Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by SpunkySix » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:58 am

Hey, if they're dead-set on creating and popularizing a powerful slur against themselves, I'm in no position to stop them. But I can certainly sit here and shake my head at how ass-backward it is.

Especially when they then turn around and say that other people can't use it based on their skin color. The irony is palpable.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by brythain » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:39 am

SpunkySix wrote:
Hey, if they're dead-set on creating and popularizing a powerful slur against themselves, I'm in no position to stop them. But I can certainly sit here and shake my head at how ass-backward it is.
Especially when they then turn around and say that other people can't use it based on their skin color. The irony is palpable.
As I've always said, language is contextual in effect. If a Democrat calls someone 'very Republican', it's different from a Republican saying the same thing... :D
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:15 am

brythain wrote:From my idea of a rational perspective, the reasonable approach is that if a group doesn't want to have a certain word applied to them, then one asks, "So, what term do you prefer?" and then uses their term when addressing them. This may not reach lexical standards, but it serves social purposes. I will continue to use 'mute' when not addressing that particular group because it's not offensive to those outside that group.
Agreed. And I have never used it to address that group and probably never will, unless I find myself in - was it Canada? - for some reason and run into them by chance. I'm using it in a public setting - mainly this forum - and one of them happens to read along.
And yes, you could argue that by participating in this discussion I am addressing him, but it would be kind of silly to discuss the term without using it, wouldn't it?
A test I use is this: Can I go up to a person and say, "Are you (descriptor)?" without making that person feel that I am implying a negative? So if I went up to a person and said "Are you tall?", "Are you purple?", "Are you mute?", "Are you deaf?", "Are you fat?" etc, and thought of how they'd feel being asked that, I'd get a good feel for whether a term had negative connotation in my environment.
Hmm, I just thought about that and found that if someone asked me "Are you intelligent?" or "Are you sane?" I would probably take that as offensive as well, so this works with both positive and negative words, since you're effectively calling the positive trait in question.
For neutral words like "mute", "tall" or "brunette" I don't see a problem, unless there is some kind of inflection (i.e. noticeable intent to offend).
Mirage_GSM said that 'mute' in a library may be seen as positive—I don't see it as relevant because in libraries (and at tennis competitions) you are told 'Silence Please', not 'Muteness Please'.
I didn't watch a tennis match in a long time, but iIrc the term there is "Quiet Please". I don't see why it matters, though. I didn't claim that you are told "Muteness Please" in a library, I said that Muteness is an appreciated trait while in a library - the same as silence and quiet.
Finally, just because you have never thought of it as a negative 'thing' doesn't mean it isn't. I don't think of being (for example) East or South Asian as a negative 'thing', but I've encountered situations where if you were Asian, it would not be a positive; I've even encountered situations where being differently Asian would do that.
I don't know what kind of situations you are talking about, (I imagine standing in a congregation of racists) but in any of those situations, would substitute the word "Asian" for anything else help? Noone who has nothing against Asian people would consider the term offensive. Anyone who does will continue to hate them no matter what word you use.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by Silentcook » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:08 am

Watch it with the pissing competitions.

Kinda impressive otherwise that things lasted this long without degenerating majorly (and to a degree of pointlessness I'm probably not culturally equipped to understand, but hey).
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by BMFJack » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:41 am

