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Things What Do Baffle Me, Like

posted by St_Eddie on - last edited - Viewed by 444 users

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This is a thread for those of you who have questions about anything from life that they've ever been seeking an explanation from. This could range from the average cost of a pint of milk, to the very meaning of existence itself.

Hopefully we can all help to answer each others questions, whilst also having our own curiosity and general bafflement resolved in the process.

I'll kick things off...


* Oranges are orange, but why? It's not as if we refer to bananas as "yellows"! Did our wording for the colour derive from the fruit or vice versa?

* Who the heck is Gordon Bennett anyway?! Like many others, I have a tendency to utter his name in anger when I'm in a state of minor annoyance (I reserve the phrase "fucking cunt bag" for when my annoyance levels slip into the red!) but I am completely clueless as to whom Gordon Bennett actually was.

* Why does my neighbor insist on playing on his bongos at three in the morning? The fucking cunt bag!

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  • On a very related note, swear words have always baffled me, to some degree. I've always wondered, why do they actually sound worse than other words? What is it about them that triggers that response in our brain; why do we automatically label them 'offensive' upon hearing them?

    This is especially confounding when you consider their definitions. 'Sh*t' means 'poo', essentially. But why is it that one is widely considered inappropriate, yet the other is entirely innocent? They're both colloquialisms for fecal matter, yet people respond to them so differently. And the word 'f*ck' means 'fornicate' - they have the same definition - yet one will make certain people gasp when used suddenly, whilst the other would only trigger mild confusion, and perhaps slight disgust, depending on the context.

    Why are these certain words so offensive, whilst their synonyms leave eyelids relatively un-batted? Why have I chosen to censor these words in this post; why do I also buy into this social code without even thinking about it? I truth, I do know why: because it's what I've been told all of my life, and it's constantly re-enforced by society. But still, I do find it kind of odd to think about.

    Edit: You know, if he was still a member of this forum, this thread would be an absolute haven for doodo! and his ramblings.

  • @St_Eddie said:
    [I]* Oranges are orange, but why? It's not as if we refer to bananas as "yellows"! Did our wording for the colour derive from the fruit or vice versa?



    I hope this answers your question! :)

  • @Giant Tope said: I hope this answers your question! :)



    This only raises another question, though. Why did we name the colour after the orange? Why not the papaya, the mandarin, the kiwano, the tangelo, or the persimmon?

  • @Hayden said: On a very related note, swear words have always baffled me, to some degree. I've always wondered, why do they actually sound worse than other words? What is it about them that triggers that response in our brain; why do we automatically label them 'offensive' upon hearing them?

    This is especially confounding when you consider their definitions. 'Sh*t' means 'poo', essentially. But why is it that one is widely considered inappropriate, yet the other is entirely innocent? They're both colloquialisms for fecal matter, yet people respond to them so differently. And the word 'f*ck' means 'fornicate' - they have the same definition - yet one will make certain people gasp when used suddenly, whilst the other would only trigger mild confusion, and perhaps slight disgust, depending on the context.

    Why are these certain words so offensive, whilst their synonyms leave eyelids relatively un-batted? Why have I chosen to censor these words in this post; why do I also buy into this social code without even thinking about it? I truth, I do know why: because it's what I've been told all of my life, and it's constantly re-enforced by society. But still, I do find it kind of odd to think about.

    Edit: You know, if he was still a member of this forum, this thread would be an absolute haven for doodo! and his ramblings.



    I actually know the answer to this one!

    It's because of class and language and conquerors and vanquished. Now that I've got your attention, I'll begin.

    Basically, originally in England, I'm guessing when it was under Saxon control, these words were part of everyday speech. However, when William the Conqueror came over from France and conquered England in 1066, there was a major shift in the balance of power and the vast majority of the upper class (nobility and the like) were Norman and spoke a French dialect.

    This dialect mixed with the basic English-type language that was already in place and certain French words, replaced words from that language. Of course, since the upper class used the French words, these words were deemed more delicate and proper to use, while the peasants were the ones using the more "common" words. Since everyone wants to sound better than they are, there was a slow shift towards using the "more proper" French words.

    In a more basic example, when we eat pig meat, we don't call it "pig" which is derived from a Saxon word. We call it pork or bacon which are derived from French. I'm assuming that much the same would go for what we consider obscenities.

  • @Giant Tope said: I hope this answers your question! :)



    Partially, thank you.

    @Giant Tope said: This only raises another question, though. Why did we name the colour after the orange? Why not the papaya, the mandarin, the kiwano, the tangelo, or the persimmon?

    Precisely. Anyone?

    @Giant Tope said: Gordon Bennett.

    Ah, thanks. That's one thing that I'm no longer baffled about in life. :)

  • I get confused about lady stuff.
    Like clothes, undergarments, sanitary products, makeup.
    So much variety! It maddening! 0_o

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    Darth Marsden Moderator

    Well, obviously it's because a woman can never make up her mind on anything unless she has a million choices to pick from. Why should her appearance be any different? :D

    (Man, I'm on a massive anti-female bent today. Must have gotten up on the wrong side of the hooker)

  • It's kind of amusing how confused men get nowadays when for thousands of years they were dictating what women could wear. An action that still affects what women choose to wear.

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