How to be offensive

More on British polite language here: BBC World Service | Learning English | How To.

Not all offensive posts can be rephrased politely.

Someone said that a language is a dialect with an army or something. If Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Gallego, or even Italian are separate languages, Cantonese is a languages separate from Mandarin. They are in fact mutually unintelligible when spoken, to a much greater degree than the Romance languages I mentioned here. Just my opinion and there is no definitive answer to this question.

Oh and Helen, I was looking to you for insights because you are our resident bard,author of Dodo, combining the imagination and creativity of Poe, Rowling and Lewis Carroll, able to conjure a world of dragons, vampires and psychopaths not to mention internet trolls.

Those are very kind words Steve. I am most flattered! [blushing]

A very polite version of the earlier, “offensive” post has appeared on my blog, here is an extract:

Dominick said…


I don't wish to come across as offensive here, but let me know if I am out of line...

Because of the differences between British and American colloquialisms, your phrase "makes you look very mad and also unreasonable but not very angry." may seem a bit odd to those who are more familiar with American English or not native English speakers, because "mad" means "angry" and they may not understand at first that you mean "mad" to be "crazy". I know you have many blog readers who are not British so I just wanted to help make a clarification on a potentially confusing point. Thank you."

Correcting someone’s use of their native language is very hard to do without risking offense. 10/10 to the charming Dominick!

There is one left to be rephrased politely, but it does not contain any specific propositions for discussion. I cannot do the homework.

Sometimes an offensive post means: “I disagree with what you said”, “I dislike you”, “Your comments have offended me” or “I feel threatened by you”.