I've mentioned this before, but when we first got together, I told him not to be surprised by some of these friends' words and actions going forward and once again
Besides the fact that trying to fit a slur for gay people into the word "professional" is a) stupid and b) makes no sense, I was a bit surprised that said friend tried to go with the "I didn't mean it" (no really, this fool said, "I was trying to mix the words 'antagonistic' and professional') excuse. Not because I don't expect people to get defensive when they get called out on stuff, but because it was obvious to anyone reading that she was trying to impress Z with her wit, and generally when you do something that the person you like doesn't agree with, you fall all over yourself apologizing to get back in their good graces.
Let the record show that saying "I didn't mean it" when you say something offensive makes you look both weak and foolish. Weak because you won't stand by what you said (so why did you say it?) and foolish because 9 times out of 10, the person speaking had enough metalinguistic knowledge to know the connotations of the word she's using. There's few things people can do to me that will get them cut off for the long-term, but unapologetically acting an ass definitely counts.
What say you, readers? Does it really matter if you meant it when you hurt someone's feelings? Have you ever had someone lash out at you when his/her attempt to impress you backfired? And does it make you feel weird when someone says something offensive when the implication is that you would laugh/appreciate what he said?
**On a lighter note, the first week of school is done, and no school tomorrow for Labor Day (yay!). One thing I love about my kids is that they are so excited about learning--last week I said, "We're going to work on phonics" and they all went, "Yes!". :-)