5/20 (五) 思,英語討論會 9: Words and Deeds

Discussion Question:
Is there a difference between saying something and doing it?


Questions to Think About:
1. What is an action?
2. What is a threat?
3. What is a joke?
4. What is an insult?

5. Is it possible to say something without meaning it?
6. Is it possible to do something without meaning it?

7. How do you feel when someone makes a joke in which one of the characters gets hurt?
8. How do you feel when someone makes a joke about someone being made to have sex they didn’t want?

9. What’s your reaction when someone says, “Oh, s/he didn’t really mean it, don’t pay any attention.”
10. Do you feel less insulted/hurt?

11. What’s your reaction when someone says, “I was just joking, can’t you take a joke?”
12. Does it make you more angry or insulted?

13. What do people mean when it’s late at night and a person is leaving, people say, “Be careful!” Does it mean the same thing when said to a man or said to a woman?
14. How common is an implied threat of rape? How often have you heard it? In real life? In a movie?
15. If someone makes a joke about a house burning down, is it acceptible to make this kind of joke in front of someone who’s lost all their possessions in a fire?

16. How much do jokes mean?
17. If someone jokes about rape, could it be considered a rape threat? Or could it traumatize a raped person?

18. Can saying something be just as hurtful as actually doing it? Can it be less or more hurtful?
19. Can the threat of an action cause people to change their lives as much as the actual action would? [you can think about this question in the context of terrorism—“But what if there’s a suicide bomber at the market?”]

20. If someone has been traumatized, do threats become more potent?


Discussion Question:
Is there a difference between saying something and doing it?


Choose a position:
Position A) Yes. “Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.”
Position B) No. Action and intention are one. Hate speech is just as damaging as hitting someone.
Position C) Sometimes words affect things more than action, sometimes action affects things more than words
Position D) Words and deeds are levels along a scale of intention. They are not different, but they are also not exactly the same.

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