metalangel wrote:I provided a lot of facts and evidence. I wouldn't have made the original assertion unless I could back it up
Yet you've still failed to do so. Atario broke down that particular link, explaining why it was incorrect in the worst ways. The other quotes you posted only claimed the term "deaf-mute" to be offensive, which isn't the topic here.
metalangel wrote:I saw you all unable to agree on what kind of muteness she had and thought I'd say it's not even the right term in her case, here's why and here's an alternative.
Except that's not correct at all. Shizune doesn't talk - and it doesn't matter whether that's by choice or not by the way, we've shown you the definition of mute from several different places - so that means that she is mute. This is what I mean when I say you're being irritating; insisting that you are correct despite direct factual evidence that you are wrong. I'm not referring to the offensiveness of the term "mute" here, but your personal definition of it. It's incorrect, period.
metalangel wrote:I don't know why you guys don't seem to have seen the quotes I posted from terminology sites on the CAD and WFD sites earlier but they are there.
Again with an example of being condescending/irritating. It's already been explained several times why those quotes are incorrect, but Atario broke it down pretty clearly for us and saved me the trouble this time around.
metalangel wrote:The likes of me can't go telling you it's actually there, I'm probably making that up too!
This whole condescending/irritating thing is becoming a trend. Please try to be respectful, this discussion has been relatively civil so far and I'd like to keep it that way. Beyond that, he was referencing this, which you conveniently left out of your quote:
metalangel wrote:There was that humdinger of being 'deaf by choice'.
metalangel wrote:Is there much point doing anything else at this stage?
So your only reaction to having factual evidence provided to you about how you're wrong is to become condescending?
metalangel wrote:Is that a 'technically correct is the best type of correct' situation?
It's not just technically correct, it's factually correct. The only thing on the table here that can't be proven is whether or not deaf people find the term "mute" offensive. You tried to sidestep that one, but I caught you.

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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by brythain » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:54 am

Silentcook wrote:Watch it with the pissing competitions.

Kinda impressive otherwise that things lasted this long without degenerating majorly (and to a degree of pointlessness I'm probably not culturally equipped to understand, but hey).
I think it must be a measure of our level of diss ability. :D
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by BMFJack » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:01 am

brythain wrote:
Silentcook wrote:Watch it with the pissing competitions.

Kinda impressive otherwise that things lasted this long without degenerating majorly (and to a degree of pointlessness I'm probably not culturally equipped to understand, but hey).
I think it must be a measure of our level of diss ability. :D
I consider it a compliment to the quality of Katawa Shoujo; generally speaking the people who enjoyed it the most and are dedicated enough to keep coming back to the forums years after they initially played the game are pretty decent people :)

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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by Charmant » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:27 pm

brythain wrote:Interesting question: what do you call someone with substantial lower-limb impairment that precludes a normal range of locomotion?

Such people used to be known as 'cripples' (from c. 10th century) and 'lame' (even earlier).
These terms began to be used primarily as pejoratives from the 1960s and 1970s.

This is especially relevant because of the etymology of 'katawa' which connotes something like a cart with a missing wheel.
Assuming a scenario ever arises where noting their condition is relevant to discussion in the first place, I call them crippled because that is the reality of their condition. I call myself a cripple too so at the least I can't be called a hypocrite. Now, if they decide a mere observation of their reality is offensive, they're free to explain this position to me. I am likewise free to explain that it is, in fact, not an insult but a fact of reality. And then I am free to continue using it as such: A harmless, factual observation of reality.

If they continue being offended by what is only a factual observation with zero ill intent behind it, well, that's a personal hang-up on their end and does not concern me. If they choose to feed otherwise harmless terms with negative power, that's their choice. My choice, meanwhile, is to not pointlessly tarnish harmless combinations of letters with arbitrary negative effect that serves no purpose but to empower bigots while restricting language for the rest of us.

And brythain...God dammit. :lol: Go sit in the pun corner.

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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by brythain » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:57 pm

Charmant wrote:Assuming a scenario ever arises where noting their condition is relevant to discussion in the first place, I call them crippled because that is the reality of their condition. I call myself a cripple too so at the least I can't be called a hypocrite. Now, if they decide a mere observation of their reality is offensive, they're free to explain this position to me. I am likewise free to explain that it is, in fact, not an insult but a fact of reality. And then I am free to continue using it as such: A harmless, factual observation of reality.

If they continue being offended by what is only a factual observation with zero ill intent behind it, well, that's a personal hang-up on their end and does not concern me. If they choose to feed otherwise harmless terms with negative power, that's their choice. My choice, meanwhile, is to not pointlessly tarnish harmless combinations of letters with arbitrary negative effect that serves no purpose but to empower bigots while restricting language for the rest of us.
The part up to 'does not concern me' makes your stand perfectly clear. The rest is some kind of rhetoric involving mixed metaphors or something? I don't quite understand what you're trying to say there. Or at least, I'm not sure I get it.
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Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by SpunkySix » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:29 pm

brythain wrote:
SpunkySix wrote:
Hey, if they're dead-set on creating and popularizing a powerful slur against themselves, I'm in no position to stop them. But I can certainly sit here and shake my head at how ass-backward it is.
Especially when they then turn around and say that other people can't use it based on their skin color. The irony is palpable.
As I've always said, language is contextual in effect. If a Democrat calls someone 'very Republican', it's different from a Republican saying the same thing... :D
True, but a lot of the times when a white person wants to say it, it's because they want to be friendly in the same way other people are to a person. Literally the only difference is skin color, and that's just as racist as anything else.

Obviously that doesn't give anybody the right to seriously call somebody the N word and tell them to pick some cotton 'boy', but that goes for anybody too, so once again, skin color is irrelevant.

If you want though, let's either drop this or continue it in a PM, your choice. I just realized any more might be derailing, though.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:27 pm

brythain wrote:
Charmant wrote:...If they choose to feed otherwise harmless terms with negative power, that's their choice. My choice, meanwhile, is to not pointlessly tarnish harmless combinations of letters with arbitrary negative effect that serves no purpose but to empower bigots while restricting language for the rest of us.
The part up to 'does not concern me' makes your stand perfectly clear. The rest is some kind of rhetoric involving mixed metaphors or something? I don't quite understand what you're trying to say there. Or at least, I'm not sure I get it.
Let me quote myself from the last page:
To me to agree that "mute" is a negative trait is akin to say that being mute is really something to be ashamed of. If "mute" really does become an offensive word someday, and people start to use it as an insult (because they've been taught that it is something negative) is that really something that people who are mute want?
I think that's what he meant.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by SpunkySix » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:26 pm

To me to agree that "mute" is a negative trait is akin to say that being mute is really something to be ashamed of.
It's a similar thing with, and I'm gonna drop the bomb here but I'm being dead serious, "gay" and "retarded". Pretty much nobody is actually talking about people who are legitimately mentally challenged or homosexual when they say that. I wish they would find another term because there's plenty that are less derogatory, but it's never going to stop, so there's two realistic options here- take it as an insult directly to the people in the groups with the same name as the insult and give it power over them by basically admitting that they are something to feel bad about being, or realize that in context the words mean two totally different things and take away the power the insult would otherwise have over said people by refusing to accept that there is anything bad about the people in those groups.

I recognize that there are principles involved that likely contradict this and it's always good to work towards an idealistic world, but the problem is that in the real current world people don't care, so shouting about changing the way they talk isn't gonna do jack. Might as well tell them to stop using the word 'literally' wrong. Good luck.

Of course, the difference is that those words already are largely considered offensive to varying extents, whereas "mute" is still salvageable.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by brythain » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:42 pm

SpunkySix wrote:I recognize that there are principles involved that likely contradict this and it's always good to work towards an idealistic world, but the problem is that in the real current world people don't care, so shouting about changing the way they talk isn't gonna do jack. Might as well tell them to stop using the word 'literally' wrong. Good luck.
That's a sane position; it's the reality that I and my fellow professionals live with all the time. And it leads to the endgame of words meaning more than one thing, which is fine.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by YZQ » Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:33 am

If two words are acceptable, I'll put down "can't speak". More letters, but win some, lose some.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by SpunkySix » Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:56 am

YZQ wrote:If two words are acceptable, I'll put down "can't speak". More letters, but win some, lose some.
I mean, that always works too.
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