To someone very special ….

Thanks to a combination of political correctness and the amazing ability of school children to turn anything at all into an insult, I predict a forthcoming crisis in the greetings card market.

In the playground, at least, the word ‘special’ now has connotations that, I’m sure, are not intended by the designers of this lovely missive. To be called ‘special’ or (if you just don’t have time for two syllables in your busy teenage life, what with all the texting, and messaging and loafing around) ‘spesh’ is one of the most damning condemnations there is at the moment. It’s totally taken over from ‘minger‘ which I haven’t heard (except in an ironic way) for ages now. And as I confidently predicted at the time, I almost miss it.

Certainly, it seems preferable to ‘spesh’ (which, if you haven’t tumbled to it yet, is short for ‘special needs’) and not solely because it’s so offensive (nay, inappropriate!). I rather like the word special and now I’ve been robbed. I won’t be able to use it any more without qualifying it, or run the risk of raising a snigger from any kids who happen to be within earshot.

And what are the card manufacturers going to do? Back in my day the playground insults de choix were just as heartless but somehow a bit more direct. ‘Spazz’ or ‘mong’, as I recall, would have served the same purpose.

And you don’t get many greetings cards that say that.

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15 thoughts on “To someone very special ….

  1. I hadn’t heard that one, RG… I must be very sheltered. I LOATHED minging, so am glad to see it’s gone. But spesh is horrid if that’s the way it’s being used. How very post modern of teens though, to appropriate such a pc word and turn it into an insult. Who says they aren’t clever?

  2. Never mind “special”: I am disgusted by you constant use of the word “and”. It is racist, ageist, heightist, elitist, demeaning to men or women of both sexes, the mentally, socially, physically challenged, Christians, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, cats, dogs, sock puppets, bricks, carrots, ruffled crisps of all flavours (except prawn cocktail).

    People like you should be hung, drawn, quartered, sodomised with kitchen utensils, set on fire then shot repeatedly in the face with a nail gun.

    Your intolerance sickens me.

  3. ben – poor, poor joey!
    jane see what you’ve got to look forward to. you’re right, of course. the ingenuity of teens seems limitless – but only in certain, well-defined areas.
    billy that sounds pretty spesh to me.
    steve your zeal thrills me! but just out of consideration to you, i’m going to eschew the use of that terrible word straight away (although i have no problem with insulting sock puppets. also, i must insist on roast chicken flavour ruffled crisps being particularly singled out). love or kisses (but not both).

  4. Spesh? Hmm. That one hasn’t made it over here, although 20 years ago kids use to make fun of the “special bus” the special needs kids rode.

    “And” for Steve I will have to consider my use of the word.

    Although so they seriously have “prawn cocktail” flavored crisps? Um, ick.

  5. lm, hello there! nice to e you. re: prawn cocktail crisps – they are utterly unspeakable. i’m almost tempted to send you a pack – along with some worcestershire sauce flavour ones too, but i fear they’d be seized as toxic waste.
    dis where do you stand on salt and (sorry steve) vinegar?

  6. I blame the peeps who came up with ‘Special Needs’ in the first place. (Isn’t it supposed to cover both ends of the spectrum, and quite spectacularly fails to do so?) Ho-kay, hard to think of a word to replace it, but even the nine-year-old acqaintance of mine with Smith-Magenis Syndrome gets fraught when he hears the word ‘Special’. Argh.

    LOVE Salt and Vinegar. And and and and and and and. And.

  7. Well I think this all really book. By ‘book’ I, of course, really mean ‘cool’ as all those text messaging enthusiats will already know. Apparently the English language is going to slowly evolve as those teenagers whose lives are so busy that they haven’t got the time for two syllables, don’t bother to choose the correct word when the wrong alternative is offered by their phone’s predictive text option. It will create an interesting coded language. ‘Spesh’ might get left as ‘presi’. If I did actually have a sixth digit growing from my wrist to make texting easier than the contortion required to both hold the phone and type with my thumb, then I might work out an alternative texting dictionary but I’m saving the time for the second syllable.

  8. Following on from Fez’s comment about dropping syllables, I see that “Jesus H” is now gaining popularity in Embra. Without the “C” word.

    Christ, what are we coming to?

  9. mangonel mmmm – smoky bacon … sorry, i was in a reverie. couldn’t agree more about the stupid generality of the term ‘special needs’. grrrrr!
    rilly bet it was someone from north of st albans.
    fez my sister told me about that ‘book’ thing, but i thought she was having me on. how extraordinary! with predictive text, i once accidentally sent the immortal message ‘want bacon?’ to someone – but i can’t work out what i originally meant.
    marmy if by ‘the bomb’ you mean a biological weapon – i quite agree! looks like we could share a multi pack without coming to blows.
    monsieur f it’s ready-meals thinking. ready-profanity – leaves you loads of spare time to … erm … errr ….

  10. Superb. I like the way euphemisms eventually become corrupted to mean exactly what they try to hide. I’m waiting for the day the word “challenge” is widely accepted to mean “cock-up” or “disaster”.

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