The offensive nature

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Oros

Senior Member
Korean
I know it is offensive to say the following:

1. You are a fat man/woman.

2. You are an old man/ old woman.


I am a skinny a person. I weigh just 61-62 kilos.

If someone said that I am a skinny man, it is fine by me.

Generally speaking, to tell someone that he/she is a skinny person is allright by me.

Is it offensive in AmE or BrE?
 
  • VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Oros said:
    I know it is offensive to say the following:

    1. You are a fat man/woman.

    2. You are an old man/ old woman.
    Yes, you're right.

    #2 isn't so offensive . . . .


    Oros said:
    If someone said that I am a skinny man, it is fine by me.

    Generally speaking, to tell someone that he/she is a skinny person is allright by me.

    Is it offensive in AmE or BrE?
    No, it is not offensive at all in AmE. In fact, it may be taken as a compliment.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hello,

    "Thin" and "slender" are compliments; "skinny" is not. It has an implication that the person is too thin, and perhaps that he lacks muscle tone.
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Kelly B said:
    "Thin" and "slender" are compliments; "skinny" is not. It has an implication that the person is too thin, and perhaps that he lacks muscle tone.
    Ahh, thank you, Kelly.

    I should clarify:
    If a man is called "skinny", it usually carries the implication that Kelly has mentioned. That is, being weak, or not having muscle tone.
    If a woman is called "skinny", it is usually taken as a compliment.

    My opinions are only products of my experiences . . .
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Skinny comes somewhere in the long list that ranges from positive (like slender) to negative (scrawny). The order of that list is culture-dependent, as is the point at which it moves from positive to negative.
     

    Sophie Elizabeth

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I have to say, as a woman, I wouldn't take it as an outright insult if someone told me I was skinny but I wouldn't be pleased either because I would wonder why they said it. If they were trying to compliment me, they would have said "slim" "slender" or even "thin". Skinny does imply, to me, too thin. If a girl said it, I would think it was a jibe, if a boy said it I would think that he just doesn't get the subtleties of these phrases!!!
     

    Sophie Elizabeth

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Hmm, difficult to explain. It's like a barely concealed insult. Something a bit spiteful but not outright rude. In this case, I meant it that I would think that the girl was calling me skinny because she was bitter or resentful towards me over my figure. I really hope that doesn't come across as boastful!! :)
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    VenusEnvy says the following is not so offensive.

    You are an old man/ old woman.

    I beg to differ.

    I have seen people react somewhat angrily to hear this.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you are in your 20s, you will tell a person of over 30 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 30s, you will tell a person of over 40 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 40s, you will tell a person of over 50 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 50s, you will tell a person of over 60 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 60s, you will tell a person of over 70 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 70s, you will tell a person of over 80 years old as an old person.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I myself have noticed the way people react in German society. I am sure you have all notice these things in your daily chores.

    [I wouldn't compare octogenarians with the others. There are not so many people who reach the 90 mark.]
     

    Amityville

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Oros said:
    If you are in your 20s, you will tell a person of over 30 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 30s, you will tell a person of over 40 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 40s, you will tell a person of over 50 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 50s, you will tell a person of over 60 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 60s, you will tell a person of over 70 years old as an old person.

    If you are in your 70s, you will tell a person of over 80 years old as an old person.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I myself has noticed the way people react in German society. I am sure you have all notice these things in your daily chores.

    [I wouldn't compare octogenarians with the others. There are not so many people who reach the 90 mark.]

    Oros, as it was repeated six times I feel duty-bound to correct the English for you.

    If you are in your twenties, you would say that a person of over thirty is old.

    etc.
    And, while I'm there -

    I myself HAVE noticed the way people react in German society. I am sure you have all noticeD these things while about your daily business.

    And regarding your point, I agree that people easily take offence at being thought old but I find it much less so in France than in the UK. Many English people are offended even if you say that they look tired (in my experience).
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I thank Amityville for his correction of my rotten English. You have rewritten them in beautiful English; because you are a native speaker of English.

    You wrote the following:
    If you are in your twenties, you would say that a person of over thirty is old.

    I don't think that you should stick to the verb 'would' here. Of course it is preferable.

    Finally, what is wrong with the following?
    If you are in your 20s, you will tell/consider a person of over 30 years old as an old person.
     

    Amityville

    Senior Member
    English UK
    "To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
    For as you were when first your eye, I ey'd,
    Such seems your beauty still."

    I think that is beautiful. What I wrote was just workaday and reasonably acceptable. The rest of your English was faultless and it is often good and idiomatic.

    I would find it hard to explain why I said 'would' - the best I can come up with is grammatical courtesy - 'will' is far too definite and prescriptive. But there are many others here who will be able to give you a proper explanation and may also re-phrase the sentence better.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thanks for all the nice compliments, Amityville.

    I am not a white man. I am a non white man. At times people tell me that I am a bloody foreigner in an indirect manner. Then I tell them that I am very proud of my skin colour, origin and identity.

    People who are younger than me alludes to the fact of that I am an old man. I reply them with as follows:

    I am old but I am not fat. No more inflammatory remarks from them.
    Because those people weigh about 70, 80 or 90 kilos.


    One of the reasons to maintain such a low weight is that I am training at a gym, 3 times a week.

    However, I didn't go to the gym last 4 weeks. Everyday I take my bike and take a 30km ride; because the weather is excellent.

    You get really tired when you cycle over 30km. I think in August I will start going to the gym.
     

    daviesri

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I would avoid using 'skinny' and use 'slim or slender' instead. Many people including several women I know do not like to be referred to as skinny. One of the women has been trying to put on weight since she was a teen (now late thirties) and is annoyed when she is called skinny (actually she get down right mad).
     

    Amityville

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Mmm, daviesri, no accounting for folk. It is culture-dependent as Panjandrum said and person-dependent within that.

    It is not always so easy to find a ready retort to inflammatory remarks, Oros, but an allusion to age is not necessarily an offensive remark, it would depend on other things which are not always readily gauged in a foreign country. I hope, anyway, that you meet less prejudice and more appreciation. You must be in pretty good condition, regardless.
     

    Oros

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Amityville wrote the following:

    An allusion to age is not necessarily an offensive remark, it would depend on other things.


    I would agree with you. Among our relatives,friends and well-wishers it is common to talk about age and related issues. It is pleasure to talk about such things, as far as I am concerned.

    This is not the case with some people. You could easily gauge them. The tone is different.

    Nikobaba says it is complementary to tell that the person in question is fat, in some cultures. I wouldn't rule out it.
     

    lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    Oros said:
    Thanks for all the nice compliments, Amityville.

    I am not a white man. I am a non white man. At times people tell me that I am a bloody foreigner in an indirect manner. Then I tell them that I am very proud of my skin colour, origin and identity.

    People who are younger than me alludes to the fact of that I am an old man. I reply them with as follows:

    I am old but I am not fat. No more inflammatory remarks from them.
    Because those people weigh about 70, 80 or 90 kilos.
    So, no "golden rule" for you, I guess?
     
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