Offensive In Context YKTTW Discussion

Offensive In Context
A statement that would be neutral or even positive in other circumstances is used as an insult.
(permanent link) added: 2011-05-19 11:21:36 sponsor: Mozgwsloiku (last reply: 2011-05-22 05:59:41)

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Up for Grabs... Do We Have This One?? Probably needs a better description too. Sometimes context of the sentence is such that a normally neutral word becomes an insult. This can be because of Values Dissonance or because the word is used ironically (it doesn't count if the word simply has a double meaning)
  • In Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time, Susan calls Lobsang a "hero" when he fails to foil the villains' plan because he stops to help his teacher.
  • In Legend of the Five Rings the Scorpion clan sometimes uses those, though they are generally too smart to use them as straight insults. For example they value duty over honour (at least honor as defined by the other clans) so calling someone honorable is derogative.
  • In the 19th century Polish drama Dziady, the protagonist is a poet imprisoned in a fortress occupied by Russian forces (back then control over Poland was divided among its three neighbours) He speaks to God demanding that he is given power to free his people. With no answer coming, he becomes more and more bold, finally earning himself a Bolt of Divine Retribution, surviving only because the devil got impatient and finished his sentence for him. The smite-worthy blasphemy? Saying the God is not the king of the world but the tzar.

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