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BMI ‘batty’ ad defended

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  1. What a load of rubbish. I trust the Richard Smith also complained to the BBC about Kathy Staff’s character in Last of the Summer Wine? It’s quite clear that the term was used in the context BMI describe (I can’t imagine they would ever say ‘Our prices are, like, totally gay!’). Being oversensitive like this is counterproductive and makes dilutes the really outrageous issues.

    1. GingerlyColors 24 Jan 2012, 6:36am

      I was sad to see the end of the Last of the Summer Wine. It was probably the least offensive programme on television and it ran for an impressive 37 years. I was fortuate to meet some of the characters during a filming near Holmfirth in 1992 and even appeared in the episode that was being filmed albiet in a crowd scene thus making my small contribution to the World’s longest running sit-com.

      1. Last of the Summer Wine was brilliant in its heyday … I think it tried to go on for a few too many series and would have been better letting us remember them with fond memories of when it was at its strongest …

  2. It’s not insulting to gay people to call the prices batty,but it IS offensive to people with mental health problems.

    1. I think that’s still over-sensitive. It’s akin to ‘our prices are crazy’. They’re not targeting people with mental health problems.

    2. I totally agree. There is a subtle implication of insanity in their price setting. It’s a turn of phrase that we should be avoiding.

    3. Martin Lawrence 23 Jan 2012, 5:24pm

      Dominic, as a man suffering from mental illness, I am glad that you posted this. It is this casual use of words like mad, batty, bonkers, and goodness knows how many others, that upsets me. What would people say if someone advertised their prices as ‘spastic’? What these words say to me is that you’d have to be mentally ill, like me, to charge prices like this. I don;t experience that so much as unfair, rather hurtful.

  3. Clearly was not used as a homophobic slur. Richard Smith does the gay community no favours in seeking out offence where there is obviously none.

    1. GingerlyColors 24 Jan 2012, 6:31am

      Wow! 53 thumbs up (including one from me), that must be a Pink News record!

  4. I’d sooner take the English meaning than the contaminant interpretation that originates in Jamaica any way.
    No offence taken by me.
    But what next? Ban the word “crazy” too for fear of insulting folk with mental health issues? Well, this folk with mental health issues doesn’t take offence there either.
    Offence-taking can go just too far.

    1. Hodge Podge 24 Jan 2012, 9:41pm

      Not really a convincing argument, I’m sure you could find some gay people who aren’t bothered by “fa**ot”

  5. Kerry Hollowell 23 Jan 2012, 10:13am

    Richard Smith really is a Dick!

    1. Or, as we used to say in school, he’s just plain bats.

  6. Richard Smith is a complete idiot for this as such petty whining only serves to perpetuate homophobia. People like him are the reason why so many feel unable to be open about their sexuality, which as we all know can lead to terrible things

  7. Christine Beckett 23 Jan 2012, 10:19am

    Yes, it does mean crazy or silly.

    The word comes from the term “ the belfry”.

    Now we are just getting silly here….

    1. GingerlyColors 24 Jan 2012, 6:32am

      I keep my bats in the cricket pavillion.

  8. Christine Beckett 23 Jan 2012, 10:20am

    Does anyone know this Richard Smith character?

    Any chance he might be a fake?

    1. Well, it’s my name. But it certainly wasn’t me who complained about the advert as I’ve never heard it.

  9. Jason Moreton 23 Jan 2012, 10:25am

    Complete madness I think Richard smith might be a little batty!

  10. Now I often get accused (rightly or wrongly) of being overly PC in my views or comments …

    Quite frankly suggesting that batty in the context of other adjectives (such as loopy, zany and bonkers) has absolutely no reference to LGBT people whatsoever …

    Whilst I did think the card that was withdrawn by Clinton Cards was wrong – I can not see any fault on the part of BMI in this advertising campaign …

    Sometimes there is language used by organisations where it makes me (and perhaps others) think “if only they had thought about how that could be perceived in advance” … that is definitely not the case in this advertisement …

    They have some “barmy” crazy prices …. excellent – its a good deal for customers …

    1. Correction …

      Quite franking (there should be no) suggesting that batty in the context of other adjectives (such as loopy, zany and bonkers) has any reference to LGBT people whatsoever …

      (Sorry typing faster than I am thinking)

      1. what does PC mean?

        1. Politically Correct …

          Now as to how you define that there are varying views …

        2. Politically Correct …

          Although there are many different views as to how to define that concept …

  11. Crazy why would someone waste their time to complain? It’s obvious that company’s are sensitive when it comes to political correctness and that in no way, shape or form did they plan on being homophobic when producing a radio advert about cheap prices. I think some people really need to get out more and stop playing the gay card on everything. I am a lesbian and I don’t agree that homophobia should be taken lightly but that my friend is taking the piss!!

  12. What a load of complete tosh. “Batty” is an acceptable English term meaning slightly touched in the head. Can the complainant please get a life.

    1. Funny that you find your definition acceptable…

    2. Its a tad antiquated, but entirely reasonable in the context …

      1. Who says ‘tad’ outside American Ivy league colleges…

        1. I do …. iits something I gained from Uni (although not Ivy League – it was a south coast affliction!)

        2. Spanner1960 24 Jan 2012, 8:46pm

          …and me. Spiffing word, dontcha know.

