Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Singapore
      • Current Location:
      • Singapore

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 469
    #1

    Question What is considered rude? Calling a person fat/skinny/tall/short...?

    If I told another person: Please pass this paper to that ??? (see below for ???) guy/girl over there.

    What is considered rude? or not rude?

    ???:
    fat
    skinny
    young
    old
    tall
    short
    wearing glasses
    bald
    muscular
    short hair

    I mean I am not sure what description is ok and not ok. Is there any rude ones that are not listed here? Hope to learn more so I will not accidentally say something wrong.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Apr 2014
    • Posts: 3,330
    #2

    Re: What is considered rude? Calling a person fat/skinny/tall/short...?

    fat x
    skinny x
    young
    old x
    tall
    short x
    wearing glasses
    bald x
    muscular
    short hair

    I would consider the adjectives which I have crossed above as rude.
    I am sure there are other ways to refer to a person without commenting on their looks - like the way they are dressed, the colour of their clothes, where they are seated/located, etc.
    I am not a teacher.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #3

    Re: What is considered rude? Calling a person fat/skinny/tall/short...?

    These days, almost any physical description will be considered rude by someone.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,868
    #4

    Re: What is considered rude? Calling a person fat/skinny/tall/short...?

    Of the list you gave, I would say the only two you could probably get away with safely are "wearing glasses" and "short hair". The rest are mostly subjective - you might think someone is fat but that person might not think they are, so they would certainly be insulted.

    I find using clothing descriptions can be helpful - "Please pass this book to that lady in the red coat and black boots".

    Generally, we're discouraged from using physical descriptions when referring to people in everyday language. Of course, there are exceptions - if you're giving a description to the police, you need to describe exactly what you saw.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #5

    Re: What is considered rude? Calling a person fat/skinny/tall/short...?

    Quote Originally Posted by goodstudent View Post

    fat [NO. People do not like to be considered "fat."]
    skinny [OK. A more elegant word might be "slender." Most people consider that quite a compliment.]
    young [OK. Everyone wants to be young.]
    old [NO. As the saying goes, everyone wants to live a long time, but no one wants to grow "old." You could say: "Would you please pass this note to that older gentleman / lady sitting in the third row?"]
    tall [Fine. Most people are proud of being tall.]
    short [NO. Personally, I'm proud of being only 5'5", but many short people are rather sensitive about the issue.]
    wearing glasses [OK. Most people with glasses have no problem with that. If they did, they would be wearing contacts.]
    bald [NO. People do not want their baldness brought to their attention.]
    muscular [Great! What man does not want to be called "muscular"?]
    short hair [OK. Since the person has short hair, s/he is obviously not embarrassed by that fact.]

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

    I have indicated my opinion above. Since you are talking to someone else (NOT the intended recipient of your note), most of those words would be OK.
    Last edited by TheParser; 06-Sep-2015 at 14:39.

Similar Threads

  1. The usage of "if" and if that is considered rude
    By FeemSoul in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Nov-2014, 15:18
  2. Adjectives for Fat/thin person
    By Freeguy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 18-Apr-2014, 15:46
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-Mar-2012, 09:30
  4. [Idiom] When tall is tall and short is short [written]
    By onesavage in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 21-May-2009, 14:49
  5. considered calling
    By user_gary in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-Jun-2007, 06:41

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •