If you're having trouble or are getting annoyed by the movement in favor of political correctness, I have a thought for you to consider — it's not up to you.
Look, I am a white, middle class, cisgender female, but none of that makes it okay for me to decide what is or is not offensive to someone else. Especially someone who may not share the same demographics that I represent.
I don't use the word "gay" as a synonym for lame or effeminate.
I don't use the n-word, yes that means in certain songs I stop singing when it's used.
I don't say the c-word, though it's been used on me.
I try to be as mindful as I can with my words because words are important. Words are my life. Words build nations and incite wars.
Words have the power to unite us just as much as they can divide us.
So, the n-word may not be offensive to some of the black people you know or even to you personally, but that doesn't make it okay for you to appropriate it. That word has a history that may not be yours to forgive.
And just so you know, the option that you have to ignore the offensive nature of these words, that's privilege. Privilege is the luxury of ignorance.
So, that pool of words that you've been relaxing in, the ones that you think make you look cool may actually be a product of that privilege.
And hey, if not using those words stresses you out and hurts your vocabulary, think about it this way: according to Merriam-Webster, there are about 470,000 words in the English language. That is a huge amount of words.
A HUGE amount of words.
And if you subtract all the offensive ones, I bet you would still have over 400,000 to choose from. That is still a crazy number of words you could be using instead.
And if it helps you understand — think about things that you find offensive and how much it annoys or offends you when people are not considerate of that.
My point is, and hold your excuses for the end please, that you don't get a say. You don't get to determine what is or isn't offensive to someone else. You just don't.