" character, even though (1) Ahmed Best, a black actor, not George Lucas, a white director, came up with the accent and mannerisms and (2) Jar Jar Binks's actual lines weren't in a grammar typical of any "Sambo"-style character *I'm* familiar with).
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