11 February, 2013

Misuse of a word

Have you noticed how fond everyone has become of the word 'bully' these days?  People seem to have forgotten the meaning of the word too so, for clarification, here's the Oxford English Dictionary version:

Definition of bully

noun (plural bullies)

  • a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker:
    he is a ranting, domineering bully

verb (bulliesbullyingbullied)

[with object]
  • use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something:
    a local man was bullied into helping them

I was accused of being a bully a year or so back.  All because I disagreed with someone.  They said something which I considered to be out of line and I called them on it.  They since ran, crying to all who would listen, Bully, Bully, Bully.  Seriously?  If that were the case I am bullying Darren and quite a number of friends with who I regularly debate and disagree with.  Himself and the friends obviously aren't aware that the new term for someone who disagrees with you is 'Bully'.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not playing down the nastiness of being bullied, not in the least.  I just wish people would look up the definition of the word before they start shouting it from the rooftops.  Arthur was bullied as was Oscar.  They were picked on and laughed at by boys in their respective classes.  They were called names and were made to feel like nothing at all.  THAT is bullying (see above!).
Ignoring someone doesn't mean you are bullying them either.  I feel I have to mention that as Arthur has been accused of bullying because he doesn't care for a boy in his class and, as such, has no interest in him and is ignoring him.  He is polite to him, Arthur to boy in question, but he doesn't care for the boys company.  I don't imagine he wishes him any harm (Jesus, I hope not).  He just:  Doesn't.  Like.  Him!!  End of.
The boy in question, a spoilt, over indulged  shit in my opinion, is dancing up and down in temper that he is not on Arthur's radar.  Or, at least, that's what it looks like to me.  Arthur is NOT bullying this child.  He is just not interested in this child.  Isn't that allowed?
I mean, do we really have to like everyone that crosses our path?  There are plenty of people in my life who I wouldn't care if I never saw again.  Not even that 'I wouldn't care if I never saw them again' more a case of 'I wouldn't notice'.  I'm not being deliberately harsh but it's just how it is.  I am nice to these people when I see them face to face, when we're in company etc.  I wish them no harm, I don't bitch them up behind their backs.  I, simply don't care.  That doesn't make me a bully any more than it makes my son.

Going out of your way to physically or mentally hurt someone. .. well, that's bullying.  Ignoring someone because they have no real effect on your life, well, what do you call that?  

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