Language and the Context Imperative

We all have hot button words that annoy us, or piss us off. But why is that? A word is just a word, and each person places context in each word differently. Does that make the word itself inherently bad? This can also work for words that make us feel good. Just because they make us feel good, does not make the word inherently good.

Language is designed to give us the ability to show context and meaning to our thoughts, to other people. It's whole purpose is to communicate what we're thinking, and want other people to know, in as efficient of a manner possible. So even though the English Language for example has huge variations in context based on culture and location, it's core is pretty much the same.

So while we can say that we should be wary of words because we are unsure of the context they have with other people, I think we should also be wary of the fact that not everyone shares the same context of that word. Some find the words "God Damn" in succession to be offensive, based on their religious beliefs. Some people find the word "Cunt", "Fuck", and "Shit" to be offensive, based around their historical contexts and social acceptances.

But do any of these words have inherent poor context? Their meanings may be negative in some cases, but their inherent use is not always negative and can sometimes even be a positive reaction. We've all heard "Holy Shit" used in a sense of disbelief, which is not always negative connotation. Same can be said for "Holy Fuck", or "God Damn". The Word "Cunt" is a trickier situation, since it is widely accepted by culture to have a negative connotation and used almost exclusively in a negative way.

The same can be said for the word "Nigger". I would like to note that I do not use the words "Cunt" or "Nigger" hardly ever(the only time I can think of is right now to use as examples of extreme negatives), though not entirely due to their social stigma or fear of offending, but because the words themselves do not do a very good job of placing context in the way I want. I simply don't feel the need to use them.

What was the point of all this? Hopefully to get you thinking about the contexts you use in your vocabulary, and understanding how others speak to you as well. It's always important to remember that we all use our vocabulary differently!