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The notion of 'weird'

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    Throughout my life I have wondered why it is that people label people or things as 'weird'. Regardless of its rigorous definition, the public perception of the term generally seems to refer to anything that people either fail to or not want to understand. I have been called weird on many occasions, and on all of those occasions I have understand why it is that I do what I do, or how others have misunderstood my actions. Would it not be reasonable to say that all things have a reason as to why they take place. For example, people with Tourettes syndrome were probably completely misunderstood until someone came along and said 'Its called Tourettes and is caused by incorrect messages being sent from the brain'. Now it is accepted in society.

    Quantum mechanics and black holes are often referred to as weird, clearly from the context not because they do things that are unacceptable but because the majority of people fail to comprehend its underlying principles and it contradicts their view of reality.

    In Mathematics, when they try to prove a result, do they avoid it and say 'You can't prove that one, its weird'? It seems to me that 'weird' is a word people use to label any problem they cannot conquer. No-one fully understands something and still thinks it is weird, otherwise they do not have the full answer. All things happen for a reason so why are people so ignorant as to label it.

    I just think it is a word that should not be used as it causes narrow mindedness and can offend.

    Please tell me what you think. Thanks

    I'm guessing the person that negged this post thinks I am 'weird' but I bet he/she didn't bother to post why they believe that and actually confront what they disagree with or do not understand. Pure ignorance IMO.
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    IMO, it's just simple human psychology. We like to single out or identify anomalies. It may seem un-PC at times, but it's just how we think/perceive things as a species.

    That said, weird is subjective, and nothing is inherently weird.
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    I agree with the above poster, provided 'subjective' is taken to mean "depending on properties of the observer or of potential observers either exclusively or in conjunction with properties of the object", or thereabouts. It's one of those words that pseudo-philosophers use as a trojan horse to smuggle all manner of bull**** into our consciousness if it's not rigorously defined.
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    I think that the fact that David Bowie and Kate Bush happened to couple handsomeness/ attractiveness with some ethereal types of songs made people ludicrously label them as supernaturally otherwordly, as if the public thought that the Martians had landed with their strange language that, actually, happened to be created by 2 very well mannered, clever and actually very well balanced middle class English people- especially Kate. But most people are not well balanced enough in all these attributes to see this! So the sweaty, fat masses had the gall to regard these national treasures as weird.
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    I associate the word with individuals that do no succumb to social conformity. It may not always be for the best, but some of the best customs/practices today are a result of it, and therefore, IMO, it shouldn't be used as a term to offend. If anything, it should simply serve to signify the fact that the thought process or the practice of such a "weird" individual is not something we can all relate to.
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    (Original post by 403 Forbidden)
    I associate the word with individuals that do no succumb to social conformity. It may not always be for the best, but some of the best customs/practices today are a result of it, and therefore, IMO, it shouldn't be used as a term to offend. If anything, it should simply serve to signify the fact that the thought process or the practice of such a "weird" individual is not something we can all relate to.
    I heard there are these people who get down on their knees and try to speak to this supernatural thing asking for 'guidance' and they read this book which tells them how to live their lives. Some of them even blow themselves up in the name of this supernatural thing.

    That group of people are weird.
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    (Original post by Classical Liberal)
    I heard there are these people who get down on their knees and try to speak to this supernatural thing asking for 'guidance' and they read this book which tells them how to live their lives. Some of them even blow themselves up in the name of this supernatural thing.

    That group of people are weird.
    Well, clearly there is a reason why they believe these things and blow people up. Something in their minds must make them feel that way. Just because you do not understand why they do it does not make them weird. They are just misunderstood by the majority of people and hated by many.
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    Why should the term weird be discouraged? Not everybody has a tolerance for diversity or difference (of which largely modern society of all time periods promotes).
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    I suppose the same can be said about terms like "creepy". It's usually a place-holder for all kinds of ignorant prejudices, especially when applied to other human beings.
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    I think that we first have to define what is normal before we can say something/someone is weird.
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    (Original post by Classical Liberal)
    I heard there are these people who get down on their knees and try to speak to this supernatural thing asking for 'guidance' and they read this book which tells them how to live their lives. Some of them even blow themselves up in the name of this supernatural thing.

