A Mexican, A Oriental and A Black Walk Into A Podcast: Decolonizing our language for the next generation

Season 2, Episode 7

by Ashia R.
2 comments

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In this episode:

How to maintain a sense of humor while transforming problematic language with our kids.

This week, we’re talking about:

  • How to adjust our language without raising insufferable jerks
  • Creating a new lexicon to raise considerate kids with a sense of humor
  • What does it mean to decolonize our language?
  • Why is an evolving language vital to raising kind & courageous leaders?
  • Problematic watchwords to avoid!
  • This week’s assignment to transform your language at home
  • Bonus: Regrettable pandemic purchases
Ashia Ray
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Guest Speakers

Bellamy (they/them) is the owner of a wealth of marginalized identities and founder of Revolutionary Humans.

As an essayist and community builder, they pull from years of experience with family services to help parents and educators become everyday advocates and activists.

 Support Revolutionary Humans

Visit their website at RevolutionaryHumans.com to learn more and connect with them.

Saunatina (she/her) is the Autistic, Queer, Latinx founder of Crafting Sound Meaning.

As an Autistic raised by Autistic parents, she pulls from her experience navigating a world designed for allistics (non-autistic people) to help her community build deep and lasting relationships to resist and thrive in our modern capitalist hellscape.

Support Crafting Sound Meaning

You can visit Saunatina’s website at CraftingSoundMeaning.com to learn more and connect with her.

Bonus Resources & References

Join When We Gather

Get family-friendly discussion cards and activities to practice your family values together.

Get 1-on-1 Communication Coaching

Use code RAY for $10 off your first quick coaching session.

Join the Luminary Braintrust

Currently on Facebook, migrating to the website this summer.

Having trouble with your watchwords? Join us for our weekly #FridayFailureParties as we mess up, take responsibility, and celebrate what we learned.

Links & References in this week’s show

As Promised: Alternatives for our Challenge Words!

Dark:

Macabre, grim, bleak, gloomy, ominous, sinister, cheerless, morbid, unpropitious, dismal, foreboding, drab, malevolent, corrupt, disquieting, arduous, tedious, grave, profound, intense, complex, deep, ghastly, spooky, grim, dreadful, unsettling, perplexing

Stupid:

Ludicrous, senseless, nonsense, pointless, unreasonable, asinine, silly, absurd, inane, jejune(?), vapid, trite, basic, hollow, obtuse, shallow, ignorant, depthless, trifling, inconsiderate, superficial, warped, flimsy, irresponsible, sloppy, negligent, thoughtless

Crazy:

Wild, unzipped, unhinged(?), ludicrous, bizarre, absurd, outrageous

Episode Transcript

Ashia
Hi Everybody!

This is… what is this? This is the Raising Luminaries podcast

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
With Revolutionary Humans and Crafting Sound Meaning – we have a triple threat today! We’re on season two, spring collaborations. This is Ashia Ray, and today we’re in cahoots with our partners in do-goodery, Bellamy Shoffner and Saunatina Sanchez.

Which I think, oo! Yay, all three of us are on. This is our first time doing a three-way [giggle]

Okay, so, last week was on giving it space to fuck up. And we talked about how suffocating our kids is active childism and ageism. Metaphorically suffocating. Literal suffocating is murder. Okay, and then also how to be less creepy.

So in this episode, we’re going to talk about red-flag phrases that make us sound unsafe and ignorant. And then how to maintain a sense of humor while also recognizing our problematic language.

Because this only has one track audio and if any of us talks it kind of garbles anything at the same time. I guess I’ll have to call on people to talk. [laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
So Bellamy, Do you have any updates from the week?

Bellamy
No, nope. Hi. Hello. [Laughter] As always, nothing exciting to report

Ashia
Saunatina How you doing?

Saunatina
I’m doing well. My life feels right now full of transitions that are so positive. It’s hard to be frustrated at the negatives that come along with it.

Ashia
Wonderful. Oh, that’s a good energy for today.

Okay, so Bellamy and I were talking a few weeks back and Bellamy – I think you were talking about, you wanted to use this word. You’re like, ‘Wait, how do I? What’s another word I can use?’

You know, this is something we all struggle with. Decolonizing our language – and in a little bit, we’re gonna have Saunatina explain to us what does the word ‘decolonizing’ mean? And then also, we’re going to try and figure it out as we go over the course of the next 45 minutes.

Bellamy would you like to tell us about your challenge word of the day?

Bellamy
My challenge word is ‘dark,’ or the idea of darkness as negativity in any way, shape, or form. And maybe conversely, lightness as being all positive and beautiful. I have seen myself use it in my writing in the past more so but I think that’s more of our common descriptor when writing, but I don’t actually use it in language very much. And when I’m speaking very much. But I do notice it a lot when I’m listening to podcasters and comedians and things like that.

They are very, very interested in calling everything dark when it is just mildly uncomfortable. So that’s my word. I would like to be able to suggest to other people. I can figure out how to adjust it in my writing. But it would be nice to be able to suggest to other people or to represent other ways to reference that word in speech. Or not referenced that word. Just dark does not mean bad, period.

Ashia
Yeah, right? That word comes to my mind when I am speaking a lot, and I have to stop. And then there’s this awkward pause and I’m like, ‘That’s so…’ and the first word that comes to mind is macabre. And I sound like an asshole. Can’t say that out loud.

Bellamy
Yeah, that’s the first word I think of too. But I wouldn’t ever normally say that word. [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
…macabre!

Ashia
Oh, that’s so… macabre! [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
Oh, Saunatina, Do you have any ideas for challenge words?

Saunatina
Yeah, yeah, one of the words that I’ve struggled with a bit is using ‘crazy’ as a negative. I hesitate to totally reject this word when I’m trying to describe the situation because I feel that it is a valid word to use. Because craziness is a state of being in our culture, in our society in our being human.

Because of consciousness. We could be crazy, kind of – That’s my philosophy. And so I don’t want to take that word away from my vocabulary entirely. But I want to figure out how to not make it seem like I am calling something negative or bad when I use that term.

So I’m trying to see in the circumstances and the situations that I use ‘crazy’ or ‘insane.’ Is there another word that is more appropriate, that doesn’t relay more negative connotations around a natural state of being sometimes that our brains go through? So that’s kind of what I’m working on in, in my language right now.

Ashia
Just removing the stigma from it, right? We can still use the words just without the connotations that word and any person associated with that word is negative.

Saunatina
Exactly. Yeah.

