Don’t get me wrong … and welcome to this week’s A.W.A.D. selection!

707084_12414975

“Homeless”, courtesy of emospada

Hi folks,

This week A.Word.A.Day. is stepping into a true minefield: their selection is focused on words that can have different meaning according to the context, circle or situation in which they are used. Or according to the intent they are used for. As they say, Words don’t offend people, people offend people. It’s perfectly true. Sometimes words can be walls or windows depending on the intention they are serving. It’s up to us to avoid that innocent words can offend one’s sensibilities. Words are the instruments but we are the musicians …

queer street

PRONUNCIATION:
(kweer street)
MEANING:
noun: A state of hardship, especially financial hardship.
ETYMOLOGY:
The origin of the term is not clear. Carey Street, site of the bankruptcy court in London, has been proposed, but the court came decades after the term. It’s also been suggested that traders put a query mark against customers suspected of having financial difficulties. Earliest documented use: 1811.
USAGE:
Mike Bessey said: You can’t really make a case that UK farmers are on queer street as a whole — on average they are surviving and starting modest investment.”
Caroline Stocks; £25m Aid Won’t Help Struggling UK Dairy Farmers; Farmers Weekly (UK); Jan 22, 2010.
By the way, here’s a clear example of how words can be perceived as offensive in some circles: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/8889306/Robert-Peston-fends-off-homophobia-claims-over-Queer-Street-comments.html
P.S.: Do you feel offended? I mean, do you feel offended by the image on top? We all should … I mean, we all should feel offended in front of poverty and marginalization – no-one should ever live this way, homeless, hopeless, lonesome. I know it’s a bit off-topic, but we are talking about sensibility and mine is upset by such a view. Does yours?
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