8.03.2017

Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

WELL NOW. Unfortunately, it seems I must say some things about my the use of the English language, in order to continue to say anything at all in these parts.  It is unfortunate mainly for me, because to be quite honest, I DON'T FEEL LIKE IT. I'd like to just talk about the six yards of insanity I've got on, but, there's the rub, I shouldn't be describing a dress as insane... and so, the post goes back into the Realm Of Draft... again. Not because I can't think of another opening sentence, but because I DON'T WANT TO.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

Let me explain. Following my last post, a reader (quite politely, actually!) suggested to me via Twitter that I rethink the usage of certain words, which is fair enough. It's not the first time my off-color sense of humor has chafed, and it probably won't be the last. If you're looking for a calm, sterile, and properly punctuated use of the English Language, I am not your huckleberry. 

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

But, I also don't intend any harm, with my random capitalization and colorful talk. So let me clarify, when I call my closet "schizophrenic and delusional," I am referring to the general, and not medical, definitions of the words, which are; schizophrenic: a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements, and, delusional: based on or having faulty judgment, mistaken. 

To wit: in the past, my closet held many inconsistent, contradictory elements of style, having everything to do with the fact that I had to be able to pull different looks for whatever role I was auditioning for. And in the present, where I am still a working actress in need of many looks, I THINK my closet still has those inconsistent or contradictory elements, but my judgement is faulty and mistaken: IT DOES NOT, because now that I sew pretty much all of my own clothing, there is no longer any room for RTW lawyer/nurse/cop wear. Yet I delude myself into thinking I can don something like this African wax print maxi dress to audition as a Suburban Mother with an Edgy Vibe. (The hair gets me to edgy all on its own, folks.)

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

Hrm. Four paragraphs later, I guess I do feel like saying some things about this subject. But I don't. LET ME CAPITALIZE: I REALLY, REALLY DON'T. And contrary to what four paragraphs of rambling would suggest, I truly don't want to make a big thing out of it! Raising my pitchfork because someone doesn't agree with my yammerings about the idiosyncrasies of my closet would be, how do you say, blowing things out of proportion.

But are we, as a whole, maybe blowing things out of proportion in general? The (again, gentle and friendly) tweet came complete with a link to an article warning the reader against using words like Grief, Depression, and Insomnia as descriptors, unless you have truly personally experienced those afflictions. (That was about halfway through the article, and also where I tapped out).  

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

Again, not meaning to start a Riot, party of one, over a tweet. It was simply a small reminder of the much larger liberal minefield that we've become, in the face of the impossibility of what we are. Our opinions and ideals have become our most precious possessions. Words are what the bulk of us have right now to protect those possessions. Words have become both weapons and prisoners. And on the liberal side, specifically, we're imprisoning words to protect our possessions from those who probably aren't out to damage an already beaten and bloodied society with an innocent turn of phrase.

But, words are loaded things with meanings that can shift entirely based on personal experience. There are plenty of nasty words out there that should be obliterated, and plenty of words that have taken on new weight when we weren't looking. That's just it, isn't it? Even if you think you're clear on the meaning, you have no idea how your words will affect someone else, because you are not living their life and their experiences.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

As for myself, there are plenty of words that conjure up real life experiences for me, that rub me the wrong way. Words that are mine in a way that they are not yours, because I have experienced them. They're innocent enough to others, and they're not going anywhere, and that's just fine. When humor is your weapon of choice (whether you're skilled at wielding that weapon or not), I think you have a wider...allowance. 

I know that in our current climate, the great good bulk of us are trying to be more careful with each other, and I applaud us for it. But can we try to assume that the person to our left, and I do mean left, most likely has our back? Because it's getting censored around here. And by here, I don't mean my small nonsensical corner of the web, I mean out there. There's no room for humor, no room for questions, no room for language, there's no room to talk about anything. When everything is sacred, nothing is safe.

oonaballoona | by marcy harriell | sewing Simplicity 1687 & Complicated Thoughts

WELL. That's just about enough of that, although I do 100% invite you to share your thoughtful comments. Let's talk for a minute about the pattern, Simplicity 1687 (who, by the way, after a deserved backlash over their lack of ethnicity in vintage patterns have since made strides to correct that, and from what I can see have received no kudos for it--so kudos, Simplicity. And yes, I can already hear my fellow liberals fire back that a couple of pattern envelopes and reposts are not enough, but to this liberal, steps forward are steps forward.)

TOUGH TO GET OFF THAT SOAPBOX, EH, MIZZ BALLOONA? The pattern. I maxi-fied this midi dress, and shortened the waist by about an inch--and in doing so, made the pockets useless for actual hands. They will hold a phone, keys, and dinero, tho. The yoke was abandoned in favor of adjustable straps. I flat piped some of the shorter seams with remnants from this Vogue wrap dress, and both prints hail from AKN Fabrics. I feel like Holly Hobby in some alternate universe, which is just how I want to feel some days.
And with that, I believe I'm out of words.

129 comments:

  1. I have no comment on the language policing, except that I love your writing, however wild. :) the dress is equally fun, despite messing with my ongoing attempt to pretend Sinplicity Patterns no longer exist since I can't buy them easily in Canada any more. I love all the fun maxis you've been making!

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    1. someone, who just bought a house, needs to make a li'l list of simplicity patterns, so someone can send said someone a housewarming prize.....

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  2. Ahh, so much food for thought. I do try to be thoughtful and careful with my own language (just this morning I was hunting for a synonym for some medically-related adjective in a blog post... but now I can't remember what the word was! :P) I'm in a totally different situation though, as a public school teacher. Hell, I moderate my language to distinguish between 2-d SHAPES and 3-d FORMS because that's technically right, even though it sounds wrong. (Swearing, I am ok with, but I do feel bad when I say "God" in informal ways. Even atheists need to curse, ammiright?) Where am I going with this? I do think language is shifting away from terms like "obsessive" or even "crazy", that have medical meanings, and I think that's a good thing... but I also agree with you that the non-medical meanings are deeply embedded in language and I think it's near impossible to keep all those terms from casual conversation or writing. My personal rules is that if I write something and feel awkward about it, I rewrite it. If I don't have a twinge, I carry on! To each their own, I think!
    (And I love the dress! Here's a question back at you, while we are on the topic of words that some communities can use and not others... I've never decided if it's ok for a white lady like me to use Ankara fabric. Cultural appropriation, or awesome print used with knowledge of it's history? I don't know, and it's not the kind of thing any one person can decree is ok or not, so here I am, Ankara-less!)