Ashia
For me, I’m struggling with the word ‘stupid,’ because it’s just it’s such a nice, short, succinct word to be… that is just, I have not come up with a good alternative word that really encapsulates how over-simplified and ignorant, over-simplified, thoughtless and inconsiderate something could be? Without using all of those words. And sometimes, I just want to verbally smack my kids upside the head and be like, “That was stupid.”

But at the same time – that word has a connotation of having mental disabilities, intelligence markers or quantities. And then stigmatizing people who have a slower time or a harder time processing, right? So trying to find an alternative word for that word has been really hard. And I grew up with some words – like the R-word, that was used in place of that. So I use ‘stupid’ to replace that word that my brain automatically goes, to because of the way I was raised. But it’s still, it’s still the same thing. [Laughter]

Okay, so today we’re going to cover Why we should be decolonizing our language and what it means. Why now? And but HOW?! And then I’m gonna send you out into the world with an assignment!

So what does it mean to decolonize our language?

The importance of taking responsibility for our language as we raise the next generation of leaders.

How linguistic hypocrisy, (which is nice, big fancy words.) Basically, it gets in our way in modeling kindness, courage and tenacity with our kids.

Also, I want to briefly, if we have time, dip into the dangers of co-opting the language of resistance and on the surface shallow level, changing our language without changing our behavior, and how this can unintentionally harm the people that we want to be allies with.

And then some of the fears that keep us from changing our language.

As well as how to transform our inherited language and dismantle our internalized bias as a form of resistance.

And then yeah, let’s see if we can do all that in one podcast. [Laughter] One spectacularly offensively named podcast

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Saunatina
Oh, I I love it. I feel like I should be blamed for being offensive. And suggesting the hint of the name but I’m like, Yeah, we all we all like it. So you know, it’s our show. Go away. You know?

Bellamy
Who was there to offend? We’re all here. [Laughter] Fine.

Ashia
Okay, so we are all here to be offensive and it’s okay. Because we can say that. You can’t say that, we can say that. [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Saunatina
[Laughter] This, I love it. I love it. I love it.

Bellamy
I would like to note, if someone is saying to a friend, Yu gotta listen to the episode of this podcast…” Where [Laughter] Where do they go? Like where? Yeah.

Ashia
So on the Raising Luminaries website raisingluminaries.com – And this one is going to be called ‘A Mexican, A Oriental, and A Black walk into a podcast’ [Laughter]

Saunatina
[Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] So no one will be able to suggest to a friend that they listen. Because they won’t be able to say this title. They’ll have to say ‘Check out the latest episode’ or something. [Laughter] Won’t be able to.

Ashia
[Laughter] season two episode seven if they want to get clinical.

Saunatina
[Laughter] We’re getting you used to feeling uncomfortable about stuff. You know?

Ashia
The April 24, 2022 milestone episode of when we just hit our peak offensiveness. And just as a quick [Laughter] background for this –

I was talking to Saunatina, I was like “What is our next podcast? What’s our next collaboration?” And I was `talking about me and Bellamy talking about the word ‘dark’ and ‘macabre.’ And I was like “So if Bellamy who is Black, has a problem with this word and I’m not only one who’s like uncomfortable with it for white fragility… Asian fragility(?) reasons.

She’s like,”Okay, so it’s gonna be a Mexican, a Chinese person and a Black feminist.” [Laughter] I was like, “Oh, that the setup for a really good joke.”

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Saunatina
So yeah, I take pride in how my brain is just like, “Yeah. How can we show people that we can have fun with this?” Come on.

Ashia
Yeah. And the spin that we wanted to put on it is – you can call someone ‘an oriental’ or ‘a Black’ and it’s kind of a slur in itself. [Laughter] It’s dehumanizing. But I was thinking about that Arrested Development episode where the main character is dating a Mexican woman. And he’s like, “So what can I call you?” And she’s like, “Mexican.”

He’s like, “I… you can say that word. *I* can’t say that word.” [Laughter] There’s no better way to betray how fucking racist that is. [Laughter]

Saunatina
I died. I think I broke something in my body that day. Yeah, I heard that. That was so good.

Ashia
[Laughter] For anyone’s whose like, “Oh! How can you call these people these things?” There we go. Mexican is the only inoffensive word in there. [Laughter]

Okay, let’s get back to being offensive. So what does it mean to decolonize our language because ‘decolonize’ has become the progressive millennial ‘synergy.’ That word doesn’t have much meaning because so many people take it and use it to mean whatever they want to mean.

But it actually it’s deeply rooted in Indigenous decolonizing. Right? So I want to make sure that we’re not just throwing that word in for for Google clicks. This is an act of decolonizing our language and what does it mean?

So first, why? Why would you decolonize your language?

Raising our kids to dismantle a kyriarchy requires modeling a bare minimum effort. And I understand it’s kind of hard to hold our tongue or think, or even, heaven forbid, prepare what we’re going to say before we say it. But we really do need to take responsibility for our language, even when we’re alone, even when we’re in the metaphorical locker room of people just like us.

Our everyday language has so many opportunities for us to slip up, which gives us an opportunity to model recovery for our kids. Like “See? We mess up. Let’s see how we recover from this.”

And then our language really betrays our unconscious bias, it betrays our affinities – who we see as us, and who we see as the other. But it also betrays our complicity and the tacit agreement that we have, or even the endorsement of – viewing some types of people as inferior.

So, let’s rip this away from the meaningless ‘synergy’-style buzzword. Saunatina. Would you like to tell us what it means to decolonize our language?

Saunatina
Yes, I love talking about language. That’s my whole jam.

The way I start usually with these breakdowns of a word is looking at a part of it.

So basically, ‘Decolonizing,’ right? So what a parts, what is that word made of? Well, the essence of it, is ‘colony’ colonizing, making somebody else your tool. That’s the era that we’re coming out, right?

And I want to bring us into that mind frame as we go into this discussion. Because I hear a lot of people wanting to say, “Oh, you know, this ancient, this is how things are. People are like this. People are. But like, if we just take a moment, and think and say, “Wait, how old actually, is this idea?”

How old is this use of word and words, phrases? Why is this word being used this way? In this time? Then we start to be like, “Well, maybe it’s not ancient.” Maybe my parents purposefully use this word, because they were taught to, by a larger system.

And going back to the whole idea of colonialism, the modern version is only about 500 years, right? If we want to go into the history quickly, colonialism and our modern capitalist system started with the frickin tulips trade, right? That’s The essence of our current system. So if we go back before that, there were markets, there was commerce, there wasn’t necessarily this idea of capitalism.

