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Do Words Hurt?

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posted on May, 5 2013 @ 01:48 PM
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Do words hurt?



“Sicks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

Child proverb



I could compose this entire entry in cuss words dripping with the vile poison of sexually explicit metaphor without shedding a single drop of blood. In fact, squiggles on paper, pixels on a screen, the audible sounds coming out of a mouth—all of them are incapable of inflicting any force on anything save for an echo. There is not a single sharp edge or infectious corner to any word or phrase that anyone has ever declared. Of course, if I were to articulate or describe accurately the sweaty and writhing contortion involved in sexual intercourse using words outside the boundary of medical terminology, I would be deemed offensive, and I would also be breaking some mythical rule protecting us from these absolutely harmless letters.

If we think about it, every time we are offended by the words of another, we are instead offended by our own thoughts about them. We offend ourselves, and mistakenly assume it is the words that harm, when it is us doing the damage. No, the word is harmless. There is only one perpetrator of that nervous pain we feel every time a word offends us; there is only one guilty party of these crimes to our tastes; there is only ever one who would consider suicide in the face of what amounts to no more than—

Words, my friends—maybe we revere them too much? Isn’t condemning them, demonizing them, simply believing them to be more than they are the very definition of superstition? Isn’t all superstition born of this deifying of words?

Words are as fleeting as the thoughts that arise when we hear them. They convey nothing but the past-tense, a ghost-like imagery, the thoughts of another conceived by the thoughts of our own—a first hand imagining of second hand notions. What is in them to fear? What is in them to deify? the weakness that is another’s thoughts?

“You are worthless. You are ugly. You are fat. You are a slut. You are scum.” You are more powerful than any combination of words ever spoken. Whenever people spew insults maliciously, they mistakenly assume you are weaker than what they speak, that you will buckle under the pressure of that which can apply no pressure. What they in fact assume is the impossible, thereby displaying nothing but stupidity with every utterance. We should laugh at that stupidity, shame it and call it for what it is.

If the rise in censorship, political correctness and verbal bullying is any indication of a growing superstition and credulity towards words, maybe its time to re-examine that old schoolyard principle and seek where to apply it. Maybe it is time to avoid censoring words, burning books, seeking political correctness, henceforth bestowing some mythical power on language, and, finally, address and take responsibility over our own thoughts.

Despite their majestic power and menacing color, words are only ever as dangerous as the one who hears them. The child knows this, and the child is always right.

Something to think about.

Thank you for reading,




edit on 5-5-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 5 2013 @ 01:49 PM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 01:56 PM
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The only way for humans to communicate is to make mental images using words. The reason why certain people do not like certain words are because they force someone to think about things they would rather not.

Just by reading the word blue I have spelled you into thinking about your interpretation of blue

elephant
hotdog
computer

Some words create vile imagery, they hurt pure souls



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


Words are spirit and they affect the spirit.

Peaceful words and angry words have no difference only to those who do not listen.
edit on 023131p://000 by backcase because: bad grammar



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 





Do Words Hurt?


At one time the mean spirited name calling and the marginalization of being labeled a "people like you" hurt my feelings on ATS but I was told by the MODS to get a thicker skin. So I did.... and don't even bother to report the increasing ugliness I see here.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:09 PM
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Words can more hurt as a sword...
and those wounds need longer to heal.




posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by backcase
 



Words are spirit and they affect the spirit.

Peaceful words and angry words have no difference only to those who do not listen.


Only the spirit affects the spirit. Words convey nothing but your own spirit.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:18 PM
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If words had no effect they wouldn't yell at you in boot camp. DI's job is to break your spirit, destroy your will and replace it with their own.

A will to kill.






posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 



If words had no effect they wouldn't yell at you in boot camp. DI's job is to break your spirit, destroy your will and replace it with their own.

A will to kill.


I have argued that the only affect is the affect one has on oneself. It is because we have a superstition regarding words that we believe them to have power over us.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by backcase
 



Words are spirit and they affect the spirit.

Peaceful words and angry words have no difference only to those who do not listen.


Only the spirit affects the spirit. Words convey nothing but your own spirit.



Philosophical BS rhetoric.

As a practical matter go out and start insulting people and see who gets their teeth knocked out or worse.

Then who's hurt?

Academic tripe!!

This is the response you were looking for LM, huh?
edit on 5-5-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:22 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 


These words say more about the one who utters them more than they do about my mother.

edit on 5-5-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:25 PM
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reply to post by olaru12
 



Philosophical BS rhetoric.

As a practice matter go out and start insulting people and see who gets their teeth knocked out or worse.

Then who's hurt?

Academic tripe!!


See? Nothing. Your words have not affected a thing but yourself. I look at your words and see superstitious nonsense, a deifying of words, pretending they are more powerful then they are, when it is simply not the case. How you deal with your imagination is your doing.

ETA: I agree however, that I would be punched in the face, even though that by insulting them, I only hurt myself.
edit on 5-5-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:35 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by olaru12
 



Philosophical BS rhetoric.

As a practice matter go out and start insulting people and see who gets their teeth knocked out or worse.

Then who's hurt?

Academic tripe!!


See? Nothing. Your words have not affected a thing but yourself. I look at your words and see superstitious nonsense, a deifying of words, pretending they are more powerful then they are, when it is simply not the case. How you deal with your imagination is your doing.


As articulate as you are; Your thoughts and post mean absolutely nothing to me; because I don't care what you say or think.

Is that what you wanted to hear?



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:36 PM
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I think that words can hurt.

They are thoughts and opinions of others - and everyone is going to feel as they do about what they are hearing/reading from other individuals. The reaction is much on the receiver - as the person putting out hurtful words - generally do so to illicit a certain sort of reaction - for ego gratification.

It's part of our learning process. When I know my words have "hurt" somebody, I always feel bad. I then attempt to auto correct. Through experience and interaction. I try not to repeat the mistake again. Sometime I still do - but I try to stay cognizant of mistakes I make. I make them all the time. Some won't internalize it that way. Some will think, score 1 for me. I don't know why some people are like that, or think that way. Different place in growth and being?

That's the best way I can put it. I always feel a little out of place and adrift in Les Mis's threads. His understanding and wealth in knowledge of philosophy - far surpasses my own.

Cirque



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by intrptr
 



If words had no effect they wouldn't yell at you in boot camp. DI's job is to break your spirit, destroy your will and replace it with their own.

A will to kill.


I have argued that the only affect is the affect one has on oneself. It is because we have a superstition regarding words that we believe them to have power over us.

Tell that to the Private Pyle's of the world.

www.google.com...

Or the abused kids that shoot up schools and movie theaters. What we see is a product of many years of verbal and emotional abuse. A touch to much and... wham. I say be nice to someone if you can.

Interesting notion for a thread. You do realize that you are tempting people to insult you here? And you say your armor is thick. Let me know how you feel at the end of the day...



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:42 PM
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reply to post by olaru12
 





As articulate as you are; Your thoughts and post mean absolutely nothing to me; because I don't care what you say or think.

Is that what you wanted to hear?



Absolutely.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by intrptr
 



Tell that to the Private Pyle's of the world.

www.google.com...

Or the abused kids that shoot up schools and movie theaters. What we see is a product of many years of verbal and emotional abuse. A touch to much and... wham. I say be nice to someone if you can.

Interesting notion for a thread. You do realize that you are tempting people to insult you here? And you say your armor is thick. Let me know how you feel at the end of the day...


I'm not denying this at all. Bullying and emotional abuse is a big deal. But what I'm saying is that maybe its a big deal because we are too superstitious about words. Maybe we should see words for what they are. Maybe we should teach that words say more about the one who says them than the one they're directed at.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:48 PM
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Ofcourse words hurt.. 'Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.' is a pretty dumb statement imo. Being punched in the face only hurts for a few moments. Words however can sting for a very long time, because most people keep thinking about the insult over and over again. You can completely destroy someone's mood with a few harsh words, just ask anyone who's been bullied.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by CirqueDeTruth
 



It's part of our learning process. When I know my words have "hurt" somebody, I always feel bad. I then attempt to auto correct. Through experience and interaction. I try not to repeat the mistake again. Sometime I still do - but I try to stay cognizant of mistakes I make. I make them all the time. Some won't internalize it that way. Some will think, score 1 for me. I don't know why some people are like that, or think that way. Different place in growth and being?


I agree here. Care should be taken when speaking or writing words. But not because they may hurt someone, but because they reflect on ourselves more than anything. They say more about us then the one they're about.



That's the best way I can put it. I always feel a little out of place and adrift in Les Mis's threads. His understanding and wealth in knowledge of philosophy - far surpasses my own.


Everyone is a philosopher. Everyone is insightful. Don't ever feel out of place here. This is even ground.



posted on May, 5 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by Brutebever
 


Find one example in the history of language of a word or phrase causing harm. There isn't one. Every time it is the one who hears the words doing damage to themselves.





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