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Thread: adjectives

  1. #1
    Wesley P is offline Newbie
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    Default adjectives

    Which descriptive adjectives should I use when reffering to a person's body?

    fat or heavy?
    skinny or thin?

    Is anyone of the above vulgar? thanks very much...

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley P View Post
    Which descriptive adjectives should I use when reffering to a person's body?

    fat or heavy?
    skinny or thin?

    Is anyone of the above vulgar? thanks very much...
    None of the examples are vulgar but "fat" can be offensive if one is speaking directly to the person who one believes to have that characteristic.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley P View Post
    Which descriptive adjectives should I use when reffering to a person's body?

    fat or heavy?
    skinny or thin?

    Is anyone of the above vulgar? thanks very much...

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Wesley,


    You have touched upon a very sensitive issue here in the

    United States. Words related to weight must be used

    very carefully; otherwise, you can hurt someone's feelings

    and even make him/her an enemy!!!

    (1) Most people, I think, refrain from referring to anyone as

    "fat." In the department stores, they sometimes have a

    department for "plus-size(d)" people. "Large" is still OK

    for sizes of clothing: small/medium/large. But I do not think

    a woman (or even most men) would appreciate being referred to

    as large. As you know, the technical word "obese" is used in the

    medical world. But never call anyone "obese" to his/her face.

    I hear that weight is not such a "big deal" in some other countries.

    But here in the States, it is a big deal, so you have to be very

    careful. Maybe the kindest thing to say: She is a bit overweight.

    (Be sure to say "a bit" -- even if it is not a bit!!! Always be as

    diplomatic as possible.)

    (2) Here in the States, some people joke: You can never be

    too thin. Of course, you can be too thin. For example, some

    models are so thin that their health is in danger. I hear that some

    magazines are saying: no more super thin models. People love to

    be congratulated on being thin, but there are perhaps other words that

    are better: trim, slim, slender, lithe, etc. Regarding "skinny," I would

    not use it. Do you know Spanish? I think that "skinny" is something

    like "flaco" in Spanish. Also, sometimes, "skinny" or "thin" can

    signify that you have lost weight because of illness.

    As you can see, vocabulary is a very difficult matter. Each word

    carries a nuance (special meaning).

    THANK YOU

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