One thing that is common amongst my blogging friends is worrying that you'll offend someone with what you write. I know I often have that anxiety and I read and reread what I write to make sure that what I wrote, if read, would not be taken in the wrong way. Being politically correct seems to be getting harder and harder these days, and I found a wiki on how to be politically correct in 8 steps. I read it and thought, ok those things are easy to do. But sometimes, don't you think things get a bit out of control?
How are we going to tell those "There was an Englishman, an Irishman and and American..." jokes? And really, why should people get upset when you say "God Bless you" if you're Muslim/Buddhist/Hindu? I am sure that the person saying that genuinely meant a blessing, or positive things. If I say to you "May the Force be with you" or "Live Long and Prosper" surely I should not be accused of ostracising everyone else because they don't watch nerdy sci-fi? If a being of races came from another world and said their goodwill blessing to us using their God's name are we going to take offence at that because we don't follow their religion? I think people shouldn't be offended by things which are only meant to be done with good intentions.
The asking about partners vs girlfriend/boyfriend thing I can understand. That can lead to awkward moments. But it shouldn't BE awkward if you are happy to pipe up and say "Oh, I don't have a boyfriend, I'm gay" though then that makes the original person who said it uncomfortable I suppose. I know if it happened to me I would say "OMG, whoops, how insensitive of me! Is your gf/bf someone I know?" and then have to eat my foot, but I shouldn't take offence at someone correcting me. Learning from your mistakes is part of evolving, being human. I wish everyone would believe that.
I remember the time a blogger was happy about a milestone and then was told that being happy about that milestone makes everyone else feel bad because they can't do that achievement. I remember thinking how ridiculous that was. Surely, you can share your joy without having to worry about making someone feel small because they can't reach that milestone? People should be HAPPY for you when you achieve something, and if that person feels bad inside well, that is allowed too, but both parties should be understood, and accepted. For example, Ancient got Anzu after 999 goes! Grats to Ancient! But yes I am allowed to feel bad because I can't get it after 1000 goes, but Ancient shouldn't feel bad about that, because I'm not trying to make her feel bad, that's just me saying the truth, and I shouldn't be angry that Ancient got Anzu because that's a great achievement. (Sorry for using you, Ancient as my example, but I know of all people you won't be offended by my use of your name in this story, as opposed to other people). I don't know if that came out right. But basically I'm saying if someone achieves something, you should be happy for them, and not be bitter about it because you can't do that. Being proud of your achievements is allowed. Gloating about them, however, IS offensive.
However, there is one time that I wrote something that I do regret - way back I wrote about tank/healer combos and people who are difficult. I had read and reread that post many times before I hit publish, but I had communications from tank/heal combos who wondered if that was them and were unhappy about it. I felt bad. My efforts to avoid offense had failed. I had tried to be honest, without being rude, but what had occurred was that I had said something which conflicted with those other people's beliefs. THAT is the largest part of taking offence, I believe, which is your understanding of something differs greatly from someone else's understanding - and that if you haven't communicated that difference in opinion or talked it out or resolved it. I really regret offending that person, as the bit they took offense to, was not talking about them at all (it was talking about someone else) but they could infer that it was related to them.
I'm no angel, who is happy all the time and cruises around saying "Oh, that's ok." I have my angry times too. But I do temper what I say, because once you say something, it's out there, and everyone can keep looking at it and wonder, why do you have to be so petty and spiteful. My dear friend Ancient just forces herself not to type at the computer otherwise fuckity-fuck disease takes over - my other friend Effraeti just lets fly like the wild red-head that she is! Mataoka always takes the diplomatic approach (God Bless her! Whoops I mean, May the Force be With her) and looks at both sides of anything.
So I decided to make a persona. Just because sometimes I want to be cranky but I don't want to let fly because I am going to try to do the right thing and show restraint.
So meet Effing F. If you see her, you know I'm secretly ranting inside. But! I am still happy for you if you have The Headless Horseman's Mount, of the Baradin Fox Kit. Oh Yes, I am! But I am allowed to be cranky inside too. I am happy for you, I don't take offence at you being successful, but yet you don't take offence at me for being cranky because I am allowed to be upset at my losses. You see? Told you we could come to an understanding. :)