- "I really didn't appreciate what you said."
- "I am really pissed off at your dumb ass right now."
See, I think part of the problem I'm running into with some (white) folk these days is, I think those two sentences are (at a deeper level) identical in terms of meaning. It's just the former attempts to disguise/minimize the speaker's emotional state, while the latter just throws it all out there, sort of the Negro version of the Satir mode Leveling.
Meaning, I see no problem with responding to the first sentence with the second one (or, if I'm in a playful mood, with "And would you like a list of things I don't appreciate?").
Which response(s) generally cause the (white) person I'm talking to to go into wounded puppy/victim mode and ask why I'm being so mean or angry or uppity. As for that last one, duh, it's right in the domain, fool. Angry, um, at least I'm honestly expressing that anger instead of gift-wrapping it in psychobabble. And mean?
I'd argue that one.
I am, however, calm enough right now to discuss this matter. And I think it's necessary, because otherwise I'm gonna
keep having to slap mother fuckers down keep running into the same difficulties.
Oh, one last thing, though. This is a restricted request for discussion on the whole language use thing, as separate from social context generally and my particular social context specifically. My response to unsolicited advice these days is, "Why don't you try looking in a mirror? Before I fucking smash you into one face-first?"
Just so we're clear on that.
No, this is calm. Really. You can tell, because I'm swearing. When I'm really pissed off, I start writing like a linguist.
Update: Ok, now that the bits of my brain that refuse to operate properly until they're loaded up with caffeine and nicotine are satisfied. . .
I realize the second example sentence (should'a used <ul> for that list) is overtly hostile, but I'd argue that the first is covertly so, and I have neither the time nor the patience for dealing with that sort of bullshit these days. I know the game, probably better than most of the people playing it, and I don't feel like playing it anymore, capeesh?
Now it's possible the person who is playing isn't aware that that's what they're doing on a conscious level.
Ask me if I care.
Things like that hinder rather than assist honest dialogue, even if those who use 'em honestly believe that they're being mature. I'd argue, again, that they're really not, and figure the proof is how quickly they lose it -- sometimes totally lose it -- when you refuse to play along.
Oh, and I am being mean up in there; you can't really separate language use from a social context. Well, you can, but only at a more abstract/theoretical level than what I'm banging on about here.
The colorless green ideas, they sleep furiously.