And these concepts are tied together. And so is much of the language that we use, because language is a part of our culture. Language is a reflection of our culture. And so the words we choose to use are a reflection of ourselves. And we can choose to change that reflection.

And so that’s where, you know, I want to bring us into that idea of ‘What is colonialism?’ And so when we talk about ‘decolonizing, our language,’ we’re saying, ‘I am choosing to not be…” not ‘influenced,’ we we’re influenced all the time, but: “I’m choosing to recognize that this word has an impact on people.”

I might not understand it. Because I know that we live in a complicated world, and we’re coming out of this era of colonialism, a lot of our language is going to be a reflection of that era. And if I want to be an ally, I want to be an accomplice, It is my job. It is my goal in life to make my language reflect the reality that I want to see in the world.

So did I make sense?

Ashia
No. [Laughter]

Saunatina
In that… Awesome! [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] I did not follow any of that. [Laughter] To be honest, I heard tulips. [Laughter]

Saunatina
So basically, bringing it into – colonialism is a system that is tied in with capitalism. It’s about 500 years old, and the language that we speak now is a reflection of that culture. And as we leave this colonialist, capitalist culture, we have a responsibility to change the words we use so that it reflects the world we want to see. Rather than the world we’re coming out.

Ashia
Perfect. Good. Okay I got that part. Okay. Yeah.

So in the in the Student Ignition Society, we have a word bank, which is short definitions to describe it to kids. So the one that we have for the word bank is “Bringing back independence for Indigenous people who have been harmed by colonization. So all people inhabiting an area are free from oppression.”

So that’s another not-really relevant kind of definition. But that idea of not going backwards, but assessing and seeing how colonization has impacted our culture and then trying to disentangle that that harm.

Saunatina
Yeah

Ashia
Bellamy, any thoughts on decolonization?

Bellamy
No. [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] It was like two or three different definitions, hopefully, we got some sense of it.

But it’s not just an empty word that we use to mean, ‘Get rid of the bad stuff,’ right? Because we use we use ‘smashing in the kyriarchy’ a lot – that concept of going down to the root of all of the systemic injustices and cutting it out at the root. And decolonization is basically the big word for that action. That’s the action of smash in the kyriarchy.

Bellamy
Yeah, my only thought as I’m listening, it’s just that I wish fewer people would use the word. I wish [Laughter] I wish people would be more thoughtful about taking that word and making it their platform, because I feel like it’s not, it’s not usually genuine, or true to what it means.

Ashia
Yeah, that’s why it’s become the millennial ‘synergy,’ right? Like, we have some kind of idea of maybe what it means, but everyone just uses it as a buzzword. You can have the intention to decolonize, but it has to be Indigenous-led, right? Which is, why I’m asking my *Indigenous friend* Saunatina [Laughter] to explain it to us.

But also, it can’t just be some word that we use to mean ‘dismantling the kyriarchy’ unless it is Indigenous-led. It really does have to be tied into the the people and the culture of the space that has been taken over and controlled.

Saunatina
And I don’t know if I’ve ever been referred to as Indigenous and it’s very strange to me to think? Yeah, having roots in Mexican culture, this is a very, very hot topic in Mexico and Spanish, and in the language of Mexico, and the languages of Mexico, because of this legacy of colonisation.

And it’s a strange thing to think about because Mexico is a bit of the ideal that America says it is. It’s the melting pot. Mexico is a much better melting pot than America. Right? The joke is America is more of a tossed salad. Right? We’re all very individual. And there’s been there was a concerted effort to meld everybody in Mexico together. And now there’s a distinct effort to maybe break that out.

And so that just goes to show you that these efforts to decolonize take different forms in different places too. So when you are engaged in this action, this effort to engage with your language and how you use it and what the words mean to the people around you, not just yourself. You think about that: Where are you? Who are you engaged with? And why might they be reacting to what you’re saying?

Ashia
Yeah. I guess, not just a throw away, but as a land acknowledgement. So I’m coming from the land of… I live was born, and I’ve spent my entire life in Massachusett and Wampanoag land. And Elizabeth Solomon of the Massachusett tribe was saying specifically in Massachusetts, at least in this space, this work has to be done in relationship with the original people.

So I take that with me in trying to be like, Okay, we can’t just make this stuff without the actual people being involved, which is part of communication, right?

Okay, so urgency – why we need to take care of this now, why do we need to change our language now? Not tomorrow? Who is hurt by these everyday slurs?

And I don’t mean like, the really big ones everyone knows that this is like, ‘Oh!’ but the words like ‘stupid,’ and ‘crazy.’ And these words that we find in children’s books, right? Where we’re supposed to just gloss this over.

Just blatantly with the clear hypocrisy, our kids seeing that we care about these issues, “Black Lives Matter!” but we use ‘dark’ to mean something negative. It shows our kidswhich groups aren’t worth supporting fully every day, 24 hours a day, and which groups do we see as ‘the other’ or even our own internalized bias?

And then when we internalize that bias for our kids, they’re going to carry that with them, right? And it says, basically, “I want you to achieve great things, child, but I’m not willing to even drop simple words from my lexicon.”

And then we think about – who does it hurt? For ourselves, you know, as a collected, targeted minority, when we use these words, that gives our friends with power permission to say it, “Well, my Asian friend uses that word. So it’s okay.”

And it’s basically a negative affirmation. People are saying positive affirmations for themselves all day. And the using these words against ourselves and against the people that we care about is a negative affirmation.

But we don’t have an excuse to keep using these words, because it’s like saying, “I’m one of the good ones. I wear a Black Lives Matters t-shirt, therefore, it’s okay for me to use [this word].”

Saunatina
Oh, in our region, I don’t know if you have this. But there’s this really infamous plaque that’s like “In this house, we believe that… that love is love and bla bla bla, and bla bla bla,” and it’s just like… no thanks.

Ashia
Having that hanging in your house is cool if you want to affirm that. But then what are you doing – just the words that are coming out of your mouth?

It’s almost like a punching down. Those jokes, using those words, create a wedge in the in the trust that we have between other people. And it actually puts the onus on our friends to call us out on that, which is an uncomfortable thing to force them into.

That performative sign, which isn’t to say, if you have that sign, it’s bad. But if you have that sign and you’re still using words like this, it’s kind of like…

On the flip side, changing your words and being very cautious about the choice of your words, without knowing why kind of lures target folks into dangerous situations where we sound like we talk the talk and we use the right words, and we use words like ‘decolonization,’ but if we don’t know what it means, then we can actually put our friends into a little bit of danger. Okay, so that is heavy, and we could talk more about that and we will get to how to start dismantling that, but…

[sings] da da da da daaa, let’s take a break and do Good Ideas To Avoid!

Bellamy
Do do doo do

Ashia
[Laughter] Bellamy’s gonna make us a rap.

Bellamy
All right, I’m on it. [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter] Okay, so we’re thinking good ideas to avoid today – Regrettable Pandemic Purchases!

We briefly talked about a Flowbee – which I do not regret. That was fantastic. I got a whole podcast out of that. [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
Bellamy, do you have any regrettable pandemic purchases, good ideas to avoid?

Bellamy
I tried to think of something that was in itself a regrettable purchase. But I feel like as with all of us, we were everybody. We were just trying to survive. Maybe this coffee mug will do it. Maybe? Like, I don’t know, I had an indoor playground for my kids.

Who knows what it’ll do it? Who knows what will keep us alive? We all just were grasping at different things. I don’t know. I bought a lot of trees, plants. They’re now dispersed to different friends houses, but whatever. They all serve their purpose.

But I will say the one thing that gave me the hardest time was – I bought a basketball hoop. It was not a bad idea. It was a great idea. Was it a great idea, for me alone to assemble an entire basketball hoop? That was not a great idea.

The box was the biggest box I’ve ever seen, [Laughter] just the box alone was huge. And then it came with the wrong bolts. This was early pandemic – I wasn’t willing to go into a store to fix the bolts. So I kept making Lowe’s pickup orders for different size bolts.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
But I’m also unwilling to measure or figure out how the hell you figure out what a bolt size is? There’s like four numbers in it? I’m not willing to do that. So I just kept trying [Laughter] to make different orders, and I go pick them up. And then we go there’s four new size bolts – none of these are what I need.

So this was on a couple times. And then I had a friend who was willing to go into the store, who got the bolts for me, but it took I mean, it took weeks, at least a couple of weeks to put the basketball that together. We loved it. We use it all the time. It was fine, but It was a hassle.

And also if you can just, you know, picture me lugging around and lifting up a huge steel or whatever basketball hoop all by myself. I don’t know. I don’t know. [Laughter] The things that I have done.

Ashia
[Laughter] It’s almost an involuntary DIY project, like regrettable involuntary DIY pandemic activity.

Bellamy
Yeah, it was like this is not how I want to spend my time. But also how else was I spending my time so. It was fine. [Laughter]

Ashia
doo doo doo regrettable? [Laughter]

Saunatina
relatable. Yeah, how awesome. I guess so my time. Fuck it. yeah.

Ashia
Saunatina, Do you have any regrettable pandemic purchases?

Saunatina
It’s regrettable in similar way I feel that Bellamy was just saying. I don’t feel like it was a regrettable purchase overall. But if I’m not going to actually finish a big training program, when things are going well in my life. Why on earth would I think that I’m going to finish an intense language training program when everything around me, by myself, are falling apart, right?

I paid a lot of money for a VIP package for a language teacher that I had taken for years, but I’ve never gotten quite what I was looking for necessarily in some of the lower packages. I was like, Well, you know, the, the one on one sessions I know are pretty good. And so let’s get some one on one sessions.

And those turned out to be the least helpful of the whole thing. And I’m just like, “Oh, I knew this wasn’t gonna… Oh, I should have trusted my instincts!”

Why did I think that this was gonna motivate me? So I spent like a month and a half of feeling bad for myself that I was avoiding practicing language when I had time to practice language because I had associated practicing language with this workshop that I wasn’t really enjoying. And I’m just like, Why didn’t I just practice my languages? Instead of getting… and so yeah, that’s mostly you know. I feel yes, I probably spent more than I would have if it wouldn’t have been a pandemic. That’s really the regrettable thing.

Bellamy
It was a pandemic of hope, also. We were all just like – we must find hope! Will it be in this basketball net? Will it be in this course? Will it be in the Flowbee? [Laughter] Where will it be?

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] Everyone was searching for it.

Ashia
How can I use this as a makeover? [Laughter] Pandemic makeover?

Saunatina
I wasn’t here for good thing maybe but I bought a washing machine, one of those apartment really quick wash. That was the best thing. I was like, I don’t want to go without this in my life. I want to avoid, I want to isolate as much as possible. So I bought the best thing and I still love it.

Ashia
[Laughter] Awesome. Okay. So yes, to portable washing machines. No to – although I want to find out what specifically about this course? Because I actually paid for a course and I was like, “This is totally worth it.” Were they not clear? Or were you just not in the headspace for it?

Saunatina
It was probably a little bit of both. And it’s because also I have a history with this teacher and I want more. I think Bellamy really did hit the nail on the head. I was really hopeful that this was the time that was going to motivate me to do it and then because my emotional state was not set, I put way way too much on this program to bring me up and so I think that brought me down.

Ashia
They over promised and then you also weren’t realistic with yourself. Okay. Yeah. A lot of people during the last winter incubator were like “I really want to participate in this, but I do not have time!” and I’m like “That’s awesome. Wait till next year.”

We don’t want you to suffer! It’s not supposed to be about suffering. [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
Okay, let me see my pandemic regrettable purchase – like Bellamy, I tried to do these things… I’m like, “Okay, well, maybe we’ll become like the kind of family who does art. We can be like Bellamy’s family.”

I am not! I cannot pull it together! [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
I bought these art kits. Bullshit. It’s all bullshit. Buying art kits does us an artistic family.

But we were going to do distance learning. We failed miserably that when suddenly things turned to distance learning, but the next year is like, “Okay, we’re starting off fresh in autumn. I’m going to dedicate an entire room to this! We’re gonna paint it so it’s beautiful. It’s all Waldorfy!” It looks like you stepped into a watercolor painting. Gorgeous. My kids can focus in this room. It’s gonna be wonderful. And I bought this gigantic shoji screen, those Japanese paper screens?

I was going to put it between the children so they would not see each other. They would have their headphones. And they would be at their little floor desks happily communicating with their teachers back to back with this screen.

The screen is big. It is cumbersome. It does not quite fit in our house. [Laughter] But I was like, “This is it. This screen, this classroom is gonna make it!”

Day one, they ripped that shit down. And they’re like, “Fuck. This.!” There’s no… I thought ‘If I build it, my children will turn into different children.’ [Laughter] They were climbing on the desks. They were climbing on each other. They were screaming into the microphones. [Laughter] Fucking chaos in this beautiful, peaceful room.