    That group of people are weird.
    That group of people might be difficult to comprehend, but to stereotype on the basis of a select few is simply ignorant.
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    (Original post by 403 Forbidden)
    That group of people might be difficult to comprehend, but to stereotype on the basis of a select few is simply ignorant.
    Why is it 'ignorant'?

    If you tell me you are devout to some kind of religion I am going to judge you. You freely choose what your religion is and what you do with regards to it. Thus I am judging you on your choices. Which makes total sense.
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    (Original post by Annie72)
    I think that we first have to define what is normal before we can say something/someone is weird.
    Both are subjective.

    but weird simply is something that does not conform to the norm.
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    the word weird derives from the Old German for left handed...

    no prizes for guessing which hand i use

    :eek:
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    I'm sometimes called weird because I read and write in my spare time (it's seen as work). Yet, in the 19th century or before, this is what most intellectual people used to do anyway. Many modern students view any extra-academic work as 'weird'.....

    That's just one example.

    Lastly, to use the notion 'weird' is to suggest that there is a concept of 'normal'. It is also to suggest that 'normal' is good; 'weird' or anything not 'normal' is bad or wrong. However, is 'normal' not the current status quo of that time? And following the status quo is not exactly amazing - it merely breeds widespread mediocrity and unremarkableness.

    For example, many young people and students 'go out' and get drunk many a times - anybody in that age group who doesn't, is perceived as 'weird'. The young drinkers think that they're rebelling and fighting against the status quo and authority etc - however, the sheer numbers of those who drink and 'go out' in that age group renders those activities as the status quo. Those who do not engage in such activities are the actual rebels, the actual teenagers.
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    A differing disposition is often referred to as "weird" because the person is trying to shield themselves from change. They'd rather remain ignorant and comfortable in their own thinking than have it cleaved and altered by some external force. That is the conclusion I have come to anyway. I'll give an example of a conversation I once had where I was deemed weird.

    Silly Person: "Hey, I had a strange dream yesterday about elongated tale. It's lucky dreams aren't real though!"
    Myself: "On the contrary, dreams are real."
    Silly Person: "Haha, what? Oh you're so weird!" -afterwhich changes topic-

    When someone doesn't understand something or would rather not -which is unfortunately the case for most of my peers- they divert the subject with "weird".
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    On the topic of the term "weird", I do have some experiences.

    I remember mentioning to my brother's girlfriend several years back that I was going on a meditation retreat. Her reply was, "Weird."
    When my brother mentioned to her at the time that I was still a virgin at age 22, she laughed and said "That's weird!"
    Let's just say I have a low opinion of her "type".

    Also, I once had a discussion on a philosophy chatroom about gay marriage. It went something like this:

    Him: I'm fed up with gays trying to persuade me that they are normal.
    Me: What do you mean by "normal", exactly?
    Him: Come on!
    Me: No, I need a definition.
    Him: Not weird.
    Me: "Weird"? Isn't that just a personal prejudice?
    Him: Yeah. And I'm entitled to it.

    I think that sums it up.
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    I do hope we don't get to the point where we ban the use of 'weird'.
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    I do hope we don't get to the point where we ban the use of 'weird'.
    He used the forbidden word! Profanity!
    :zomg:
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    I do hope we don't get to the point where we ban the use of 'weird'.
    I suppose calling a person "weird" (in a derogatory sense) for not conforming to one's personal sense of what is "normal", is no better or worse than calling a sexually promiscuous woman a "slut", calling a male virgin a "loser", calling a computer expert a "nerd", or even calling a black person a "n****r". It's all personal prejudice in the end and devaluing other human beings for not being the same as oneself.

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