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"Is the word Snowflake offensive" Topic

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13 Aug 2019 8:09 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions boardCrossposted to TMP Talk board

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Dynaman878913 Aug 2019 12:53 p.m. PST

I see the definition of troll post here.

Gods Own scale 6mm13 Aug 2019 1:03 p.m. PST

On second thoughts, I'll delete the post. It wasn't a troll post…I wanted genuine opinion. But it seems impossible to have a decent grown up discussion without being accused of being a troll. Which, ironically probably makes me a snowflake in some peoples book.

And so it goes.

I'm off back under my rock.


Aethelflaeda was framed13 Aug 2019 1:30 p.m. PST


Stryderg13 Aug 2019 2:17 p.m. PST

No. Words are not inherently offensive. For instance, if you called me a snowflake, I would not be offended, therefore the word snowflake is not offensive.

However, people can be offended by another's use of particular words, in which case, those people have a personal problem and should probably see to that.

irishserb13 Aug 2019 2:21 p.m. PST


Legion 413 Aug 2019 2:39 p.m. PST

Well only offensive if you are a snowflake I'd guess …

Wargamer Blue13 Aug 2019 2:50 p.m. PST

From my understanding a snowflake is someone who has an inflated sense of self entitlement and becomes easily offended and unable to deal with someone else's opinion.

So no in answer to the poll.

And who really cares if someone calls you a snowflake on an Internet forum? Sounds pretty lame to me.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 3:06 p.m. PST

No, we use it frequently during northern Indiana winters--especially when they start piling up on our sidewalks and driveways.

But if you mean as a description of a person--"offensive" is almost meaningless. Any word with a negative connotation is something one would not care to have applied to oneself, but it's hard to carry on a conversation--much less be truthful--without using such.

I think there's a valid distinction to be made between a word we don't like being called and a word devised to denigrate a group. Sticking with my own group, and words not (I think) bleeped out yet, it would be one thing to call me a German, and another thing to say "Dutchman" "kraut" or "squarehead." One thing to say I'm an American, and something else to call me a Gringo or a Sepo. I'm sure we can all work out the equivalents for other lines of descent or belief systems. THOSE words are offensive: they're meant to be.

But "snowflake" like "coward" "liar" or "thief" is a negative but descriptive term. We may not like to hear it applied to ourselves, but that's not because of the word choice but because of the meaning. There is no polite way to say such things, nor should there be. And when you can't speak the truth, you really should give up talking.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 3:23 p.m. PST

So if I called a fellow TMPer a "coward", a "liar" or a "thief", there'd be no ramifications? Hardly. Ban "Snowflake" & be consistent.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 4:19 p.m. PST

But Ochoin, when we silence everyone who says something you don't like to hear, won't you be lonely? And will there be any point in posting when you no longer have an audience?

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 4:20 p.m. PST

I was always told that no two snowflakes are alike.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 4:37 p.m. PST

No, I've been called worse by people who meant it.

KSmyth13 Aug 2019 4:51 p.m. PST

Snowflake is offensive and it's intended to offend the recipient of the insult. That would seem to be against the rules.

Which means a big fat nothing.

irishserb13 Aug 2019 4:54 p.m. PST

Maybe Ochoin is merely suggesting that discussion can be had without spewing forth opinionated labels of unqualified and unverified value or accuracy.

Personal logo brass1 Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 4:55 p.m. PST

I don't care if someone calls me a snowflake. Just means that winter is coming.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 5:01 p.m. PST

I've decided I probably was too subtle. The point of the first category I described, Ochoin, was that the word was chosen to be insulting.

Words of the second category are hurtful--but they are also self-inflicted. People who don't like being called liars can avoid this be being truthful. If you are called a snowflake, running off to Bill saying "Bill! Bill! People are calling me hypersensitive! Make them stop!!" does not refute the critics, but confirms the adverse judgement, and the more shame on Bill if he prefers silence to truth.

It's also a poor choice of battlefield for you personally. Pouring oil on troubled waters is not your strong suit.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 5:03 p.m. PST

I suspect only to those that are, or that sympathize with them.

As far as "insults" go, I'd say it is pretty tame.

Personal logo Silurian Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 5:18 p.m. PST

In the context we are using it, it's thrown out as a derogatory term to imply that person is weak, has no backbone, thin skinned, shies away from conflict, arguments, etc. They ain't no John Wayne or Clint Eastwood.
And almost always used against someone on the other side of the political divide.

