Nicknames: Playful or Hurtful?

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We’ve all gotten the everyday, playful nickname, my brother calls me Jaynebugs for some reason, but if the person giving you the nickname doesn’t know you very well, there’s a fine line between playful and offensive. I believe that our society needs to be less visual and notice people for who they are and not just what they look like because I think that’s when nicknames start to get a little less good-humored and a little more insulting.
First of all, you never know how people will react to certain things or what they’re most insecure about so while you may think you’re just being a jokester, you may point out a certain trait that someone is really self conscious about.
Secondly, this is a topic that I am really passionate about because I’m in a wheelchair and this sort of thing happens to me all the time. For instance, yesterday I almost missed my bus and I have to go through one of the special-ed classes to get to it. Since I was late, one of the teachers said something like, “You’d better head out there quick, Wheels.” And it really bugged me.
Plus, you’d think as a Special-ed teacher, he’d be a little more sensitive about such things.
Some people may think that nicknames are always in a teasing, joking manner but they would be wrong because it depends on the situation.
Third, that fine line I mentioned earlier is the difference between teasing and bullying. Think about it, bullies use nicknames for the people they pick on all the time: Loser, homo, cripple… the list goes on but I’ll stop there. The only reason any bully says those things is because the people they harass don’t conform to the group of people they’re used to being around or they’re insecure about themselves.
If our society wasn’t so visual, judgmental and emotionally crippling, the world would be a better place and every nickname would be cute and light-hearted.





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remembermeplz said...
Jun. 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm

amazing,I never thought of it that way

I really really like this =)

 
joybell said...
Jun. 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm
A very thought-provoking article!  We should all think twice before we speak!  Thanks, Jaynebugs!
 
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