Saunatina
[Laughter] So when you were telling that story, it felt like you were just like taking a breath. And I was like, Oh, I can feel your body be like “Mmm that fresh goal smell. mmm” [Laughter]

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] So much hope.

Ashia
So much hope. And it was a disaster. And yeah, so that was my regrettable, very expensive purchase. Because you gotta get that stuff shipped. And it’s delicate. So I’m just “I’ll buy all of my future on Amazon. And things will be magically better.” No, no. So that is in my basement, and I don’t know what to do with it. We’re just not the kind of family that can… gently ignore what’s going on behind a screen, I guess? So we are learning something about ourselves. So that’s my regrettable purchase.

Saunatina
I like that. I feel like the learning right? I feel like I don’t ever regret almost anything in my life. It’s always a learning opportunity. It’s always a story. Yeah, so what’s regret for? But you know, yeah, maybe future warnings or something, you know, right? Talk about language.

Ashia
I would have liked to have saved the 80 bucks, right? Like, that’s why we have the Luminary Brain Trust. We have Friday failure parties. We’re like, “Okay, what’s this week’s failure? Let’s celebrate it. And then we have some happy dancing gifs jifs? [Laughter] Let’s cover what we learned and try and sort something from the rubble of our deep embarrassment and shame.

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
Oh, okay. Doo doo doo doo …also enormous chopsticks! I forgot! I bought enormous chopsticks. Sorry, I need to make this longer!

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
On my birthday wish list, I went to this fancy Japanese restaurant once. They had these enormous chopsticks, they were cooking. I was like, “Oh, I can cook with enormous chopsticks!” because I cook with regular sized chopsticks. And I burn myself. These things are, they’re like two and a half feet long. [Laughter] Huge. And I’m like, “I can cook with these!” And I got them from my birthday.

And I can’t hold them. I can’t even hold a pen. So I don’t know what I was thinking. I cannot hold a pen. And my handwriting is abysmal. So I thought I was going to use this enormous two-foot long chopsticks. So obviously I tried them once, I dropped everything. It was a disaster. And now they live in my drawer and my seven year old uses them to eat. And it looks ridiculous. [Laughter]

Bellamy
I need a picture of that happening.

Ashia
I have plenty of photos of him eating with enormous chopsticks. He has to pull them two feet away from his face to get dumpling in his mouth.

Saunatina
Wait, did you just say that you bought chopsticks that are half the size of us? I’m just above five, two. So two foot chopstick is like, waist high for me. I don’t know. Like what?

Ashia
It’s ridiculous. They’re ridiculous chopsticks that should only be used for serious chefs. And I don’t know who I was kidding. But yeah, so I learned something about my motor control, which is that it is bad.

The end of good ideas to avoid! so bad. [Laughter]

Okay, so let’s get back into it. A Mexican, Oriental and a Black. [Laughter] How you define us, defines you!

So I was trying to brainstorm quickly, why do we choose to keep using outdated language?

The language changes as our culture changes. It’s kind of a signifier – Have you stayed current with the new way that we think about humanity? With the new way that we integrate with each other?

And if you’re using outdated language, it kind of a hint that maybe either you don’t subscribe to this newer way of looking at things, or you’re just oblivious to it. Which is another reason why we don’t just use the language without understanding it, because that’s not safe.

But in myself, I feel myself resisting updating some of the language that I really want to hold on to. And part of it is because that resisting social change, like not wanting to be made fun of like, it’s just purely selfish. I don’t want people to be like, “Oh, so you’re one of those.” You know, the people who call you the ‘PC police’ or use respectability politics as an insult. The snowflake. Yeah.

Saunatina
[sarcasm] Oh, you want to care about other people? You want to show off that you care about other people? Oooh! [/sarcasm]

Ashia
[Laughter] How nerdy. So I do a little bit of that. It does suck to be the only one in the room who who cares about these kinds of things, and then everyone kind of makes fun of you.

But that said, we still do it. And I don’t hang out with those kinds of people anymore. So it doesn’t matter that much. But I do understand for other people – their family and everyone they’re surrounded by, they’re nervous about using more progressive or more inclusive language because they don’t want to be excluded by their current circles, right?

But then there’s also that the myth that we can’t be funny anymore. You think about how many comedians are resisting, like pulling their teeth, the concept of not punching down, not making fun of other people because they’re like, “Well then how can I be funny?”

Which is – I want to say that decency and manners don’t make you a snood. I want to say ‘snood.’ That’s not the right word. [Laughter] That’s a word for a piece of clothing. But that’s the word that I’m thinking of.

Saunatina
Prude?

Ashia
Prude. Prude! Snob prude.

Saunatina
Snob. Prude. Yes. Oh my gosh. Yes you did. I love that – let’s coin it. Snood? Yes, if you’re a prudish snob. I love that snood.

Ashia
And it keeps your hands warm! [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
So yeah, there’s that idea that you have a stick up your ass because you choose to be considerate of other people, which is silly when you think about it. But that’s our knee jerk reaction.

And then let me see if I’m pronouncing it right.. or…oroo bo rus? That snake eating its own tail?

Saunatina
Ouroboros

Ashia
Ouroboros – that snake eating its own take. So that’s what locker room culture is right? It says, “It’s okay for me to make this joke, because they’re not here.”

And they’re not here because they’re not welcome, right? So like that that concept of “Oh, it’s just locker room talk, we’re just joking around. And it’s okay, because we’re not directly hurting them by putting these words into their ears, the other person, the other group.”

But why are they not here in the locker room with us? Because of those divisions. And because of that supremacy. So using language as a way to signify ‘us’ versus ‘them’ – the in group versus the outer group.

And a lot of people are hesitant to get rid of that. Because if they don’t have an in group, then maybe they’re not cool, they don’t belong. Which is to say you can expand your sense of who you belong to, and still belong, right?

And then there’s, of course, just reclaiming denigrating labels, right. Like, in the Asian rights movement, we were trying to reclaim yellow. So we would reference yellow peril. As a spin off of the original yellow peril – us as the dangerous immigrant, right?

So why do we choose to adapt our language? For me it’s because I genuinely don’t want to make someone feel reduced, objectified and humiliated. If we could avoid it, why not?

But then there’s also people who might be doing it just as virtue signaling, they just want to be seen as someone who’s smart and savvy and progressive and with it and current on the news. But it’s more about them. It’s more about how they’re seen rather than their impact on other people.

And then I think all of us, kind of don’t want to be seen as assholes? Except for assholes who are like, “It was just a joke.” But like, for the most part, most of us are afraid of being called out or afraid of being seen as ignorant. And I suspect that that’s the biggest motivator, unfortunately, for changing your language. So I’ll take it that’s what we gotta take. Do you have any thoughts? What’s motivating you guys to change your language? Or hesitate?

