Mister Scratch wrote:
I wouldn't worry about it, Harmony. For the most part, I think that those who were "offended" are merely putting on a display of incredibly immature Victorianism. I mean, at least one of the "offended" once said that he preferred to imagine that Heavenly Father impregnated Mary via artificial insemination rather than good, old fashioned coitus. It's therefore no surprise that a word like "prick" would send them scurrying for the smelling salts.
It's unfortunate that many people, quite a few Mormons among ''em, don't "worry about it" when they "offend" people. It's always the offendee's problem isn't it? I don't see a lot of statements on this thread about people being "offended". I thought the question was more one of whether the term "prick" when directed at a specific person, in anger (or what seems like an angry tone) is vulgar or not. I'm not quite sure at the moment if curse words are allowed in this forum at all (I know there are a few words that are blanked out) but looking at it purely from a language point of view, it seems there is no connotation other than vulgarity when used in the way harmony used it, whether she intended that or not. There is nothing scriptural, it would seem, in calling someone a "self-righteous prick".
As for being offended, who said they were? Other than perhaps DCP, although I can't see where he specifically stated that. But who wouldn't take it as the vulgarity it seems when stated to them directly?
A while back, a poster here called me a "bitch", out of the blue, for reasons I could not fathom. It didn't get moderated out but nor did I complain to the mods about it (and this was before the Great Moderational Experiment and I think that rules have changed since then). While many people might consider that a very mild comment and so common as not to even be vulgar any more, I'm not accustomed to being called a B. As well, in my work experience, any male who refers to a female with that term is being purposely offensive and it is often part of a larger habit and practice of abuse. I know it is not possible to weight our words and formulate our posts so as to tiptoe around each and every reader's unique sensibilities, whatever they may be, but it's fairly obvious that using derogatory or profane speech directed towards another (yes, even in cyberspace, as message boards particularly are a "community") has a high probability of wounding the other person or their supporters or many readers or all the above.
To say that one doesn't care whether someone else takes their profanity personally does not make the "offended" one ridiculous but rather reflects poorly on the offender, no matter how much they deny that. To me, it's a bull-in-a-china-shop approach to human interaction to insist on one's right to be vulgar and then ridicule the party who takes issue with you for that. Bull or bully - close to the same thing in that sense.
Paying attention to the language we use to communicate, particularly crucial in the medium we are using here, is not "incredibly immature Victorianism" but rather displays a wish to maximize communication (very much needed given the subject matter here) and possibly a wish to conduct oneself civilly with other posters, which has to be the foundation of any board or else who would want to even participate?
Mr. Scratch, I'd be interested to see how you would react if DCP called you a "self-righteous prick". That would most instantly become the sig line of quite a few posters, including yours, I'm sure. Can you deny that you would take it as at least a very derogatory and offensive comment, if not acknowledge that it is listed in the dictionary to be "vulgar slang"?
That is all the point has been for me on this. Hardly immature. Hardly Victorian. Just stating a fact. It is vulgar slang. I believe there is a good chance that harmony did not realize that but still it's hard for me to imagine using a scriptural term and meaning in a derogatory way against a fellow church member (or anyone actually). So either way, it is surprising - that is all. I have no quarrel with harmony. I was just interested in the language part of this discussion and trying to be objective about that at least.
It's not "the word" as Scratch tries to portray it above. It is how it is used. That was the point. I can say "prick" 100 times a day at work and think nothing of it (with the connotation referred to in my above post re injections in a medical setting) but there can be no denying that using it as a derogatory noun, especially enhanced with a negative adjective, is bound to be seen as intending offence. Even in the 21st Century.