It's weird how "Casanova" is considered a compliment

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Barchan
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13 Nov 2015, 10:02 pm

"Casanova" is synonymous with seduction. Colloquially it refers to a man who is (perceived as) very charming, handsome, classy, and charismatic.

But the real Casanova was a pedophile who drugged his victims and raped them, and got away with it simply because he was rich. :?

What are some other examples of problematic language you can think of? The words we use can often contribute to a culture of violence, sexism, classism, racism etc.



kraftiekortie
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13 Nov 2015, 10:32 pm

I don't hear "Casanova" that much any more. Nor do I hear "Don Juan." I used to hear both quite often in the 1970s. One of my nicknames was "Don Juan" LOL

"Mesmerizing" is a somewhat ironic term, and it's usually used with a positive connotation. I understand the guy named Mesmer wasn't such a nice guy.



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14 Nov 2015, 6:49 am

I'm not aware of that account of Casanova.

Casanova if anything was confidence trickster and gambler who was often broke.

You can only take history based on what is recorded, the rest is subject to interpretation.



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14 Nov 2015, 6:57 am

Ok I see one quote that suggests rape "I resolved to have her by using a little violence.".

Anyway I get your point. I hear the phrase very rarely, and never seriously.

In context it simply implies either a seducer, and it isn't always used positively. It fact I would say in the UK if it is used at all it to describe a cad, which isn't considered positive.

Banning words IMO is flawed approach to change attitudes.



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14 Nov 2015, 7:01 am

Barchan wrote:
What are some other examples of problematic language you can think of? The words we use can often contribute to a culture of violence, sexism, classism, racism etc.


The concept of "problematic language" is backwards. It is not language that is problematic. You assume that language makes people be that way rather than reflecting that behaviour.

Name one example where banning language has changed behaviour on its own.



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14 Nov 2015, 7:34 am

Yeah Casanova was supposed to have been a serial seducer, and not a serial rapist/pedophile. That according to history-the history mostly recorded by he himself. Lol! The truth about him might well be closer to what you (the OP) are saying. But even if the legend is totally correct he was a charming scoundrel, and being called a Casanova is a rather "left handed" compliment. Not sure how good an example that is of what youre talking about.

OH! I am sorry! I just denigrated left handed people! Im sorry! Lol!

Would THAT expression be an example of what you're talking about?



Last edited by naturalplastic on 14 Nov 2015, 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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14 Nov 2015, 7:38 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Yeah Casanova was supposed to be a serial seducer, and not a serial rapist/pedophile. That according to history-the history mostly recorded by he himself. Lol! The truth about him might well be closer to what you (the OP) are saying. But even if the legend is totally correct he was a charming scoundrel, and being called a Casanova is a rather "left handed" compliment. Not sure how good an example that is of what youre talking about.

OH! I am sorry! I just denigrated left handed people! Im sorry! Lol!

Would THAT expression be an example of what you're talking about?


Casanova seems to have been one sinister individual.

'Sinistra' is Latin for 'left hand' and is the root for the word 'sinister'. :twisted:


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naturalplastic
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14 Nov 2015, 7:54 am

Exactly.

"Sinister" originally just meant "left" as opposed to right.

But it came to mean "giving off a threatening/evil vibe".

It might be related to the ancient custom of greeting by hand shaking.

You grasp the other guy's extended right hand so niether of you can reach for your sheathed knife and stab the other guy -to show trust, and good intention. So the odd guy who extends his left hand in supposed friendship gives off the impression that he is planning to stab you in the back- hense greeting with the wrong hand came to equal suspicious-hense "sinister" in the modern non literal sense.



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14 Nov 2015, 9:44 am

Barchan wrote:
The words we use can often contribute to a culture of violence, sexism, classism, racism etc.


No they don't.

That argument is made null and void by the fact that most people don't have the association to Casanova that you refer to. To them, it simply means a womanizer.

So how can it contribute to any of those things, if they are not obvious and well known?

I ignored the marxist buzzwords you brought up there except violence, which is the only valid one. Violence is caused by violent people. The same can be said about those who want to ban guns. Guns don't kill. Killers kill. In UK they resitricted guns. Then people used knives, so they had to restrict those. Now you can't even eat your dinner right. Knives don't kill, killers kill. Take away the knives, people will beat each other up. Then you're at fundamentalist Islam level where people get their hands cut off. It just keep snowballing when the premise itself is flawed.

"Classist" is textbook communism. It doesn't get more blatant than that. "Racist" was invented by Leon Trotsky and was combined with "Slavophilia" to instill shame in the Russian population. It's all fallacious linguistic constructs used for sinister purposes.