Oh, I’ll call on people. Saunatina? [Laughter] Nope? Nothing?

Saunatina
No. Well, I mean, I was like, you know, maybe Bellamy does have something to say. But, yeah, you sum it up so succinctly. Because I do bring it back to the culture that we belong to. And there are so many different cultures that we belong to. It’s up to us to choose where we want to feel comfortable

And you said, sometimes it’s not that easy, right? We can’t choose the families that we belong to. My goal in trying to change my language and help the people around me learn how to change their language, is to ask them, right?

How do you want to be communicated with, yourself? Right? It goes back to that old adage, you know, treat others how you want to be treated, right? This is one of those places where that actually applies like, well, if I’m being told that I’m like, oh, whatever, it’s a joke. And like, Isn’t, aren’t there things that you find offensive, if you’re called it or whatever? It’s trying to bring it back to that idea of – these are impacts. And even if your intent might not have been consciously bad, still had an impact. So let’s talk about that. Let’s go past like the intent because we all can have good intent. But that doesn’t mean that the impact of that. So that’s where I’ve been trying to come to that in this is, what’s my impact?

Ashia
Yeah. Okay. Bellamy do you have any motivators for changing your language?

Bellamy
I mean, you know, I just don’t want to be an asshole!

Like, I’m not willing to be an asshole, period. I’m not willing to be like, “Oh, I know. That’s wrong. I’m gonna say it anyway.” I’m just not willing to do that.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
It’s not it’s not real deep for me. [Laughter] I’m just like, “No, nope not gonna say that anymore. Oh, Okay, move on.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
And I don’t understand the willingness to clinging to being an asshole. Why are we clinging to it? Let it go!

Ashia
Maybe that’s my whole identity! [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] If your identity is an asshole, you got bigger problems, I guess.

Saunatina
Unfortunately, it does feel like you know, our culture has been controlled by a bunch of assholes who encourage other people to be assholes. And we’ll give them power unless they are assholes. And so that’s whereI think of this story I heard on one of these YouTube documentaries, I watched and it was like, back in the 1800s or early 1900s, after World War One, when women’s soccer, football was getting really popular in England, the men’s football association was really worried that women were going to take over the game and everybody was gonna go to their game, not the men’s game. So they said any men’s team that allowed women to play on their pitches, their practice pitches, anything, were banned from that league. So you had the assholes at the top, making the rule. And even if you’re not an asshole, you don’t have a lot of power. And so you’re like, ‘Well, I want to play soccer, and let’s just have them gone or so I guess I’m gonna do it.’ And so, and like, Yeah, it sucks, because we lose so much when we let the assholes make these decisions. And yeah.

Ashia
Awesome. Okay. So soccer. Assholes. [Laughter] Okay, now hopefully we’ve we’ve hooked people, let’s change our language.

Capability! How? How do you maintain a sense of humor while recognizing your problematic language? Because I think a lot of people are like, ‘Well, if I use..” what do they call it… PC, the ‘perfect’ as if there’s a right and wrong is if there’s like a a specific, cleansed type of language, which is not the case. Then suddenly, it’ll suck all the humor and joy and whimsy out of the way that we communicate, which is not true. There are lots of comedians and writers and communicators who don’t hurt people, right? Bellamy you were talking about – who’s that? Who’s that actress?

Bellamy
Nicole Byer?

Ashia
Nicole Byer, right?? She’s so kind and inclusive, but also goofy and kind of crude

Saunatina
I could watch her all day every day. Yeah,

Bellamy
I pretty much do. A large part of my life. But yeah, and she’s also one of those people who she won’t say ‘crazy.’ She’ll say ‘wild.’ Almost every single time. I think maybe one time I heard her say crazy. But she’s actually trying. Even if there are other people in communication with her and they are saying crazy. She’ll she’ll choose a different word, to say the same thing.

Ashia
Right? And she’s fucking hilarious. So clearly, we can follow in that lead. But I broke it down. Okay, if I was going to do this, if I was going to do it methodically, it would be a six step process, [Laughter] because you know how I like my frameworks!

So maybe start with one word at a time. Because I did try when we first had kiddos, how do we replace ALL OF THE SWEARS? ALL of the ableist language and I just ended up silent and stuttering a lot? I had a list on my fridge. Like, word ‘fuck’ equals ‘fudge,’ and people like what is this list here? [Laughter]

Saunatina
You’re learning a new language.

Ashia
It’s fine. The kids can’t read yet. So maybe start with one word at a time because I tried it – all of the words don’t work if you try to do it all at the same time. An immersion program.

So the first step is basically just paying attention to the discomfort when words come out of our mouth. And like there are some words that people point out to us are problematic, but we can’t wait for other people to feel comfortable or know or have that sense. We have to take responsibility for that.

So there are some words that when I say them – like the word ‘douche’, I love using the word ‘douche.’ I also know that it’s associated with certain body parts that are usually associated with being bad and I should probably get on that right now? Right now I don’t have the spoons. Focusing on stupid, but just paying attention to – there’s a little sense inside, there’s a little pause, is that problematic?

Bellamy
That pause – that pause is telling you to say asshat instead.

Ashia
[Laughter] It’s perfect! [Laughter]

Saunatina
I’m still on the fence. I’m like, I think that douche is still a good word to use is a bad thing. Because douches in general are bad things.

Ashia
Sure. Yeah.

Bellamy
Also true.

Ashia
Yeah, but that pause right? just paying attention to the pause. And then that’s okay. Because you can look it up. You can look up to see – is this actually problematic?

And then the second step is recognizing how dominant language normalizes supremacy. So pulling into – when you realize, wait a second, Stupid? there’s something wrong with it. The word crazy – something is giving me pause, why?

And then really thinking about who has power? Who are we referring to? Who are we suggesting, ‘Oh, you are like this person, and therefore you are bad.’ And that will actually unpack for you – the cultural norms about who is seen as superior and inferior.

And then the third step would be naming how our word choice reinforces our unconscious bias. Just say it out loud, talk to someone. “I use this word, I probably shouldn’t.” Right? Because a lot of us feel like we need to do all of this work in our own heads by ourselves, making our little refrigerator lists. But talking about it with some other person is actually really helpful. Because even if I have that sense of “What do I use instead of ‘dark’?” But it doesn’t go anywhere until Bellamy brings it up. And then and then we can talk about it.

