Top 10 Words and Phrases that are Not Problematic on Their Own, but Only Problematic People Seem to Say Them

Language is a fascinating thing. Words themselves, in isolation, often carry no inherent harm. But context and intent can change everything. You've probably come across certain words or phrases that, on their own, seem perfectly harmless, but when they're spoken or written by a certain type of person...well, they just seem to take on a whole different flavor.
The Top Ten
1 "I'm not a racist/sexist/homophobe, but..."

If you have to say "but," then you seriously need to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you even mean the first part of the phrase.

The old bait-and-switch. At least that's usually how it is if you're saying this out loud.

2 "All lives matter"

I strongly agree. These days, there's like only one thing that makes us happy. Everything else is worthless.

3 "Snowflake"

I love it when I make a point, but you shut me down saying I'm being "emotional" for voicing my opinions. What an A-Tier person you are.

It was once a beautiful metaphor about the uniqueness of every human. Now, that idea has been tarnished by people who think that the idea of basic rights and justices are "weakness."

4 "Alpha"

We are not wolves. We are humans. If you feel like we need to split up into groups like wolves, chances are, the division will not leave you on top. In fact, it could land you in a Romanian prison cell.

Fun fact: the person who did the whole "alpha and omega wolf" study later retracted the entire thing after realizing the "alphas" were just the parents to the other wolves.

I hate this. I don't even want to talk about it. It's just indescribable.

5 "Females" (as opposed to "women")

Yes, let's just call another gender like they're some sort of animal. Ask yourself if you're the animal.

This isn't a nature documentary, and they aren't specimens. They are people as complex as you.

I use them interchangeably. Women for humans, females for animals.

6 "Is it that time of the month?"

It's pretty rude to say that if the woman in question is in severe pain. I'm not a female, but I heard that during that time of the menstrual cycle (which sometimes aren't even a month, which defeats the point of that phrase), the uterus (a type of muscle) begins to cause cramps, which seems pretty painful. And it also doesn't help that there's bleeding during the process. I also don't get why certain corporations and people say "she's just a teen" or "it's that time of month again" when it can get pretty serious. I'm looking at you, Pixar.

So, the only reason a woman can feel anger or emotion is because she woke up in a pool of her own blood? Not that there are genuine problems with those around her?

7 "I'm going to play the devil's advocate"

It's the devil. He doesn't need an advocate. He's powerful enough as it is. Most importantly, why does it have to be you? Are you on his side now?

8 "I'm a nice guy/girl, you should give me a chance"

People are not machines that you put politeness into and romance falls out. They are beings with complex thoughts and ideas of their own. Nobody owes you a smile. If you have to go out of your way to say that you are nice, maybe you aren't that nice. Let your actions speak for themselves.

9 "Make America great again"
10 "It's just a joke"

I can't believe that I forgot this one when I was making this list!

There needs to be a word for the type of person that doesn't say "it was a joke" until someone has a problem with it. If it was really a joke, then it would have been made clear from the start. Even if it was a joke, that does not exempt it from criticism.

I remember my toxic ex-friend used to be like this. She would say something really mean-spirited as a "joke," and then call you a baby for getting upset at her.

(Okay, so there's more I agree with) - But honestly, calling something obviously offensive as a so-called "joke" isn't that funny. Not funny, didn't laugh.

The Contenders
11 "You're overreacting"

And you are not listening to my problem. I try to yell to make you understand, but all you hear is an echo.

So, I should just tuck my emotions inside like some kind of lifeless robot?

12 "Love the sinner, hate the sin"

This one is taken straight from a Calvin & Hobbes strip.

13 "I'd like to speak to the manager"

And I'd like you to not throw a temper tantrum.

14 "That's just your opinion"

I hate this phrase so much. If opinions did not matter, then there would be no need for a debate in the first place. If all you can say to someone stating an opinion is that the opinion is an opinion, then you probably aren't adding anything.

15 "Trust me bro"

If I state my opinion and present evidence, and you say that I don't have a valid reason, then yes, I will get angry.

(Not-so) fun fact: Saying "Trust me" will often cause people to trust you less.

16 "Groomer"

This word can have two meanings: one where you clean a pet, and the other one I shall not mention. But if you are the latter, please leave the internet and seek help.

17 "Deal with it"

Your grandmother died. Deal with it. Not so cool anymore, is it?

18 "You're being emotional"

This would definitely be troublesome if you're saying this to someone who has a hard time controlling their emotions.

And my emotions negate any gravity to a situation?

19 "None of your business"

Now, minding my own business isn't a bad trait. However, it's pretty hard to do whenever someone (typically one you trust) does something that's either wrong or without your consent.

20 "Sanctity of marriage"
21 "Who cares?"
22 "So what?"
23 "It's only criticism"

Behold, the phrase that single-handedly destroyed Miraheze's reputation!

24 "No offense"

Saying that just makes it even more offensive.

25 "Just forget about it."

Similarly, "You're bringing up old issues."

No, I'm exposing a problem.

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