Hi, I’m Lame.

Did this post’s title offend you? I hope not; it wasn’t my intention.

Shortly after emigrating to the US, I learned many words I didn’t know before, including badass, laidback, and lame. The latter came up in a statement such as this one:

“Dude, compared to Master of Puppets, Metallica’s album Load is lame.”

I knew the context. I inferred the meaning of lame as “dull”. For 20 years, that was the only meaning I had either seen or heard used for that word. Until the following exchange happened in a Slack channel:

Some person: “Facebook is now Meta.”
Me: “Lame.”
Another person: “You shouldn’t use that word. It’s offensive.”

I was puzzled. I looked up the word and found something like this:

“Having a body part and especially a limb so disabled as to impair freedom of movement.”

I am positive that definition has no ties to the meaning I’ve intended in the context of that Slack thread.

Ironically, if we look up the meaning of my name, this is what we find:

“Who’s responsible for that?”
“Hey, that’s offensive!”

As someone born in Brazil, I could feel offended when…

  • My Spanish-speaking friends spell out loud a word with the letter “q” in it
  • My American fellows say “coup” or text me “CU”

The other day I was watching this comedy news show and the guy was making fun of vanity plates that may be offensive to some people. He then shows this one, and how it’s offensive to him (saying a meaning that could only exist in his mind):

Well, for me, the immediate thought that came to mind is that “FDP” is Brazil’s equivalent to “SOB”.

Context is very important.

I’m Lame.

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: