phi (totient) wrote,


I recently commented to someone, as I've mentioned here before, that when I say "sure" I usually mean "no". That got me thinking about other words I tend to use to mean their opposites, and how that is. For instance, I find that I use the words "awesome" and "terrible" much more often when I am being sarcastic, with the result that I tend to use them to mean each other. It's not that I'm sarcastic all that often, it's just that those words are go-tos when I am, and I don't use them so much when I'm not.

I consider the word "honey", applied to people, almost universally to mean "bitch". I use this very seldom (there are zero examples in my 15 year archive of sent email) and when I do, I do it knowing that's what I'm doing, and in the expectation that the person I'm speaking to knows as well. That is: it is directly and intentionally an insult and I am using that word and not the other one because there might be small children within earshot. Interestingly when I do honey someone it is almost always a cis man, and I'm aware of the overtone of misgendering being part of the insult, and I'm both uncomfortable with the idea of misgendering people as an insult and also pretty comfortable with the idea that I reserve certain kinds of insult for people with power.

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