By using these neologisms, you are contributing to a culture of fallacious argumentation devoid of logic and reason. That is a much greater problem than someone using metaphors that might offend someone with fragile feelings.



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14 Nov 2015, 11:16 am

Neotenous Nordic wrote:
Now you can't even eat your dinner right.


Since you brought up misconceptions, I can tell you are talking crap right here. Come to London and go to a steakhouse and ask for a steak knife. Or buy a chefs knife in a department store.

This conversation doesn't need to attach a conspiracy. It is simple, words may be reflective of behavior but not the cause of behaviour.

It is flawed to think language on its own is problematic.



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14 Nov 2015, 8:08 pm

I think it's considered a compliment because Casanova was purported to have a very large penis, so most guys would consider that a compliment, imho.



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14 Nov 2015, 9:19 pm

Neotenous Nordic wrote:
That argument is made null and void by the fact that most people don't have the association to Casanova that you refer to. To them, it simply means a womanizer.


QFT, people only go by what they know, which often isn't the whole story, but also doesn't impute some sinister extra meaning to what they're saying.


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15 Nov 2015, 5:09 am

SoMissunderstood wrote:
I think it's considered a compliment because Casanova was purported to have a very large penis, so most guys would consider that a compliment, imho.

I don't think penis size even comes into it.

People don't need to be told what it means, they already know. It means someone who has charm but is a bit of a cad. it is quite simple really.

It also not in everyday use anyway.



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15 Nov 2015, 6:12 am

Neotenous Nordic wrote:
Barchan wrote:
The words we use can often contribute to a culture of violence, sexism, classism, racism etc.


No they don't.

That argument is made null and void by the fact that most people don't have the association to Casanova that you refer to. To them, it simply means a womanizer.

So how can it contribute to any of those things, if they are not obvious and well known?

I ignored the marxist buzzwords you brought up there except violence, which is the only valid one. Violence is caused by violent people. The same can be said about those who want to ban guns. Guns don't kill. Killers kill. In UK they resitricted guns. Then people used knives, so they had to restrict those. Now you can't even eat your dinner right. Knives don't kill, killers kill. Take away the knives, people will beat each other up. Then you're at fundamentalist Islam level where people get their hands cut off. It just keep snowballing when the premise itself is flawed.

"Classist" is textbook communism. It doesn't get more blatant than that. "Racist" was invented by Leon Trotsky and was combined with "Slavophilia" to instill shame in the Russian population. It's all fallacious linguistic constructs used for sinister purposes.

By using these neologisms, you are contributing to a culture of fallacious argumentation devoid of logic and reason. That is a much greater problem than someone using metaphors that might offend someone with fragile feelings.

You should go post this on Stormfront. You'd fit right in with those white supremacist goons.

Because "Racism was invented by Leon Trotsky" is exactly the kind of argument a neo-nazi bonehead would make. Racism, of course, has a centuries-long history in the western world. Just because there wasn't a word to describe it doesn't mean it didn't exist. Are you seriously arguing that racism is a buzzword and it doesn't exist?

The term "genocide" was also coined in the 20th century. Are you going to tell me that's a communist buzzword too? :roll:



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15 Nov 2015, 7:00 am

Barchan wrote:
You should go post this on Stormfront. You'd fit right in with those white supremacist goons.

Because "Racism was invented by Leon Trotsky" is exactly the kind of argument a neo-nazi bonehead would make. Racism, of course, has a centuries-long history in the western world. Just because there wasn't a word to describe it doesn't mean it didn't exist. Are you seriously arguing that racism is a buzzword and it doesn't exist?

The term "genocide" was also coined in the 20th century. Are you going to tell me that's a communist buzzword too? :roll:


I hate simplistic thinking of any kind. So the conspiratorial nonsense of far right groups is a stupid as much of the politically correct nonsense.

You said it yourself it opening post people don't use the word to charaterise what he may have been like. Therefore the idea it perpetrates these things doesn't make sense does it? If they think like already then they will use the language that reflects that. Probably more explicit language.

Also why pick a word as irrelevant as that?

It is a question of objective, you may have good intentions but you won't reach your objective through these means. The worst form of advocacy is the one that has everyone standing on eggshells. As Mary Beard says you must use the politics of persuasion, you won't correct people through language.

Also there are commonly held misconceptions about the nature of discrimination, so you may hold some of them. We are are susceptible to these ideas.



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15 Nov 2015, 8:19 am

Referring to a guy as a "pimp" has often been considered to be a compliment for awhile now.