Its designed to denigrate, so therefore, yes, it's offensive.
If someone uses it because they can't think of a polite way of saying "sensitive", or whatever, they have a very poor command of the English language indeed.

Of course a dry, sterile word need not be offensive. It's the context in which it's used. It's 'intended' to be offensive (and to claim otherwise is just naive).

People have a "personal problem" if they are offended by anothers use of words? Well that just absolves any responsibility from the person who's too immature to be civil.
Extreme example, I might be a little offended if someone suddenly called me a f…… c… . But I'd be the one with the personal problem? lol

If you want to rate insulting terms, then snowflake certainly does not rate very highly, but it's 'use' is offensive so in the interests of a civil forum ( and isn't that what we all want?), I would say disallow it.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 5:45 p.m. PST

But Ochoin, when we silence everyone who says something you don't like to hear, won't you be lonely? And will there be any point in posting when you no longer have an audience?

But Robert Peipenbrink from long experience I've discovered those who claim we should have thicker skins usually have the thinnest of all.

It's also a poor choice of battlefield for you personally. Pouring oil on troubled waters is not your strong suit.

Well, that's nonsense. I think I must know you far better than you know me.

Stryderg13 Aug 2019 5:45 p.m. PST

Well Silurian, I'm offended that you insinuated that I'm immature. See how easy it is to cross the line?

USAFpilot13 Aug 2019 5:47 p.m. PST

I always thought that calling someone a snowflake is about the same as calling them a wimp. A negative, but not a harsh term. If you are offended then you really are a wimp, I mean snowflake.

Walking Sailor Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 5:58 p.m. PST

Among the men with whom I game, the epithet "snowflake" is an exhortation, a challenge to "toughen up". e.g. Those snowflakes had better roll their morale or they'll rout off the table.
If anyone takes umbrage because they identify with such a label, I can only say "Rise to the challenge!".

Dukewilliam Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 5:58 p.m. PST

I'm a snowflake.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 6:00 p.m. PST

Maybe Ochoin is merely suggesting that discussion can be had without spewing forth opinionated labels of unqualified and unverified value or accuracy.

Irishserb: both accurate and elegant.

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 6:16 p.m. PST

Hmmm. I've spent the last 30 years calling my elder daughter snowflake, because she was born in winter on a day with record snow. I don't think I can see it as an insult.

But then again, I can't see me hurling it as an epithet. But I suppose anything can be used as a derogatory term if you try hard.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 6:53 p.m. PST

To some, almost anything and everything is "offensive", especially those they like to stifle.

I'm not concerned about the "sensitive" types, it's the "overly sensitive" ones that can be a problem.

Does TMP need a "Safe Board" in lieu of a "safe room", or "safe space", in the digital ether?

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 7:27 p.m. PST

It's nearly always meant as an insult, especially in use by one male at another, or to label a particular political group.

I've never heard it used in a positive way or meaning, so I'm on the side of the conversation that would consider it a form of fighting words (and meant to be).


Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian13 Aug 2019 8:11 p.m. PST

But it seems impossible to have a decent grown up discussion without being accused of being a troll.

And so you've returned to Frothers, where they use "grown up language" as you say.

So apparently you're not easily offended… grin

Zephyr113 Aug 2019 8:19 p.m. PST

Calling someone a snowflake would have gotten a giggle or two in the long-term flame war I participated in (far worse & vicious things were thrown back & forth. Those were fun days… :-)

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP13 Aug 2019 8:54 p.m. PST

Far too often, the folks I've seen using the term about others have seemed to me like the real snowflakes.


kevin Major13 Aug 2019 10:48 p.m. PST

Offence comes from context. I can call some one a REALLY NICE GUY and they will know I am being offensive. I have been called ann arse and taken it as an endearment. Context is everything.

Aethelflaeda was framed14 Aug 2019 2:33 a.m. PST

All of those who only consider it a slight slur on weakness of resolve ignore the political slant the term uses. It is more akin to "Libtard". It is inherently political. It's true meaning as liberals have come to hear it and probably most of those uttering it is: "your lefty, liberal viewpoint is effeminate, naive, and contemptible to my "manly" misanthropic tribalism, and not worthy of discussion by jingo!".

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 2:41 a.m. PST

Bill! Bill! Ochoin says I'm speaking nonsense! My feelings are hurt! Make him stop!!

Aethelflaeda, have you considered that the term is largely directed toward the left because these days, it's the leftists who want to set themselves up as censors?

