Re: META: barfsome terminology

Damien Broderick (
Wed, 06 Oct 1999 20:28:02 +0000

At 07:45 PM 5/10/99 +0100, "Bryan Moss" <> wrote:

>So then, Mr Broderick

No need to be formal, Bryan, we're all pals here. But if the impulse to formality overwhelms you, that's Dr Broderick.

>a flurry of God-knows-what...?

I'd rather leave `God' out of it, as well as `meat'.

More to the point: I believe you've missed the force of my objection to this usage. I'm not calling for *euphemism*, as in some mealy-mouthed demand that the limbless be called `differently athletic'. Referring to living human persons as `meat' is not an obvious, neutral lexical default choice - it's a deliberately affrontive declaration, conveying an attitude well captured in Machine's rather Manichean avowal (on the >H list) that he or she (it?) uses `the term "meat" all the time particularly because it is derisive. i do hold flesh in contempt.'

I don't. Most people don't. It's pissing in the wind to convey this impression inadvertently (unless of course you agree with Machine and actually do `hold the flesh in contempt', a position I regard as either adolescent angst/posturing or, ahem, close to psychotic). You might as well routinely refer to our bodies as `shit-containers', which is also true in a limited degree. Avoiding such narrow and arguably deformed characteristations isn't `euphemism', it's being adult, as well as showing sensitivity to the opinions of those we wish to persuade of an enhanced, not constricted, view of personhood as science starts to rewrite humanity into transhumanity and then posthumanity. IMO.

Damien Broderick