howard male wrote:...don't you think, in some instances, we learn to be offended by certain words?
Words are fashion victims. Words are victims of persecution. And words have their meaning altered overnight (or over decades) as they are 'reclaimed' or stigmatised by different pressure groups.
Reminds me of the brief discourse I had with The Mad Professor over his defending the use of the term "Batty Man" to describe homosexual men (see http://www.ariwa.com/news.htm ). His point was that he isn't homophobic, this is just the phrase he learnt to use growing up in Guyana and he doesn't see why he should change how he speaks to be politically correct. My point was that this phrase had been altered by its use to imply bigotry and violence (especially in the Jamaican dominated reggae world) and so he was risking causing offence even if he didn't intend it, offence being in the eye of the offended! We amicably agreed to disagree.