Aethelflaeda was framed14 Aug 2019 3:21 a.m. PST

No, Robert, it's not as simple as that. We welcome vigorous discourse on the left. (if it really is discourse and not just hate speech or haranguing). Calling us "the censors" is a nice try but the right indulges in its own form of censorship even more so, imho. The characterization of our views as melting and weak is an attempt to dismiss them as ephemeral and unworthy of discussion. To call one a snowflake is to say that those views are not of any value, and the left need just melt away.

It is a dog whistle of a distinct political nature and this is supposed to be a non-political website.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse14 Aug 2019 3:41 a.m. PST

Yes it is offensive – because its usage is associated so strongly with a negative comment on people with a certain political viewpoint.

Unless it's also ok now to call people Nazis?

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 4:41 a.m. PST

Still talking nonsense, RP. There are slurs (eg a set of 4 letters) I could hurl at you, if I wasn't a gentleman, that would indicate I did not approve of your putative right wing leanings. You'd be OK with that? I think not.

You get the point?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 5:18 a.m. PST

"If you weren't a gentleman?" Ochoin, the idea that you are in any form a gentleman never occurred to me. Please feel free.

And Aethelflaeda, perhaps you can identify the "right-wing" mobs which have been shouting down campus speakers and committing arson to ensure views they don't care for are not expressed? Or the rightists on TMP who are trying to get words or opinions banned? The "hate speech and haranguing" exception is a grandma's nightie: it covers whatever the left needs it to cover this week.

"Snowflake" is not a term used to describe a person of left-wing views, but a person who wants all other views banned--one word at a time if necessary. If you don't want it applied to leftists, the obvious solution is to stop calling for censorship.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 5:20 a.m. PST

I hope so!

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 5:34 a.m. PST

Ya – it's never delivered as a compliment so its "offensiveness" is up to the recipient.

Waco Joe14 Aug 2019 5:47 a.m. PST

Can I still say "bless your heart"? wink

Aethelflaeda was framed14 Aug 2019 6:02 a.m. PST

RP, nonsense, Applying a whataboutism arguments as a fig leaf for obviously political speech of a derogatory demeanor is quite apropos for those who want their dog whistles to continue to be useful. When the jargon/code words get into public knowledge they cannot be defended any other way.

USAFpilot14 Aug 2019 6:13 a.m. PST

How is it that a hobby which celebrates warfare in miniature have so many snowflakes?

Did I use the word correctly? ;-)

Montgomery OTool14 Aug 2019 6:23 a.m. PST

I've not seen any other wargames forum suffering from this to the extent that TMP seems to. What are they doing differently to avoid such angst?

The Angry Piper14 Aug 2019 6:28 a.m. PST

Is this a serious thread? Is someone really asking is snowflake pejorative?

Let me spell it out: Of course it is. Unless you're actually talking about flakes of frozen water.

No, I don't think it's on the same level as calling someone a Nazi. That's a whole different kettle of fish. But it's certainly not good-natured, and any moron can see that. It's more akin to calling members of the "tea party" "teabaggers". It's a slight, plain and simple, that's made because of political views or perceived political views.

This is obvious, guys. Seriously.

"Snowflake" is not a term used to describe a person of left-wing views, but a person who wants all other views banned--one word at a time if necessary. If you don't want it applied to leftists, the obvious solution is to stop calling for censorship.

I agree with this…kinda. The problem is it IS a term most often applied to those with left-wing views, regardless of whether they think things should be banned and they're entitled to "safe-spaces" where they won't be the least bit inconvenienced by differing viewpoints. Newsflash: you can be a liberal and not subscribe to that kind of world-view. Guess how I know that?

Then there's the point that the "left" is hardly the only voice trumpeting for censorship. Again, a somewhat obvious point. To say any more would probably land me in the dawghouse (I may be on my way there anyway), but one need only look at current events to see where dissent or advocacy is, well, let's just say "actively condemned."

If someone called me a snowflake I would assume they meant it in an insulting manner based on the views they believe I hold. It's not a compliment, that's for sure. In my case, it's also not true. Personally, I don't believe that differing viewpoints from my own need be silenced. But broad brushes, and all that.

To those with a more conservative bent, it's kind of like being called racist or, here in the States, a "birther" just by virtue of your political affiliation. Are all conservatives racists or "birthers"? Of course not. Neither are all liberals snowflakes. Broad brushes.

Now, more importantly: does being called a snowflake make me feel all butt-hurt and whiny? No. It just makes me think the person calling me a snowflake is an ignorant idiot who doesn't know me at all. So go ahead and call me a snowflake. Then we'll both know exactly where we stand.