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    1. I'm actually curious to hear your thoughts on this too re: appropriation or not. TBH I don't think many of the prints would look great on me anyway, but you never know when I might stumble upon the one.

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    2. Ankara has a somewhat quirky line of descent, it being actually Dutch wax cloth, knocked off from Indonesian batik, so technically, I'd say a white woman has as much right as anyone to wear it. Of course, culture is more about nuance and belief than technicalities, so I will say that my ambuyas (grandmothers and aunties) are delighted to see my white friends wearing it, they say the everyone looks better in beautiful prints... though I do come from Southern Africa, instead of West (so, while we do use wax cotton culturally, it's possible that I'm not fully qualified to offer an opinion, either...)

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    3. I am a white lady, who has lived in Zambia and Uganda, who has several garments made of US patterns with African fabrics. I figure it will upset some people, and not others, and my job is to be ready to have a conversation with people who are upset, with a humble open heart. Knowing it may be hard. But - OMG the inspiration oona!! Everytime I see one of your ankara garments I start hunting for my credit card and sewing machine.

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    4. I love the wax prints too, and I'm white - so I tend to make simple styles of clothing with them, and usually either a top or a skirt which gets worn with a solid - so I'm not appropriating an entire look. I don't think a full African style top & skirt is right for me to wear. So that's how I have threaded this particular needle....

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    5. If I had my way, EVERYONE would be walking around in wax print! I don't think it's inappropriate at all, in fact I think that the time and effort we put into making a garment is more honor than appropriation.

      And, as already said, it's Dutch in origin-- and technically should be called Dutch wax print and not African, but CinderellaRidvan puts it beautifully: "culture is more about nuance and belief than technicalities." Hmm.... I think I'll bring this subject up in my next wax print post...

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    6. Thank you, everyone, for your advice! I think the outcome is I need to buy me some ankara!!! <3

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  3. Very cool dress :) I find a lot of angst goes away if you start with the assumption that everyone is kind and means absolutely no harm, on blogs and everywhere else. I have a couple phrases that hurt too, and sometimes they do come up. If often enough with someone not very close to me, I just quietly unfollow or avoid. I know they don't mean to hurt, and most are not hurt. It's not offensive, and it's my problem to deal with. Now, if someone clearly yields language with judgment and intention to shame, that's a different story...

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    1. agree, 100%.

      (although i go back and forth on the dress ;)

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  4. Yes, your writing is terrific and well put. I agree that with rigidity we can lose the poetry of words and expression, however I think I can empathize a bit with the polite commenter. For me, the rub is when I read people saying how "OCD" they are. It does seem like one of those things that you see all the time once you become aware of it, but it still stings. I specifically notice creative folks in the sewing/knitting/handmade wardrobe community using "OCD" as a casual, sometimes poke-fun way of describing perfectionism, orderliness, not being able to let something go. But since falling in love and living with someone lives with OCD, it's frustrating to read such a casual (and sometimes even self-congratulatory?) adoption of a term that causes very real pain and challenges. Surely there must be ways to describe one's love of a tidy desk that don't romanticize how consuming and heartbreaking and life-abrupting diagnosed anxiety and OCD can be. (and again, I am just a bystander, but it's part of my life now too).

    So yes, the colloquial is not to be confused with the medical, but considerate wording can still go a long way.

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    1. I hear you -- I also empathize with the polite commenter. I'm visually impaired (going blind, actually) and it always throws me when people use the term "blind" to mean dumb, stupid, unaware, etc. Someone said "the blind leading the blind" at work recently, and I have to admit it stung.

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    2. I have to admit OCD is one that sort of annoys me but probably not for the right reasons. I just hate that neatness and perfectionism are considered to be bad things. Not that I personally am either one. I would really like to be but laziness usually wins over my desire to be neat and perfect.

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    3. Ah yes, I've definitely used OCD in the past (and to be honest, I'll likely do so in the future), but may rethink it a bit as the definition is purely medical. However, (leaving the medical COMPLETELY) aside for a moment), Lynn--I always considered it a badge of honor to be that neat and perfect!

      Duck, (not *duck*, I'm referring to the comment left by Duck ;), I honestly never would have thought about that often-used phrase hurting someone, but again, we just don't know what anyone is going through. We all have phrases that will knock someone out unawares. (I'm legally blind, by the way-- contacts since I was 12, and although I don't know the level of what you're going through, I truly hope that something can be done for your sight.)

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  5. As a woman who is your apparent opposite in everything but gender and our love of sewing, I enjoy everything about your blog including your colorful use of longuage. Keep it coming!

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    1. Same here! Marcy is awesome to me! I think society needs a chill pill.

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    2. I agree with Nancy and Nursebennett!

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    3. Well thankya, ladies! Nancy, what a wonderful comment--I'm constantly reminded that our love of sewing blows away all kinds barriers.

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  6. Dropping by on this blog for the first time in literally years and I already want to comment! I agree with Anonymous posting at 11:58am. I personally can't stand misuse of "mental", "autistic", or "gay" used as a pejorative, and don't even get me started on Facebook style quizzes designed to "discover what type of anxiety you have!".

    "Schizophrenic and delusional" wouldn't bother me when applied to a closet because it's so obviously the general usage of the terms. Had they been applied to a person, though, that would be different because unlike closets, some people are medically schizophrenic and that's just not funny.

    Also noting that a lot of these words are descriptors of characteristics that carry (or have carried) stigma. I guess it's that privilege thing - as a white girl I don't have the right to joke about "blacking up", no matter how well intentioned or generalised I mean the term to be. Just white privilege is more out there in the public consciousness than neurotypical privilege.

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    1. Yes! Applying these terms to a person in a blog post wouldn't cross my mind-- though, now that I say it, I wonder if I *have* in my eight years of yammering...

      When others do apply those terms to people, I take that person into consideration and decide if their intentions are ill. I'm not adverse to off color humor; for me it can make light of a terrible situation. And I never knew "blacking up" was a term used anywhere else but in black culture! As a kid it was derogatory for me, meant for lighter skinned kids who were trying to be more black (and usually failing, in the eyes of the darker skinned kids).

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  7. I agree! Let's all just assume positive intent, especially among those with whom we already have common interests and established connections. If an individual is truly personally hurt by language, they are right to contact the user to discuss and work it out. But this insidious PC curtailment of our language makes it so much less enjoyable for writers and readers alike.

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    1. That reminds me--I was talking with my dear brilliant friend about "calling out" versus "calling in," where sometimes it's better to contact the user directly and start a discussion there. I don't know how I feel about it; if I'd been "called in," we wouldn't be having this fairly lengthy discussion here!

