Kimberley Sullivan's Blog

Which words are the most offensive?!

Posted on: August 22, 2010

In the wake of backlash that Jennifer Aniston is receiving for having said “retard” in an interview on Regis and Kelly (watch the full interview HERE) — I found an article bringing us which words people find the most offensive.
 
Some words are so bad that if you’re in the public limelight and you get caught saying any one of them, you’ll probably lose your job.

Just ask Isaiah Washington (calling his co-star, T.R. Knight, a “faggot”) or Mel Gibson (he really knows!!) some words are worse than others. The Harris Poll set out to determine which words are most offensive, hateful and abhorrent.

The Question asked: “How offensive do you find each term below if it were publicly used by people in the media or in politics (such as radio personalities, movie/TV stars or politicians) and was directed at a person or a group of people?”

Results:

N-word: 85 percent found it offensive, 53 percent very offensive, 8 percent not at all offensive

Faggot: 81 percent found it offensive, 45 percent found it very offensive, 8 percent not at all offensive.

Ho: 72 percent found it offensive, 33 percent found it very offensive, 17 percent not at all offensive.

Queer: 70 percent found it offensive, 34 percent found it very offensive, 15 percent not at all offensive.

Kike: 68 percent found it offensive, 39 percent found it very offensive, 10 percent not at all offensive.

Other interesting facts:

The U.S. adult public has somewhat mixed feelings about what should be done to prevent the use of such language. Some 27 percent of people think the government should ban offensive words on television or radio. However, 34 percent feel that offensive words shouldn’t be banned; rather, broadcasters should set their own standards for respectful and appropriate language. Finally, 30 percent of U.S. adults feel that the government shouldn’t do anything; instead, individuals should self-monitor and screen for what they consider appropriate.

What do you think?!

More stats:

  • 69 percent said that actor/comedian Michael Richards’s use of the n-word was offensive, while 30 percent found it extremely offensive.
  • 63 percent found actor Mel Gibson’s use of Jewish slurs to be offensive, and 22 percent said it was extremely offensive.
  • 54 percent felt that actor Isaiah Washington’s use of “faggot” was offensive; 18 percent described it as extremely offensive.
  • Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s reference to Senator Barack Obama as “Obama Osama” was thought to be offensive by 50 percent and extremely offensive to 16 percent.
  •  

    Of course, this was a survey of Americans and I do think that we think very differently, but I also think that these words might bring up similar results in our country…
     
    Interesting!
     
    Kim 😉
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