Monday, July 20, 2009

Why are they offended?

This is what I dreamed last night (but by the time I post this, it won't be last night. I already have something posted today; so I'm saving this post for tomorrow):

In the dream....

I'm on some kind of holiday. I think my mom and Tim are there with me--maybe other family members as well.

The place has a mixture of Australians and Americans. It feels like we're together in a program. I mean there's something that connects us. Maybe it's a conference? A convention? A cruise? I guess there's that feeling that we're all supposed to interact...become friends, bond with each other, play games together, etc.

On various occasions, I witness something. An American says something. Then when he's out of hearing range, the Australians, I'm with, express anger towards the American. They're offended by what the American has said. I'm a bit confused because I didn't personally hear anything offensive. I start to wonder if I'm missing something.

Later I come up with a theory. I decide it must be the accent. For some reason, when the Americans say something, the Australians hear it as offensive. I try to explain this to the Australians. I say that it must be the accent. I tell them that I'm not hearing anything offensive in what these people are saying. I'm hearing statements that are completely neutral. I add that I'm one of these people who are very sensitive and DO get easily offended. I would notice if these Americans were trying to be offensive.

The Australians I'm with don't seem very enthusiastic about my theory. They seem a bit weary of me, actually.

I ask this one woman if I've ever said anything on my blog to offend her. She says no. I then ask if I've said anything since we've been together that offended her. She says yes. To me, that proves my theory. But she doesn't seem overly convinced.

Meanwhile, while all this is going on someone is passing out pieces of chocolate.  (I'm not sure what THAT means)

I decide that I write to write a blog post about the whole theory. I start looking for our laptop so I can get to work.

When I woke up from the dream I wondered why I had assumed it was the accent that caused the offense rather than choice of words. I think in real life the latter would more likely be the culprit.