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  8. I've always enjoyed your writing style and use of language. Like Kelly, I assume people are kind and mean no harm and this alleviates a lot of angst for me.

    Like everyone else, I have phrases that are hurtful and, for the most part, the people in my life know not to use them. If they do come up, I will quietly and respectfully explain why they are hurtful. That usually does the trick.


    You're fabulous, Marcy. Don't change who you are or how you write. Your kindness, energy, and big heart shine through every word.

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  9. {sigh} Complicated thoughts...complicated world.

    I was originally smitten with your blog because of your generous use of colour and pattern in your garments. Oh...and also the tweaking, and altering, and editing. OH, OH, OH...and the embellishing! LOVE that too!

    Having said that, it is your thoughtful writing that really draws me in and keeps me here Marcy. I haven't met you in real life, but I feel your voice is authentic on your blog. And it's a kind voice and a funny voice and an intelligent voice. For me personally...I've never been offended by your use of words. I feel I've always read them as you intended them to be interpreted.

    The dress! The dress is EVERYTHING! A perfect example of you nailing colour and pattern and embellishment! You ROCK!

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  10. The maxi length looks fab with this cool print! :)

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    1. thank you! Lemme tell ya, I had to adjust my eyes several times during the course of making it ;)

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  11. Interesting because just this morning I was thinking that we need to stop being "us" and "them" and one country again...because really I have more in common with you as an American than you think. Finally, the dress is beautiful. I like the use of the other African print as the piping and I wholeheartedly agree, a step forward is better than no step at all so kudos to Simplicity.

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    1. SO MUCH "us" and "them." It's going to be a long road...we'd better be able to laugh.

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  12. "There's no room for humor, no room for questions, no room for language, there's no room to talk about anything. When everything is sacred, nothing is safe."
    Yes! Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Brenda. That line popped into my head when a dear friend of mine was being lambasted for, well, not being PC enough in his fight for PCness? Crazy times.

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  13. I adore your six yards of insanity. And, as a linguist... I approve 😁

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    1. A linguist!!! How cool! I apologize for any malapropisms, past, and most definitely future!

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  14. Your generosity and joy in living is what comes across to me. And your mad creative skills!

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  15. I appreciate your thoughtfulness here. As the sister of a schizophrenic though, I've got to say, there are other ways to describe your wardrobe as "inconsistent, contradictory" such as the words "inconsistent" and "contradictory". There are so many other ways to communicate how quirky your closet is without bringing up my brother's (and millions of others') crippling and life-threatening disease. I just wanted to read about your gorgeous dress, but instead I'm shocked back to the reality of wondering if my brother knows who he is today, if today is the day he loses his new job, etc. I thought reading about sewing would be a place that wouldn't shock me back here, you know?

    When 'schizophrenic' is used in the non-medical sense, it's rarely a euphemism for how amazing or wonderful or really in any positive way ever. It's used to describe how something doesn't fit well in modern society, how it's inferior to the norm, just like my brother. As if I (or he!) needed yet another reminder.

    Please remember that no one is telling you what you can or cannot say. We're only saying 'hey, there are less hurtful ways to communicate what you're communicating'. Only you can decide how if you're okay with your language hurting others.

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    1. First, and most importantly-- I'm so sorry that your brother, and you and your family, are dealing with this disease.

      Admittedly, I don't have anyone close to me suffering from schizophrenia, and if I did, I would likely remove the word from my personal lexicon. That said, there *are* other words I will never use due to my personal experience with them, words that others use with ease, that I come across and choose to let slide off my back (or go to battle if I feel the speaker is using it with ill intentions).

      Although I wouldn't call myself a writer, my High School Poetry & English Teen Self still remembers delighting in simile...metaphor...personification...and dear god yes, alliteration, to the point of inducing eye rolling...and she still wants to play with all of that. Most of the time I'm talking about anything but sewing on this sewing blog! It's truly never my intention to hurt with my words--in fact, I did intend the descriptions in a positive sense, as I do think my closet is amazing. I adore my closet!

      But, even as I'm typing that last sentence, I know that you are seeing the physical reality of your brother. We see life through our own lenses (in fact, the commentor "Duck'" above, who is losing her sight, could be hurt by that statement). Part of me hopes that you have not come back to read my reply, because even while I'm trying to respond thoughtfully, I'm sure I've said more that is hurtful without intending to--and I fully understand the need to remove those things from your life that cause more pain, intentional or no!

      If you have come back, I wish you and your family well.

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  16. Like Nancy Morris, I too am your opposite in many ways, but I thoroughly enjoy your writing and your mindbogglingly spectacular outfits. It seems to me that as our communications become more written and less spoken word, the text tone somehow gets tighter and loses that aspect of warmth that face-to-face human interaction supplies. Marcy, write what you want! Be unbridled! I have your back, and I hope you have mine.

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    1. Glad to have your back!

      My (awesome, wish she would write a blog) friend was just telling me about Plato, and his fear of the latest technology at the time: the written word. I'm sure I'm getting this wrong, but I think he was concerned that the page removed the writer from human interaction. I suppose he would (rightfully) self implode in the face of 140 characters...

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  17. Let me just say - I love this post. For so many reasons. So many reasons... :D

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  18. I absolutely *love* your message in this post. Bravo :)

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  19. The dress is beautiful and you can say anything thing you want to say. Some people forget that we STILL have freedom of speech in this country.

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    1. I assume the country you are referring to as "this country" is the US. Many countries have free speech, for example, Canada, South Africa, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Japan, to name just a few.

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    2. Interesting... though we have free speech (in many countries), it is being narrowed. Not just by outward influences, but by our own minds as well. It's my hope that within our free speech we consider others-- not just the possibility of offending others, but the possibility that others intention isn't to offend!

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  20. Marcy, thanks for having the discussion about language - it's a minefield, and your gloriously frenetic writing has captured it well. I lived with PTSD for a couple of years, and yes, when someone describes their slightly inconvenient morning as 'traumatic', my hackles rise. I worked my guts out over those two years to recover from an awful, insidious illness, and for the word trauma to be diminished in it's intensity also diminishes my efforts. BUT... hearing those trigger words also serves as desensitisation (the only good application of the word!). The scars my illness are fading, in some ways as a result of hearing those trigger words appropriated for a less sinister purpose.
    Communication is a complex beast, and I believe that if we continue to move on with the intent to better understand each other, then that's having each others back.
    Thanks again Marcy.

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    1. Thank you, Jess! Yes, PTSD is no joke, although if we were talking IRL you would hear that sentence with a hefty dose of humor, as I have joked about it often-- because laughter for me was the best medicine. And "Communication is a complex beast, and I believe that if we continue to move on with the intent to better understand each other, then that's having each others back." --yes! Thank you for sharing that.

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  21. I completely LOVE your DRESS and WRITING. People need to get a life. If you don't like the writing STOP READING it and move on. SIMPLE AND PLAIN.

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    1. Thank you, Jess! Yes, PTSD is no joke, although if we were talking IRL you would hear that sentence with a hefty dose of humor, as I have joked about it often-- because laughter for me was the best medicine. And "Communication is a complex beast, and I believe that if we continue to move on with the intent to better understand each other, then that's having each others back." --yes! Thank you for sharing that.

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  22. Love your colours & design hacks. You give me lots of ideas & inspiration, even though I'm too short for them to work for me as is.

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    1. I, too, am short. Used to be 5' 2 1/2", now shrunken by 1". I am a White woman who loves 'African' prints, and just finished an outfit using two such fabrics with wild patterns including huge circles! So, if you are short, just cut those big motifs into smaller pieces so you can wear them. I am very aware of the multi-cross-cultural journey these patterns have made from Indonesia to West Africa, while both were under Dutch colonial subjugation, and are still being made in The Netherlands! Culture and language are very complex things, continually evolving to reflect current conditions. Let's keep our minds open to other peoples' truths.

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    2. Karey & Karel, what a nice roll of the name dice there!

      I'm a fellow shorty, y'all, just under 5'3 (Rob likes to basically lie on the ground and shoot me like I'm skyscraper tall). Karel, love your suggestion of cutting up the bigger motifs, I'd never considered that! And yes, what a wild and wide backstory behind these prints. They evolve much like language and communication!

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  23. Alternate universe Holly Hobby nearly send water all over the keyboard...

    My threadbare, well loved, Holly Hobby doll from childhood WISHES she was cool enough to have a dress like this! Gorgeous.

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    1. :)))) i was *this close* to making a bonnet!

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  24. I never, EVER have a problem with your colorful, deliciously creative language. Other people may react strongly to some terms as insulting or hurtful not because they are so, but because it hits a nerve of some sort of sensitive personal experience they've had or are currently experiencing. That's life, and your life expressions can't be censored for every single person out there. They don't know you and you don't know them. To me, it's a bit overreacting when they can't even speak with the person ...er...in person and just criticize anyway to vent. Mebbe they needed to vent and something you said set them off. That is their own personal reaction, not the sewing world's reaction. Your online persona is lovely, hilarious, caring, and joyful. Don't ever change. The tender tootsies can either calm down and realize that it's not personal to them or just go elsewhere to a more "white bread" presentation. I prefer the bread in all flavors, spiced up for fun. My two cents: Rock On! Cindy (Creative Hormone Rush)

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    1. :) thank you, Cindy! And you know, although it wasn't really a vent, I suppose unwittingly providing an opportunity for someone to get something off their chest isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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  25. I think as a general rule (that is, you got me thinking and I formalised a general rule:) )There's line in humour where it crosses from jocuse to pointed and hurtful. And that will change a lot depending on who you are. But if your defences are activated and you react badly to someone joking about themselves, then it is your problem and not theirs.

    There's trying to not be offensive. But there's also trying to not be offended. It's less common but just as good for the soul.

    I like your writing, it's energetic, and reflective and this is a good (and rare) combination.

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    1. I agree -- that was perfectly put! :)

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    2. I wholeheartedly agree :-).

      A number of years ago, I was dealing with some relatively severe social anxiety and had new neighbors who I really liked and wanted to make sure I didn't give them reason not to like me. My neighbor had been out in her yard when I'd left for a walk, and when I came home, I wanted to make sure to say hello but didn't see her as I walked past. I beat myself up for it for hours that she was going to think I'd been rude until I realized one simple fact...

      If I believed she had a right to be offended (and I did) then I had a right to have offended her.

      Not that I'd ever go out of my way to offend or hurt anyone! But I completely agree that as much as it's good and kind and reasonable to remember that our words have power, it's also good and kind and reasonable to remember that most people mean no offense in the ways they use them and in fact many words mean very different things to different people.

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    3. Oh Galica, I fourth the motion, that's so wonderfully put!

      Jessica, I used to agonize (well, still do, sometimes, a lot of the times) over those social interactions as well, and that's a perfect way to turn it around and see it from another angle.

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  26. I think we've gotten to a point in society where just about everything we say offends someone. We can either walk on eggshells and moderate every single little thing that comes out of our mouth or just be who we are and carry on. Finding alternate ways to phrase things in writing for the sake of hoping to please everyone causes us to lose our voice when we write. It's a nice trip to becoming someone we're not. I personally cringe when someone describes any style worn by women of color as "ethnic" but after 0.437 seconds I'm over it and go on with my day. We all have our triggers that rub us the wrong way - some that others may perceive as rational or irrational. Just carry on and live your life!

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    1. Oh, this. A thousand times this. 👏 I'm very much on the left; a British liberal with a desire for everyone to just be a bit kinder and not get so worked up about what other people are doing. Or not doing. Or what they have in their pants. I digress. I loath the snowflake tag but when every other word seems to publicly offend *someone* I wonder if we deserve it somewhat.

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    2. I'll add a cube to that thousand, well said April! "A nice trip to becoming someone we're not." So well put.

      Lynz, I had to laugh at the snowflake bit! (And the pants bit. People need to get out of each others pants!)

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  27. AND, I almost forgot: what a lovely dress! You're the queen of long dresses! Cindy, CHR

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  28. I think you are #1 at stringing together the English language into sentences. I am amazed at how you write. People are WAY too easily offended these days. They need to GET OVER IT!

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  29. Phew, that is tiring stuff to dwell on. My FB friend list has a fair share of self proclaimed "Social Justice Warriors" and it's stressful spending so much of my time worrying about being politically and socially correct.

    Especially when I agree that gay should only be used in a certain way, and understand if I say I'm going crazy, that I'm going to offend some of my friends with mental health issues, so work to find another way to describe how I'm doing.

    And.. once somebody tells you you're being offensive by doing a thing, it's hard to not self monitor yourself every time you write your thoughts out. It's a game it's pretty hard to win at. ANYWAY. I would agree using schizophrenic as you did to be an appropriate use that paints a vivid picture that seems accurate, and see how it could offend some people, and I'm sending supportive thoughts your way!

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  30. Fuck 'me if they can't take a joke.

    My daughter does have a mental illness but I don't own the words nor do I want to. Laughter is how we stay sane.

    You are one of life's wonderful bright shining stars. Please continue to carry on.

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    1. Shit, that was supposed to say "Fuck 'EM if they can't take a joke." Damn autocorrect.

