I have a huge issue with people who use phrases and don't think about what they're saying. For example, "Oh my God"...if you're at the bar, you probably won't offend anyone, however, if you say it in a Baptist church, it's a little rude as it's seen as taking the Lord's name in vain.
There are some day to day ones though that make me question what kind of society we are. I'd like to think we care about treating everyone fairly but here's the thing - words are a very easy way to ostracize a group of people. People kill themselves over words. People stay silent because of other people's words creating fear. Words have clout.
Example? When's the last time you used the word 'nigger' as a white person? Personally, I think it's offensive. Why? Because for me to say it as a white person is saying "I am okay with this word devaluing you because of your skin colour"...nah, I'm really not so that word is not even in my vocabulary when I stub my toe.
How about 'That's retarded'? So you'd like to compare a situation you find stupid or irritating to someone who has a mental disability? That's not equality at all, is it? So we're teaching other people that we feel retardation is a good insult for a situation. Nope, I'm not okay with that either.
So here's my new favorite and reason for my Sammy-rant. 'No homo' is the most recent one I've seen. In context?
Guy 1 to Guy 2 - I like your shirt...no homo.
Are you really that afraid that because you say you like a shirt, a haircut or even a song that you're going to be perceived as queer? Heaven forbid someone question your sexuality. How about you walk around in a shirt that say's "I'm really really not gay"
In a generation when queer teens are killing themselves because they're being bullied so badly, we're going to start saying "no homo" because some ass started using it because "he's most certainly not gay and his sexuality won't be questioned..." Give me a break.
Your sexuality is not called into question because you say 'no homo' but your common sense definitely is.
In an ideal society, which is what I want to work towards, your sexuality might just be determined by, oh I don't know, who you're sexually attracted to? Who you're sleeping with?
What a weird thought, eh? Sexuality determined based on who we are attracted to? Who would have thought of that one.
Words do have power and do change the world - so maybe we could actually start to use our power, our freedom of expression to start doing some good and not verbally ostracize people.