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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Articulation VS Context

There are many words that are interchangeable within each language itself, but there are also words that should stay isolated to themselves, because even if they mean the same thing, the context in which the words are used present different meanings. Especially in such a society of scrutiny, one mistake in articulation could provoke a lawsuit.

For example, the word "false" and the word "faux". Faux is the French word that means false. However, these words are seldom interchangeable, as it would be quite offensive to address a prized faux fur coat as a false fur coat. Likewise, you can't fauxly accuse someone of a crime.

Let's bring in another word with a little bit of a heavier meaning. A slut and a whore may seem the same thing, and they are usually used hand-in-hand. However, a whore is someone who actually makes a living from her sexual encounters, while a slut is just a woman with the morals of a man.

Similarly, a transgender individual and an effeminate male are two completely different individuals. Just because of religious or faithful opinions, you can't merge them together.

I've pretty much never had a problem with people within the LGBT community. People are entitled to being comfortable with being themselves. Being brought up in a pretty traditional Chinese family, homosexuality was taboo, and boys who were effeminate would be cruelly made fun of.

One of these boys that I cruelly took part in bullying turned out to be one of my best friends, sharing passions for Japanese culture, cats, and make-up. There are only a few whom I reach out to during my darkest and most confused and afraid of times - he is one of them, though I've come to open up more than I ever have with my current partner.

Social media and university has further opened my eyes to the LGBT community, and I find that it's harder and harder to stomach how so many people are still anti-LGBT, and some go as far as to boycott an incredible talent JUST BECAUSE they act different than everyone else.

We keep telling each other "to each his own", and everyone's different. I find that for the LGBT community, they're their own unique type of different - they're no different than anyone of us, because they too are their own limited edition.

I'm writing this not meaning to offend anyone, but I had someone address my best friend as an "ah gua", which translates into transgender in common Cantonese. All in all, what I'm just trying to say is that some words are best left to be used in their respective contexts. And I'd be really grateful if people pointed out some mistakes that I make myself in this field of vocabulary.

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