Beyoncé to revise song to remove word widely used as ableist slur in UK

Originally published at: Beyoncé to revise song to remove word widely used as ableist slur in UK | Boing Boing


Hmm. Before I ask myself that, I’d first have to ask what it means. :thinking:


Popular? Maybe in the nineties?


When I was in high school, well before the 1990s, one of my classmates was nicknamed ‘spaz’, and it did not mean that. Though I don’t think we associated it with a particular medical condition. I mean, we were high school kids. Thinking about it was not part of the deal.


I can’t remember anyone in my circles ever using the word. However most of times i’ve seen it used is generally in pop culture (movies, shows, etc). I would not peg the word as ableist, but it’s good to know that it’s a problematic term. I am totally fine with never using the word because i just don’t use it in the first place.


broad city you a pegga GIF

Oh words…

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Growing up, I always understood the term (as a noun) to mean “basically Screech from Saved by the Bell.”


In the little corner of Canada I grew up in fifty years ago it was unambiguously a slur, often accompanied by physical mockery as Trump demonstrated with the NYT reporter.


In the UK I’ve only ever heard it used as an insult to mean the same as the ableist slur beginning with R


I mean the lyrics being removed are during a part of the song talking about a sex act, or talking about really liking that butt.

“Spazzin on that ass, gonna spaz on that ass”

So… my bet is she replaces it with Jizzing and jizz, or peeping and peep, or wowing and wow, depending on what she’s going for with that line.

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a small step that makes a difference.
Good on Beyoncé.


Let’s not forget the Black Eyed Peas’ original version of Let’s get it Started. :confused:

I dunno… if it is a slur used in the UK, I can see them wanting it changed. But in the US that seems pretty innocuous to me. Kinda weird that a word I haven’t really heard of or used since HS is in two recent songs. Are the kids using it more these days?

“Weird Al” Yankovic apologized for the same mistake in 2014 for his song “Word Crimes”, where the lyrics insult someone by saying they “write like a spastic”. He didn’t alter the recorded version of the song, but performing it live he started skipping that line once he found out.

As a middle-aged U.S. midwesterner I grew up with the slang noun “spaz” meaning a clumsy and awkward person, but never associated it with any actual medical condition or considered it a slur. I was aware it was a slangification of the word “spastic” but I thought that meant something like “having uncontrolled muscle spasms”, e.g. “spastic colon”. But when your audience is worldwide, like Beyonce or Weird Al’s, it’s only sensible to be sensitive to how your words will be received outside of your home country.


I actually saw Weird Al perform the other night. He performed a song that used the word hermaphrodite. He actually stopped mid-song to apologize for the use of the word and acknowledged how offensive it is. I thought it was good of him.


I’m surprised he made that mistake in 2014, given that the PaRappa the Rapper rhythm game took heat for using that word in one of their lyrics from the late 90’s or early 2000’s.

As for “spaz,” as an American I always thought that was slang for “spasm,” not “spastic.” Spasm means involuntary muscular contractions and in the context of the Beyoncé song I assume it’s meant to be the pleasurable kind of contractions that come with certain intimate activities. But if it’s really used as a slur elsewhere in the world I guess the polite thing is to go ahead and change it.

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That would be the song “Albuquerque” from 1999.

That is the one. It was pretty amazing to see it performed live

I’m more concerned with how people with disabilities feel about it than white denizens of Terf Island.


That’s pretty much it, really.

Changing a word that hurts people; one person, ten, a thousand. Numbers don’t matter, stop using it.

A message clearly misunderstood by most of the previous posters in this thread.


Beyonce isn’t my go to singer, but good on her for not being a dick.

It’s really that simple.

The world is already filled with a surplus; adding to that number wont make anyone any happier.