Sometimes I worry about causing offence.
It’s not a daily worry, not something which keeps me up at night and, to be honest, on the occasions when I do cause offence I usually decide fairly quickly it must be the other person’s fault.
I mean, come on, it must be! I’m lovely.
I don’t like to upset people. Or rather, I don’t like to upset people accidentally. I don’t mind upsetting the people I’m trying to upset, that’s more of a hobby. Although I’m considering going pro.
It mildly bothers me someone may take offence at something on this blog, but only mildly. After all, this blog isn’t really directed at anyone and isn’t meant to target specific individuals. Except when it does.
What bothers me more is people taking offence from a personal message. Emails and more specifically text messages. Emails are easier to control, I can send longer messages using longer sentences and generally make myself vaguely understood. I think I still occasionally manage to cause offence but it doesn’t worry me unduly.
Text messages though. Jesus, they upset me. Every time I send one I stare at it for far longer than it took to write, wondering if it’s too curt or too abrupt or just down right insulting. It’s really difficult to get tone across in such a short message, to get across the meaning behind the words. Okay, so yeah, this is bad news for a scriptwriter given that’s the whole job but still … I worry.
Take a short message for example, just three little words:
“You’re a cunt.”
It would be really easy for someone to take that the wrong way.
I know I’m (probably) joking, but will they? Will it upset them? Do I really need to send that message? Well, yes, it’s vital. Not to the future of humanity or anything but it’s pretty damn important. But then, I don’t want to offend …
Recently, I’ve taken to adding exclamation marks to the end of every text:
“You’re a cunt!”
There, much more friendly! I admit, it must be a bit weird for friends and family, since to me exclamation marks indicate raising both the pitch of your voice and your eyebrows! Every time I get a text which ends in an exclamation mark I imagine the person squeaking the words whilst their eyebrows make a spirited break for their hairline!
Surely, no one can take offence at anything which ends in an exclamation mark, can they? You fat, talentless, shit-reeking, infected ballsack!
See? It’s foolproof!
A bit wearing after a while, but basically guaranteed not to give offence!
I recently mentioned this exclamation mark obsession to a friend and he sheepishly admitted to having a similar fear. He’s not worried so much about giving offence, but more about coming across as stupid via text. He fires them off so quickly, sometimes without really thinking them through, that he says things he doesn’t really mean and which make no sense.
Or at least, that’s the fear. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed anything especially moronic. To cover himself, he adds an ellipsis to the end of every text …
That way, if he’s said something truly cretinous …
He can either correct it with a second text …
Or in extreme cases, when others notice the apparent stupidity, claim he sent a second text revealing the first to be a joke … which didn’t arrive!
There is no point to this post!
I just thought it was funny …