same anon. thanks for the reply. im sorry to nitpick, i strongly disagree w/ you. sassy doesnt specif. mean ‘showing disrespect /to authority./’ and it can just as easily mean ‘lively, bold.’ when theres a spectrum of meanings in a word, you have to be aware of its context. it was disingenuous of adrienne to assume that he was looking for a white princess when he couldve meant pretty. oh, + a ‘modern’ ex is snow white? so does the judgment of paris as an ageold ex of ‘fair=lovely’ count, too?
Hey Anon Y Mous,
I’m more than happy to reply to asks, no need to thank me!
Hey, you’re free to disagree, it’s an age old tradition which has been long honored in the tomes of history. Doubtless, many people disagree with a good many things I believe and that my book discusses. In fact, a lot of people are openly hostile about my making fun of comic books.
However, and I don’t mean to sound rude (but the internet sometimes has difficulty conveying tone) disagreeing doesn’t make you right. If you look up words with multiple meanings, you are going to find multiple meanings. Heck, if you look them up on the internet you’re even going to find patently incorrect meanings.
However, picking a meaning that suits you and attempting to sand and shave off the rough edges of that word in your own mind is a flawed strategy. You don’t get to decide how other people interpret words or what they mean to them. If you call someone a racial slur, even in jest (or God forbid as a form of adulation), you don’t get to choose how they react. The same goes for how you describe women, men, trans people, LGBT people, and so on. Words have meanings and they have history and they have connotation. You don’t get to pick just one of them.
“Sass” is a particularly strong example of this, as the history of the word is pretty solidly grounded. The fact that the word is applied wildly unevenly in the world just makes it that much worse.
As for Paris being “fair”, you are referring to a description of a city and not a woman, so that’s a bit of a stretch. Again, connotation is key.
And, honestly, the thing to take away from all this is simply this: you can think and mean whatever you want, however, you do not get to decide for other people. People can think and mean other meanings. But, principally, my point is that people have the right to determine who they define themselves and what words apply to them. If you don’t care about their feelings, then so be it. But, if you decide to be an ally to a group of people or even to a single person, it is not your place to determine how they define themselves and it is certainly not your place to correct their opinions.
If Adrienne doesn’t want to be referred to as “fair” that’s her choice. If she chooses not to accept the cultural norm that states that she needs to be rescued, then no number of princes are entitled to warm welcomes when they attempt to reinforce that norm. That’s what being free is all about.
And a special note, if you call my wife “sassy” she will take it personally. And now that you know, it will definitely be on you for not considering the implications of what you are saying and how other people might understand it.