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    2. hahahaha Anne! Glad you cleared that up, I DID wonder. I like Galica's response previous. Let's try not to offend, as we try not to be offended. Give a little benefit of the doubt to each other too. Sometimes, just fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

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    3. Haha, Anne, I sort of liked the joke line both ways! Autocorrect: the worst language-offender of them all.

      Ali, yes, once someone says it, it's in your head-- that's why I had to type something out to move forward from it, even though it was a very polite suggestion. You begin to feel as though every word is wrong. I mean, how many of us describe ourselves as crazy or sad or tired on any given day? Though I think we should be mindful, how much time should we spend on tiptoeing around words rather than actually sharing words? A little benefit of the doubt, as Barbara says.

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    4. also: "Laughter is how we stay sane"--going on my list of Things To Embroider.

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  31. Its a toughie, I think reading a blog which to me if more of a chat-like write, you do get a sense of a person - and really context is key isnt it - but there is always one who will zoom in (god knows I have a relation like that, constantly backfooting comments made years ago and dragging them up out of context....). I love the way you make your clothes and the personal touch you give your writing

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    1. and I just came across a link to a talk by Tara Brach (via Swiss Miss blog) Respond not React, (and I am hoping I remember this for that odd relation next time)

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    2. Thank you, Eimear. I've found that link and will have a listen!

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  32. You are an inspiration as a seamstress, but I confess I follow your blog mostly for the way you write.
    What a fucking marvelius post, thank you. Keep on shining ♥️

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  33. Just carry on with your normal writing style and ignore people that have nothing better to do other than critise.

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  34. It's only the really important things in life that are worth laughing about. The "sacred" in each of our lives should be able to stand up to ridicule, and jolliness, and silly good humor. If it can't stand up to that, it was never really sacred after all.

    Intent of a speaker/writer is usually quite clear. Some people have a history of being mean and nasty, then trying to pass off that behavior by claiming "I was joking. It was only a joke." Most humans can easily ascertain if it really was a joke. Most usually it really was NOT a joke, and it was really NOT funny.
    Other people have a history of finding the humor in everything, by poking gentle fun at everything, all the time. Most humans can easily ascertain if it really was a joke. Most usually it really WAS a joke, and it really WAS funny. An example: When my brother was in a hospice ward, paralyzed from the neck down, unable to do much but just look at the walls around him, it amused him greatly to contemplate a sign on the wall next to a communal restroom. The sign read, "For residents only." Just above the sign, someone had hung a striped, red-and-white, sequinned vest(to decorate the place for Independence Day). He said that he was completely unable to decide if the sign was meant for the vest or for the restroom. He looked for -- and found -- humor in everything, right up to his dying day. I loved that about him.

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    1. Well if that's not the definition of spirit, I don't know what is.

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  35. I love your blog Marcy, both for your gifted use of language and your AMAZING sense of fabric/pattern composition! The use of language has indeed become a mine field, but how to we navigate through it? It is indeed, complicated. I agree with Jess when she speaks of "desensitization" as it applies to being a tool in helping us through difficult life experiences. I speak now of my own experience in seeing a comedy film about death with friends not long after the tragic death of my sister at the age of 34 (what was I thinking when I agreed to see that film at that time?). I could not appreciate the humor at that moment but certainly understood that others could, and I owned that reaction as my own truth at that particular time.

    Also, as a white lady who appreciates the beauty of African and many other ethnic patterns I would hope that when I employ its use in my own creations others will perceive it as a thing of beauty and my joy in presenting it as such, rather than insensitivity on my part, or worse, blatant appropriation of of the historical struggles of any ethnic group.

    For those of us who read your posts here regularly I think I can speak for many whose spirits lift when we see your posts. Keep it coming Marcy!

    SGE

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    1. "I owned that reaction as my own truth at that particular time"-- YES. I think it's so hard, but so good when a person can see that a situation will affect them in a way that will be totally different for everyone else. And that you could understand that after the loss of your sister...that's commendable, to say the very least.

      I said above but I'll say it again: I vote for EVERYONE in wax print! What a beautiful view that would be!

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  36. Wow. Such a complicated issue and so many thoughts. Even though I agree with a lot of what you said about freedom of speech, I'm still grateful to that person who tweeted at you. I was not offended at all by your word choice and didn't even think twice about it, but that's probably because no one in my family has a diagnosis of schizophrenia. No one likes to be told what to do or what to say. Yes, the language policing can get exhausting and annoying, but it's people like that who gradually change society into a better place. Think about the r-word (retard). I used to hear that all the time when I was younger, but now I rarely hear it. That's a good thing, in my opinion. That tweet may not have changed your mind, but personally, I don't think I'm going to be using schizophrenic as a descriptive term any more.







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    1. Although I feel differently, I'm glad to have shared ideas that may change your thinking, everyone has to decide what's best for themselves, after all!

      Language is such a fascinating thing--so many meanings change completely over the years; r-tard, gay, f-gg-t (I'm putting selective dashes in to avoid unwanted search terms!), used to mean slow (in both medical and general sense, I believe?), happy, and tired. And words are generational! My Nan, who adored me and all of her mulit-racial grandchildren, used "colored" without an ill thought in her head. (Of course I gently rid her of the habit.)

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  37. Really?..... Pretty soon our world is going to be very vanilla bland. The constant barrage of criticism over the inappropriateness of certain "words" is getting tiresome. If one is offended wouldn't you just move on to another blog that suits your sensitivities better? Or is the basic intent just to be judgmental and critical? You are a joy and those of us who read your blog care enough to get to "know" you and understand your emotional "descriptions" and usage of whatever words you choose. As long as our intent is kind and not hurtful, the words that we use are probably OK. Marcy, should you get pressured by "those" people to change, would you please continue to write a separate blog for the rest of us who thoroughly enjoy your blog and you exactly as you are.

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    1. Yvonne, this made me smile! A sort of password protected blog to protect words...

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  38. I love your writing. You have created such a positive and inspiring blog. Please don't let the "word" police, (who have blown your original post way out of perspective) influence your writing style. You are a fabulous ambassador for the sewing community. When I read your blog it always feels fresh and spontaneous and I love how you don't take yourself too seriously. Freedom of speech works both ways and there is no moral high ground. If there was no intent to offend there is no need to apologise. I love your blog just the way it is.

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  40. Love the dress. Love the hair even more!

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  41. Your writing is exactly that - YOUR WRITING - which reflects your life views and how you use language. Language and the meaning of words (both official and in the real world) is constantly evolving.
    And we all have different life experiences and therefore different sensitive spots when it comes to words and their meanings, and it is up to us readers to decide how we react to such words. I choose to take them as the writer meant them to be taken.
    Please do not change your writing style.
    Another gorgeous dress. X

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  42. I think your words are great. Hope you keep using them, and I hope you keep letting us read them.

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  43. I'm Native American , you know , the people of few words . Huh , sometimes I can be a bit wordy . A little background information , my dad was a preacher , my mom was a homemaker , and about 35 - 40 years younger than my dad. Gross and I think child sexual abuse , right. I can relate to you , I am plain spoken , blunt , and don't lie . I get a lot of static because of it . My mom used to tell me I shouldn't always tell the truth , I'm like the Bible says thou shalt not lie , and why don't you use tack , what is that . I m 62 and I guess hopeless , but I hate it when people say things they don't mean , I don't care how innocent , it is ABSOLUTELY lying . When someone asks me something I ask if they want the truth or a lie , of course they say they want the truth which is a lie cause they get angry and tell everyone what I said which is ok with me . If you want to know the truth don't ask me . I also don't make things that are ugly pretty , I am plain and plain spoken . You shouldn't be rude but you shouldn't have to watch what you say . Keep writing girl , I find it refreshing and funny .

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    1. Whenever someone asks: "how do I look in this?" I know what answer they want! (in RTW, at least;) Yes, no need to be rude, but the truth and plain speaking are wonderful things.

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  44. All I will say is keep doing what you are doing! You are your own person, i that person has a problem with your use o words and writing style then it is their choice to not read your blog. I on the other hand will continue to enjoy your writings that always bring a smile to my face!

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  45. I'm a liberal. I've also been around some. I'm 64 and in the publishing world. There are some things I can't get behind no matter what and, sad to say, a lot of them come from my side of the fence. What I think is appropriate isn't what someone else does. But, for me what has to stand as the norm is that I'm more interested in how people act than how they say things. And, I'm not talking about incredibly awful things, rude, sexist, or racist things, but generally when you get into the gray areas of those things. We will run out of interesting words (not true, we never will, just that they aren't always available to those of us who don't walk around with a dictionary) if we are so conscious of what we are saying. I believe that most of us are unhappy because we are so filled with thoughts of ourselves: how we acted, what we said, what we wished we said, what he said, she said, etc. etc. Act with kindness, truth, and love and you'll be okay. The rest, I don't know. It depends. xox

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    1. Wonderfully said. We're also losing sight of how people act, because so much of it is done through screens now.

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  46. I haven't had much time to read blogs in the last year or so but yours is one of only a handful that I try to check in with every so often, as I just know i'm going to love what I see and sometime even more so, what you write. Your writing is witty, colourful, humours and for me very addictive, I only wish I could write half as well as you do.

    on a personal note everybody takes things a differently my auntie has schizophrenic episodes, chronic anxiety and a mild learning difficulty her youngest is also autistic with moderate learning difficulties. My Auntie is a single parent and also my mothers twin, they are extremely close and so are we as a family.
    We've had some really difficult times but always tried to see the humorous side even if it wasn't funny at the time. but thats us as a family, we try to take everything with a pinch of salt. we also have a dry sense of humour and wit, which has often made us gloss over to other people how difficult and hard her illness can be and the impact on everyday life. I can honestly say that I haven't got problem with your use of the word schizophrenic.
    As a family we are not easily offended so to speak, but that the way we are and of course everyone is different.

    unless something is said in a deliberately mean/spiteful or derogatory way then why shouldn't have to sensor what we say. nearly everything has a different connotation in one way or another,

    Those of us who have been reading your blog a long time know exactly what you mean, so please don't change. Keep writing the way you write and as my Nan used to say (she run a bar) you can please some of the people, some of the time; but you can't please all of the people, all of the time.

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    1. Sarah, I feel like I could be reading about my own family, we see eye to eye on laughter and medicine! I also called my grandmother Nan, and can hear her saying those exact words.

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  47. As an artist, you walk in reality with different eyes and make sudden (to us) connections using your words and images that bring us joy, insight, angst and humor. You live life to its fullest and your presence paints others with kindness. Sometimes, others, in their own reality, will ask or tell you to change yourself and it's a good idea to objectively consider their ask of you. And it is your right to accept or reject the ask, respond or ignore as you wish, with a full and clear conscience, with no guilt, no shame and no worry. As strong as you are, you are also, because you care so much, a tad fragile, which is why you needed to write this, to process it, to bring it to closure for you. Let the reader's issue be her issue, and not yours. me ke aloha pumehana~

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    1. Lisa, what beautiful compliments--I wouldn't allow myself to think so loftily of myself, but I thank you so much for thinking it of me! Sending warm wishes right back to you.

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  48. Wow. Food for thought indeed. I'm quite exhausted after reading your post and the following miles of comments. And then the head soup that has ensued. But I don't want to loose track of the fact that your dress is awesome! I love that shape on you. Holly Hobby just wishes she could be as cool! x

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  49. People like to not acknowledge this but ableist use of language, such as using mental disability as a pejorative, is as common as water on earth. It's far less common to see people willing to say that in a climate where neuroatypicals are routinely abused, demeaned, disregarded, and killed that it is unacceptable to perpetuate a climate that views neuroatypicals as fundamentally wrong. Here's the thing: despite how much people want to believe that words do not hurt that is not reality. Using mental disability and terms aimed at disabled folk is harmful because it reinforces the idea that they are fundamentally worth less than neurotypicals. That their disability is a joke. That it is not a struggle to endure. It is literally demeaning to have a mental or physical disability reduced to someone's pet adjective or verb to describe things that can be described in multiple differing ways without demeaning mental disability.

    Now, I expect someone to say that this will make language "boring". The irony of that statement for me is that it means that people who fundamentally see themselves as creative are not creative enough to embrace new forms of language. Language changes every day. It evolves and discards the old all the time. And with ableist language and usage of mental disability as a pejorative, it will be discarded too. Remember, the term invalid was discarded in our lexicon because we learned it was hurtful to use for disabled people. Except now we are able to learn to discard such language far quicker now because we learn better faster.

    I also expect to be seen as overly sensitive, as if me saying using mental disability as a pejorative is hurtful means I cannot endure life and need to toughen up. To start, I'm uninterested in this form of concern trolling. I will be fine and mentally disabled people have endured far worse (although I will say not all of us survive ableism - depression+suicide is a real risk). But I do find it disappointing that people prioritize access to hurtful language over the hurt and pain they cause others. The blatant lack of empathy is startling, but I am aware that it is just an addition on top of what happens when we live in a society where disability is rendered invisible & silenced to such an extent. I can assure you that I'm not extra sensitive, it's just that I realized that it costs me nothing to do better by other disabled people whereas it costs them more to have their mental disability reduced to nothing.

    I want to end with this fact: Something I've learned on my own journey to treat others better is that people have extreme issues with the idea of not just having done something wrong but having done so consistently throughout their lives because it is so normalized. It is as if the reality of having harmed people so much, and the idea that you now have to hold yourself accountable for that, is too much to bear. "How can I, a good person, do this and not know? Clearly they are wrong, otherwise that will make me a bad person and possibly irredeemable." is the thought process. I understand it and can honestly say we all go through it. We all made mistakes because we were raised to believe wrong and hurtful things are ok. But there is a certain point where you learn something is wrong, that it is wrong to perpetuate a harmful system by using ableist language, and decide to be better creative people and do no more. That moment can be now if you choose. No one expects perfection, no one thinks you should've gotten a clue earlier, but not even trying to do better by those who are already dealing with enough says more about us as people than those we decided to harm simply due to convenience.

    -Raven

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    1. It's your birthday Marcy! Wishing you the best and happiest one!!!

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    2. As a person who studies language and teaches writing, I want to second everything Raven said here. As you acknowledged in your post, Marcy, intent can't dictate reception. We might use a word with a totally innocent intention, but a reader/listener may feel stress at our use of the word because they don't know our intention or because our intention is irrelevant to their immediate response, which may happen at the level of an immediate reaction. We don't have to change our language if we don't want to because we're not being censored by an entity in power; we're just hearing from certain marginalized groups that they wish we wouldn't use certain language. If you're okay with disregarding their concerns (and it seems many people here are), then go about your way using whatever language you prefer. But realize that you can never dictate reception through your intent.

      I'm also a firm believer that changing our language to eliminate these words is far more creative that relying on stereotypes and using shorthand to refer to damaging cultural tropes. Since I've stopped saying "lame," for example, I've had to be more specific about what I mean and use a greater variety of words. It's harder for sure, but my language is more diverse and I'm forced to be more creative in my use of words. Language doesn't become boring when we try to substitute a variety of words or descriptive phrases for words that disturb people. It becomes more varied and more creative. There's a bit of slippery slope thinking in many comments here saying that people are trying to control our use of words and are forbidding us from saying so many things that we'll barely be able to communicate or have personalities.

      Finally, I totally agree that ideally, one would hear that their language hurt someone and would say something like, "I didn't know that at all and I never wanted to hurt you with my words. Now that I know, I'll make an effort to stop using language like that." Such a statement would communicate your intent without attempting to excuse yourself for using the words you used, and would show that you care about the person who was brave enough to expose their anxieties to you. The idea of "offense" attributes malice to the people who are sharing their ideas and feelings about language with you. Isn't that exactly what many here are arguing against when it comes to the person who used the problematic language in the first place?

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    3. Well, Raven & Gina, I'm going to confess right off the bat that there are many ideas (maybe that's not the right word) in these paragraphs where my brain had to stop for air, so apologies in advance for not touching on them all. I do think that we're, at times, saying the same thing.

      Raven, I'm not sure if you're commenting on my original post, which uses simile and metaphor to describe a (beloved) object and not a person, or on society as a whole and their condemnation of groups of people? Either way, I don't think you're overly sensitive or boring in the least, in fact I thank you for the google rabbit-hole of neurotypical vs neuroatypical.

      In my own family, we have both "types"--and we choose to use humor to navigate most situations. I understand that's not for everyone. I suppose my stance could absolutely sound like I believe my suffering vocabulary trumps (trumps...now there's a word whose meaning is in flux) the suffering of neuroatypicals, which is not my intent in the slightest. But, you'll have to take my word for it (no pun intended), because, as Gina says, "you can never dictate reception through your intent."

      That's taken a bit out of context, so Gina, I really liked the way you put this entire thought: "a reader/listener may feel stress at our use of the word because they don't know our intention or because our intention is irrelevant to their immediate response... But realize that you can never dictate reception through your intent."

      It doesn't excuse me from my choice of words, and apologizing for unintentional hurt doesn't either, especially if I continue to use those words-- but it does point out that there are myriad words that will affect myriad listeners in ways that are specific to each person's experience, therefore, there are infinite ways to offend. I choose to rely on my gut to know when I'm having a response specific to my own experience, or a response to someone who is trying to be hurtful.

      (Lastly...thanks for the birthday wishes, anonymous!)

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  50. Love the juxtaposition of this really vibrant happy make with a somewhat serious issue! I almost forgot to comment on the dress :-)
    SOOO oblivious was I that this use of language was a 'thing'. Even after reading your blog post I remember thinking, folks need to chill out, is it really that serious? I mean, when you read or watch something or even have a conversation with someone do you not apply certain filters to contextualise what is being read, seen, said? This is a creative blog space, would you not engage that creative blog space gear when reading - ie. it is not meant to be offensive, derogatory or insensitive, it is expression. I guess I wonder why one would take offense or seek offense when it is CLEARLY not intended? In any case, I am now informed - the use of certain words is clearly a thing.....but then when does freedom of expression start or end if one cannot freely express themselves on their small piece of the internet? As intelligent beings we have choices - are we not able to freely choose when to take offense and to decide when it's really not that deep? I think words will always sting when it is something we are sensitive about (height, weight, hair, skin tone), but I have to intelligently decide after being stung if what was said was being intentionally hurtful. In my part of the world, we have different problems so please excuse me if I sound ignorant. As for African prints on non-black people? That is another thing that I didn't know was a thing! It is fabric, if it makes you happy and looks good why the hell not?!

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    1. ah, the internet... eye opening, door closing, thought provoking, thought policing... we're being made more aware of everything. Sometimes I think everything's getting smaller so that it can expand, but talk about growing pains. (Not this specific blip of space, more, you know, the whole world.)

      Getting stung! I have this thing I like to do...when someone says (or types, who talks in person nowadays) something that hits me wrong, I imagine it being said by someone I know and love, and see if that changes up the intent for me. It almost always does.

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  51. Love your writing, feel your vibe. Go on wit'yo' bad self!

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  52. I love your blog, and love your aesthetic. Please keep it all coming!!

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  53. This is a very complicated topic, for which I don’t profess to know the answer, but to just share a little of my learnings… Recently at my work they have launched a mental health awareness program to educate and help remove the stigma that prevents people who need help from seeking it. One of the big topics has been around language. They started off acknowledging that many of these words hold both medical and colloquial definitions, what they followed with were research and testimonials of the impact trivializing these conditions (by using them colloquially) can have on not only people’s willingness to identify and seek help with their illness but also on the communities acknowledgment of the seriousness of these illnesses and the support they are willing to offer. For me personally this was extremely eye opening, and I have started to re-evaluate a lot of the terms I commonly use, mostly to describe myself e.g. delusional/insane/crazy/lunatic/lunacy (I’ve already quashed the 90s teenager in me that overused “mental” ;)). I’m really not sure what the answer is and while I enjoy the picture these words can paint to me personally (as I also very much enjoy the way you have with words), I do not want my word art to be to the detriment of someone else, especially to the point it could impact their health. So far my only solution has been stopping to pause, and typing a whole lot of synonym queries into google :). I do agree that this (and many of the other topics that are welling up) are much more useful discussions when approached less from a stance of policing "you can't say that" to instead one that invites questions and discussion "when you say that, this is the impact"

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    1. Inviting discussion: I agree! I was honestly shocked at the conversation mounting up after posting. Shocked in a good way, I mean. I *hope* it's because I invited discussion (god knows I can't read my post again to make sure, I edited that damn thing a zillion times!).

      The awareness program you write about is so interesting-- I'd never think to use "mental," as I also associate it with that 90s vibe (ah, the 90s), so to me it's most definitely a slur...but the colloquial definitions of other words are still so intriguing to me. And I've read that saying "I'm depressed" is a no-no if you're not clinically depressed? That's tough for me to swallow--but on the other hand, if it belittles someone who then won't go and seek treatment, well, that's tough for me to swallow, as well. And something I hadn't thought about. But then there are those who deal personally with their illnesses through humor and "incorrect" words.

      And then my head spins with the vast amount of people in the world, each with their singular experiences, and then I'm sure we're a great big petri dish of a social/science experiment somewhere, à la the opening to "3rd Rock From The Sun." (Just to end on a 90s note.)

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    2. (I've only just seen this post and ensuing discussion, and haven't actually managed to read every comment, so I might be repeating what someone else has said...) I'm seeing a kind of disagreement over what the actual issue is: Marcy, from your response to Raven and Gina above, I think you feel it's about offense to individuals, and you're right - there are so many ways for individuals to feel offended that we can't ever quite eliminate the risk entirely, even *if* we think we should. But, as far as I can see, hils's point (and others') is about language being commonly used in a way that contributes to the social climate of stigmatisation and trivialisation that prevents people getting the mental health support they need. That's not about anyone being 'offended', it's a cultural problem that's broad, serious, and very real. It actually kills people - I'm sure we've all known someone who's died of a mental illness they didn't get proper treatment for. It sounds as if there's research showing that colloquial use of mental health terminology contributes to that climate. So the debate isn't about personal offense or 'slurs', and whether we can/should seek to avoid offending completely; but about whether, with awareness of the problem, we want to make very minor personal linguistic changes so we contribute less to a pervasive social climate that harms people in very real ways. (Possibly the tweeter who kicked this whole thing off was just personally offended, but the issue is really not about that, in my understanding.)

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  54. such a great post. If we assume the best of those around us, we would better understand they don't mean to hurt, especially from ignorance. And then we could teach each other and learn without ruffled feathers. I am particularly feeling like maybe I should just not say anything to avoid...well, anything! And that's not great for building and maintaining community.

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    1. yes, shutting up for fear of shutting others down unintentionally will, I think, get us nowhere! We all just need to talk more...and really talk, not just type, either.

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  55. Oh dear, I do hate to be late to a party but I still must comment even though it gets lost in the crowd.

    You are a saint. My typical reaction to someone telling me that I have to be careful about using words I've used casually all my life is something like, "Put on a blindfold and go play in traffic," or if I'm really annoyed, "Quit being such a twit." I do not want to offend anyone but I WILL NOT worry about every word that comes out of my mouth. I'm nearly 60 years old, very white, and healthy mentally and physically. I say that not as an excuse but to try to explain where I get my perspective on things. I grew up with the notion that freedom of speech is sacred and you never tell any adult what they can and cannot say. Another sacred guiding principle I grew up with, and this is even more important, is that you should not assume the worst of other people. It seems to me that we do that more often than not - assume the worst intentions - and if we could just stop doing that the world we live in would be a lot happier and nicer. Politically, I generally lean left, and have been leaning even farther that way in recent years but people scolding me or lecturing me about the words I use will always bring out my inner libertarian. I don't think that's necessarily incompatible with liberalism. I see liberalism as the kinder position but if it is it should be kind to everyone not just select persons or groups.

    Anyway, enough of that. I love the dress. I have been looking at and lusting after some wax prints at eQuilter.com but to be honest I am, for political reasons, a little afraid to buy and use any. I could probably get away with it here were I live but if I ever do I won't post it online.

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    1. Oh god Lynn, the "traffic" bit made me spit out my coffee. In real life, I am definitely a bit more incorrect, to tell you the truth. In a non-mean-spirited way, but, all ears hear things differently. Lately, everyone seems to be assuming the worst of people in answer to the worst of people calling the shots. Understandable, but sad-- I wish we could assume better of each other.

      Pretty please, with a cherry on top, buy that wax print, make it up (maybe in the latest Butterick dress you have up? It's been open on a tab since you posted it) and POST IT. After reading a healthy handful of comments here wondering if it's politically incorrect, I'm going to do a post on why I think it's not!

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    2. Buy the fabric, make it up and post. It's just fabric, unless you exact copy a traditional african dress. That could look a bit odd as they're kindof distinct, but you know what? They look comfortable, and how many people have made "kimono jackets" and didn't get crucified in the press? You be you. :)

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  56. My favorite part of this post, Miss Austen, I mean, Balloona, is that by writing it you set a marvelous example of how to engage in civil discourse. Brava! And please carry on.

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    1. Miss Austen! Knock me over with a feather, and thank you. I do love it when people feel free to talk, even if they disagree!

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  57. If you self-censor to prevent all triggers, negative associations, and potential offenses, your blog posts would all say, "I sewed this item last weekend. A person took photos. Fabric."

    It would be quite boring.

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  58. I am playing the advocatus diaboli here. In my eyes, one of the alarming things about this increasing attitude of language censorship is that in some distorted way, it still maintains and reinforces a stance of victimhood on the part of the censoring party. It does not seem truly empowering somehow, not to anyone. The benefits of suffering seem to be somehow enhanced. I hasten to add that I have recovered from PTSD and have deep compassion for anyone who is suffering... Humor is important in any healing process, that's what I think.

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  59. I love wax prints, and you pull this off beautifully.

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!