Bellamy
I was just gonna say macabre again.

Ashia
[Laughter] Then when you talk about it, and maybe – maybe it’ll go off the rails and it’ll be so much worse because then we’ll end up making a podcast called ‘A Mexican, a oriental, and a Black walk into your podcast!’

Bellamy
Got out of hand.

Ashia
[Laughter] Whoops!

Okay. [Laughter] And then the fourth step is consciously choosing WHO we want to empower and WHAT we want to dismantle. Because we don’t, want to just flip the script – like the people who, instead of using the word ‘dark,’ they use ‘light’ … that’s just confusing, and it doesn’t help. You’re still making a hierarchy. [Laughter] That need to use the word ‘woman’ in place of everytime they use the word ‘men’… [Laughter]

Bellamy
Are you? [Laughter] Nevermind, I was gonna say ‘Herstory’ I couldn’t help it. [Laughter]

Saunatina
I used that a few times as a militant feminist, and, you know, my teenage years. And I was like, yeah, no, it’s not… what I want to project because that’s not the point. The point is, I do want to take gender, I want to take the dude focus off of our language, but that, to me comes into words like guys, right? It’s like, referring to groups of people in that way. Makes me feel bad, because it’s like, yeah, it’s normalizing one gender or the other. And so I’ve been trying to use y’all, um, and but like, yeah.

Ashia
[Laughter] I feel like it’s cultural appropriation for Southerners!

Saunatina
No, but that’s the thing. We can get into it. Language is the process of appropriating to bring into clearer focus, what we want to express in our own culture. And the problem with the fact that we have appropriation now is that we have a class of people who are currently suppressed from gaining privilege from gaining goodness from the culture at large appropriating what we need right? And that’s kind of the issue I feel with appropriation. Let’s look at y’all is great as a word where does it come from? Yes, let us elevate the people who actually use it versus saying like, Oh, it’s theirs. That’s that language nuance.

Bellamy
Yeah, I’m definitely guilty of saying ‘guys’ often and also the majority of the time I’m talking to two guys. And so I have to intentionally remember when that’s not the case to switch it up. I try to say y’all more than anything and as a Black person in North Carolina, that’s fine for me.

Ashia
[Laughter] [whispers] I know you can say, that but can I say that?!

[Laughter] I will say as an experiment for about four years, I used the word ladies instead of guys in all circumstances. And while it did make me laugh, it also made me insufferable and I can understand why people wouldn’t want to be in the room with me. [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter] funny

Ashia
Oh gosh, like those embarrassing things that you do when you’re a kid like using ‘The’ in front of your name. Every time. And using ‘ladies’ when you enter a room. It’s not charming. It’s just embarrassing. [Laughter]

Saunatina
I do love it though.

Bellamy
I feel like we could go down a whole different road with ladies. I really don’t ever like it when somebody addresses everyone as ladies because so often there are at least one or two of us whose like “I ain’t no lady!”

You know, like [Laughter] there’s kind of that part too – where when you get into nonbinary and things like that, it just it gets real tricky.

Ashia
I don’t recommend it. It was – I tried it, and learn from my mistakes. It’s not a good look.[Laughter] It doesn’t come off the way you want to, and it does not change the world.

Saunatina
To me that’s, I just love the kids. I love the kids experimenting. And if it’s like, yeah, when I was a kid, we were being stupid this way. And I can’t wait to see how the kids are stupid their way. Oh, no. I used stupid!! [gasp]

Ashia
[Laughter]

Bellamy
It’s happening! It’s all falling apart.

Ashia
It’s, we got an or-ro-roo-bus! We’re in an ororrororo bus! [Laughter] I’ll never get that word. That an a sea amemenomeney … never get it.

Saunatina
Ooh, Ro Bo Russ.

Ashia
Oh, that’s cute. You think I’m gonna get it. I’m not gonna get it. So [Laughter]

Bellamy
[Laughter]

Ashia
So we named our word choice. Oh, – WHO we want to empower. WHAT we want to dismantle. We want to dismantle that sense that some people have a negative stigmatization and a connotation.

And I just want to briefly point out that virtue signaling is about empowering the savior. While accompliceship is about integrating a shared liberation into everyday life. So when we choose to change our words, is it about being an accomplice, or it is about is it about virtue signaling?

And just take a pause, take a beat, and think about that before you start incorporating words like decolonization into your everyday language.

And then also briefly, that sense of self-denigrating humor, what we call ourselves, we try and reclaim that word that people have called us as a way to reclaim it. But if there’s any level of denigration to it, then is it actually denigrating against us as an individual?

Is it like a “Ha ha, I know how to laugh at myself,” or is it actually bringing down *everyone* who shares our identity? So if I’m going to call myself a pussy, Who is that actually making fun of? right?

And then step five is digging into – if you want to keep the humor, digging into what is truly ridiculous about the way we live, right?

It’s not the people, we’re making fun of – the people who have less power. What’s truly ridiculous is the system that set that up. So if you want to set up a joke, if you want humor in your language, then find out what is ridiculous about the system, not the people, right?

And then also just find a truly spectacular and potentially whimsical replacement word. Right? Asshat! [Laughter]

Bellamy
That sounds great.

Ashia
And then

Hold on. I want to add – buttface.

Buttface! Oh, that’s fantastic.

Bellamy
I used to babysit this kid that was very into calling his sister buttface. And it was mean, but I was like, I like this. This is funny.

Ashia
[Laughter]

Saunatina
I’m so upset at myself. This is one of those things I regretted in my life I got rid of. There was a book that was Garfield’s best insults. I love Garfield. I’m one of those people and I don’t care and I love it. And I’m really sad because it’s like big, fat hairy…. Like it had a really it had a lot of good, ways of saying things that made it ridiculous, instead of hurtful. And I’m like, Gosh, I wish I had that book still.

Ashia
We have the internet, you can get it back. So a quick – we only have a couple of minutes left. I wanted to do a quick shout out to our communities. This episode made me think of our Books For Littles member, Robin R. who, when I was using, I heard the word ‘femme’ to mean in reference to a T shirt, like a femme-cut t-shirt. And I was like, “Oh, that’s a great word to suggest not just people who identify as women but feminine people.” So I used that in a title someplace.

And she called me in or actually, I don’t know if Robin uses she pronouns. Robin called me in and was like, “Hey, that only applies to people who are Rainbow queer, not just feminine. So that is actually an appropriation of that word.”

And I was like, “Oh my gosh, thank you that is deeply embarrassing, but thank you!” so I went back changed everything made notes. But that kind of – someone taking the effort to point that out is a big deep gift. So I wanted to give appreciation to Robin and all the people who have ever pointed out that I’m not using words right. That’s really – I appreciate it.

So Bellamy I was wondering if you had any shoutouts that you wanted to send out to your community this week. Anyone doing cool stuff?

Bellamy
Put me on the spot. The first person that comes to mind is Katie Kishore, who is awesome, and she runs the Kindness Cafe in what state am I in? [Laughter] In Charlottesville, Virginia. Whoo! When you move a lot! But she’s been a supporter for a long time and she’s helped me out. She runs a cafe for differently abled… is that how we say? I don’t know what we say anymore? These are the words,

Ashia
People with disabilities I think is what you want – is the safest

Bellamy
People with disabilities, thank you. This is actually fitting for the conversation, right? Yeah, so Katie Kishore, kindness cafe!

Ashia
Nice! Saunatina do you have anyone in your community who has been supportive?

Saunatina
I had do I have one of my fabulous coaching students, but I’m not going to call out by name, because she can be a little bit shy. But I wanted to give her particular shout out because the work that we’ve been doing in terms of decolonizing, literally, we are bringing these concepts to a group that we’re involved in. And she’s helping me bring these messages to a wider audience in a way that they can understand that I wasn’t, I didn’t have quite the words to connect with them. And so yeah, I’m always appreciative of my students who are show me that I’m still working on, you know, everything that I’m teaching as well.

Ashia
Nice. I love a good allistic translator who helps bridge that gap.

Oh, okay, so we’re gonna go into this week’s assignment, and then tell everybody what’s coming up.

So commit! This week’s assignment is to commit. Identify one problematic word in your lexicon. Or if you don’t have it yet, pay attention to that pause and just notice when it comes up. Leave a comment on the episode post [to tell us what it is]. If you don’t want to google the problematic title of our episode, it’s season two, Episode Seven, on the raisingluminaries.com/podcast website.

Or you can also leave a voicemail super easy 781-342-0486 And just leave the word, you can leave your name if you want, you can let us know if you are okay with us publishing it, or you just want us to listen to it and tell people that it happened.

And then find an alternative word using the resources in the podcast post. Because in the actual website podcast post will have a Glossary of words. I have a fantastic resource from Lydia X.Z. Brown, who has a whole post – a very old one that they update regularly, about ableism and language with alternative words.

If you don’t have words in your language that you feel you need to change, maybe check that post, we have a lot of great references.

And then coming up, spring is still for building relationships and working in collective action. So but next week is for breaks! I’m going to take next week off, we’re not going to have a podcast.

But when we are back in two weeks, we’re going to talk about creating a family culture of upstanding where your kids can feel comfortable calling you out on problematic language. Which my kids do all the time – they’re like “Mom, we don’t do ‘stupid.'”

Which is wonderful. How do we get to that place where they can do that?

Meanwhile, everything you need is in the resources, the transcript link is in the show notes and that’ll be up I think, Monday or Tuesday.

We have resources that will lead you to When We Gather which is Bellamy’s awesome group just cohesing now – we have a Tuesday book club meeting that we’re going to get together for.

You can also get communication, one on one coaching with Saunatina at craftingsoundmeaning.com And you can also use the code RAY, for $10 off a personal coaching session, if you need that extra connection.

In the Luminary Brain Trust, we have the Supremacy Culture series where we talk about how are we complicit? In our language, and our actions, in our habits and assumptions. So we’ll keep talking about that. And the Friday Failure parties, we’re talking about the words that we can’t let go of. So make sure to join that before April 30. Before my rates double, okay. And then you get grandfathered in. We also have the Luminary Word Bank, which I will link to because I referenced that in the in the show.

Bellamy
Can I just say grand-ladied in? Can you get grand-ladied in?

Ashia
[Laughter] I was just about that.

Saunatina
Oh, that’s right, because that’s actually a term that is related to racism.

Ashia
Oh!

Bellamy
Mmm.

Saunatina
Yeah, there’s a podcast, I’ll find it and link it to you so we can share with our audience!

Ashia
Nice grandfathered… how do we come up with a new word? Okay. Dammit! Thought that was just nice little old… There we go. All these new words.

So When We Gather at revolutionaryhumans.com,

Crafting Sound Meaning for Saunatina, and then … Wait, I’m so lost now. raisingluminaries.com is where this podcast will live. [laughter] Okay, do you guys have anything that you want to share before we close out?

Saunatina
I do I do I love – I’m going to start using I think ‘ludicrous’ instead of ‘stupid’ because that’s the term I feel encompasses that generational silliness right? Yes, every single generation is going to go do ludicrous stunts and be just ridiculous. That’s the essence that I want to bring out when I’m making fun of us as generational silly people. So like, ludicrous is my new word, I think, yeah.

Ashia
Nice. And we’ll have we’ll have a glossary of the words that I came up with as the alternatives for our watchwords in the post so we can also look at more of those a bunch of good ones. Bellamy do you have anything you wanted to end with?

Bellamy
Just that ludicris makes me think of the rapper.

Ashia
[laughter] same.

Bellamy
[laughter] Nah, I’m good thank you guys this was fun. Thanks guys. We did it. We all did it. We all did it many times. Words are hard.

Ashia
Okay, we’ll see you guys… you ladies? Oh fudge,

Bellamy
Yup.

Saunatina
Y’all!

Ashia
I can say that now, because I have a Black friend!

Bellamy
Yup.

Saunatina
Southern. It’s not just Black, it’s southern.

Bellamy
Yeah, Black and southern. Yeah.

Saunatina
Exactly.

Ashia
Usually in the north you can only say that if you’re Black. [laughter]

Bellamy
Right. Exactly. [laughter]

Ashia
Ah. words. Poor Bellamy has been silently laughing the entire time trying to not mess up the audio. [laughter] We’ll get better at this. Maybe. Okay, bye, everybody!

Bellamy
Bye!

Stay Curious, Stand Brave & Commit: Tell Us Your Challenge Word

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2 comments

Rebecca B. April 30, 2022 - 8:07 pm

A word I am still having trouble not blurting out is “stupid”. I have never liked the word, and then reading about language and everything it entails as an adult I realized it is also ableist. It is just really hard sometimes when someone does something and I just can’t even. There are plenty of better words; I just need to retrain myself.

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Ashia R. May 10, 2022 - 12:46 pm

Definitely my weakest word problem. The other day I thought ‘clueless’ could work. It’s a bit hard to get my mouth around, but I think with practice it could be a scathing insult.

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