However, the rules of TMP seem to suggest that calling anyone names is not cool. Unless, of course, it suddenly is. Based on the name. And, it seems, based on your interpretation of it.

Honestly, this is why I usually distance myself from crap like this and I come here for the miniatures news. But this is just ridiculous, and I can't believe this is actually a question that started a thread.

dapeters14 Aug 2019 8:10 a.m. PST

Yes, talk about no-brainers situations, it just that simple, if it's not something you want to be called then don't use it (and no, whether you think it does not apply to you, or does someone else, does not matter.) We are debating whether and insult is an insult? Bill why do you encourage stuff like this?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 8:29 a.m. PST

You know, this is fascinating. One more time: I do not start political discussions on TMP. If anyone actually cares about my political beliefs, check out Jane Haddam's "Hildegarde" Blog. It covered culture, literature and politics, and I commented frequently and at length.

On TMP I have consistently responded to other people's posts when

--They explained how much better the world would have been if only this or that absolute ruler (usually Napoleon) had triumphed over all his enemies.
--They explained how much happier a place North America, and perhaps the world, would be had only His Majesty's forces dispersed the American rebels.
--Or when someone advocates more censorship on TMP.

May I ask which of these positions marks me out as a charter member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?

Aethelflaeda was framed14 Aug 2019 8:34 a.m. PST

If one sleeps with dogs, do not complain of fur on your shirt. You know what the word means to many. Continuing to defend its use despite that means you get construed as liking that meaning.

There are many here who look upon this site as being a special place for those of a more right wing attitude and want to disincline those who don't think as they do from visiting. "Snowflake" is that tool.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 9:16 a.m. PST

Just out of curiosity, Aethelflaeda, are you old enough to remember when the American left thought "guilt by association" was a bad thing?

As for "whataboutism"--a new one for me--surely announcing that the left favored "vigorous discussion" and the right prone to censorship invited examples or rebuttal? And we are remembering which side is currently running around trying to get more words on the prohibited list, aren't we?

The Angry Piper14 Aug 2019 9:24 a.m. PST

May I ask which of these positions marks me out as a charter member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?

Did someone say this? Because I sure didn't.

Mr. Piepenbrink, I think you have a cool last name. That's about all I will say about you personally, considering I know nothing about you personally. I'm certainly not calling you anything, nor do I have any interest in starting an argument with you, sir.

My post was purely in answer to what I feel is a ridiculous question: whether or not calling someone a snowflake is pejorative. Not surprisingly, I still believe it is, for all the reasons I detailed above.

"Snowflake" has clearly been used by those who do not agree with "liberal" ideas to lump liberals into a broad category. This is just fact. One may dispute this, but it remains true. No one uses the term to describe a political conservative. At least, I have never seen it so used.

It's a label, and often not an accurate one. It's name-calling. Not all liberals believe everyone is entitled to safe spaces, participation trophies and emotional support animals.

And to be clear: I'm not advocating "more" censorship on TMP. I'm saying that snowflake is definitely meant as an insult, and as such, shouldn't be allowed under the current TMP rules, which do not allow name-calling.

Except when they do.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 10:32 a.m. PST

No, Piper, you did not. Of those pushing to add another term to the prohibited list, your response was the most reasoned. But TMP has not prohibited words merely because they describe political viewpoints the author of the post does not share. Ochoin and Aethelflaeda are using "right-wing" to describe my politics and neither mean it as a compliment. That's fair enough, even if it requires them to hold to an interesting meaning of "right-wing."

I have not--I believe--ever called anyone a "snowflake" on TMP or elsewhere on the net. But it seems to me a more convenient shorthand than writing out "a hypersensitive person who wishes to see all words and ideas he finds offensive banned--and who finds a lot of words and ideas offensive" each time. Note that nothing in that definition identifies the ideology or the would-be censor. That everyone on both sides of the argument treats it as denoting a person on the political left says something about the current state of politics in the English-speaking world.

My argument is that if you don't like being called an embezzler, you should keep your hands out of the cash drawer, and if you don't like being called a snowflake, you should stop wandering around with an ever-growing list of prohibited words and concepts, regardless of your political orientation. I'm not even saying TMP shouldn't maintain some censorship: I'm just saying it seems to have quite enough already.

But if we are to ban all words used to describe political concepts we dislike, a discussion of WWII or the Napoleonic Wars will have to move elsewhere.

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