  13. I think these homophobic claims are absolutely batty…..oops, I mean crazy. Is there going to come a point where the media will be to afraid to even mention us in case they offend someone??

  14. Chris Hoult 23 Jan 2012, 11:00am

    I hope Richard Smith is being facetious rather than totally uneducated. Batty has been used for years to affectionately describe the eccentric rather than the mentally ill. Usually little old ladies.The term “Batty Boys” might give some offence to gays of a sensitive nature.

    1. David Myers 24 Jan 2012, 1:41am

      Then we should all be “sensitive” as this word was created for the sole purpose of calling ridicule upon gay men by those who created the concept of “murder music” – obviously homophobic anti-social bigots!

  15. I’ve never heard the rubbish anti-gay Jamaican term, it means nothing to me and sounds like some sort of barely literate pidgin-English perhaps used by ignorant savages.

    1. The word batty is usually used to mean bottom, i’ve never heard anyone use the term to mean crazy, so find the use of the word in this add as not in context to what they wish to portray. Bmi must be out of touch with the modern british terminology of the word. The term batty is not offensive only the term batty boi , which essentially means bum boy.

      1. Galadriel1010 23 Jan 2012, 12:39pm

        Either BMI are out of touch or you are, and as everyone else seems to know about it… It might just be you.

        1. you are out of touch with how modern, multicultural britain is talking and perceiving wording.

          1. Galadriel1010 24 Jan 2012, 10:06am

            I’m 21. Pretty in touch with how modern Britain is talking, thanks.

          2. It seems rapture is just out of context …

          3. Galadriel1010 24 Jan 2012, 11:13am

            So last year, in fact. Everyone’s down with the Mayan calendar this year.

      2. I have heard the term batty boy to be used in a derogative manner to mean gay man …

        I have heard the term batty to mean pleasantly senile …

        I have never heard of the term batty to mean bottom …

        1. Me neither. I’ve heard of both uses, but equate it more with the batty/senile link – its been in use for donkeys years i.e. old bat, crazy old bat, batty old git, batsh1t mental etc. Perhaps derogatory to both those with mental health problems and old people.

          I think BMI are stretching it’s use a bit here, but homophobicly? No.

      3. Good gods!!! I totally agree with challenging homophobic language but your ignorance and interpretation of ‘batty’ in this instance is ludicrous. Use your somewhat limited common sense here and get a life!

        1. Different meaning for the same word. Surely with your limited capacity to understanding my above comment, you could have figured that out. Maybe batty is used in the crazy context by middle england , elderly folk . Ironic you should take the time to respond and then suggest i get a life, what does that say about you bludclot!

          1. @rapture

            Exactly different meaning for same word (although the stand alone of batty for bottom is a new one to many of us on here, including those of us who are pretty up to date with modern linguistics) …

            But the point is if there are different meanings, look at the context – the context in the BMI advert is startlingly obvious … so its quite wrong to suggest homophobia where it clearly does not exist …

      4. Oh, so it’s derogatory Jamo pidgin-English slang which has nothing to do with the advert.

        1. Patois speak that has dominated how british youth speak today.

          1. Sadly in some areas, pidgin English innit.

          2. Galadriel1010 24 Jan 2012, 2:45pm

            Just wondering, when did you last speak to a young person?

      5. I’ve learnt something today, apparently batty means bottom in Jamaican Creole.
        And there was me thinking it meant slightly bonkers.
        Anyone who calls someone from a different culture an ignorant savage clearly has race issues and needs to get out more.

    2. wow ignorant much? Jamaican Patois is a distinct creole language with roots in French, English and Spanish among others and it’s own distinct grammar rules etc.

      1. In other words it’s pidgin-english.

      2. Jamaican Patois (sometimes called Jamaican Creole) is an English-based … Cameroonian Pidgin English,

        1. Patois:

          “Patois is any language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics. It can refer to pidgins, creoles, dialects, and other forms of native or local speech. Class distinctions are embedded in the term, drawn between those who speak patois and those who speak the standard or dominant language used in literature and public speaking, i.e., the “acrolect”. The term patois comes from French, from Old French patois “incomprehensible speech, rude language”, but beyond that its origin is uncertain. Many of the vernacular forms of English spoken in the Caribbean are also referred to as patois (occasionally spelled in this context patwah). It is noted especially in reference to Jamaican Patois from 1934. Jamaican Patois language comprises words of the native languages of the many races within the Caribbean including Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Amerindian, and English along with several African languages. Some …

        2. … islands have creole dialects influenced by their linguistic diversity; French, Spanish, Latin, Arabic, Hebrew, German, Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and others. Patois are also spoken in the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica and other Caribbean islands such as Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana in South America.
          Often these patois are popularly considered “bastardizations” of English, “broken English”, or slang, but cases such as Jamaican patois are classified with more correctness as a creole language; in fact, in the Francophone Caribbean the analogous term for local variants of French is créole.
          Jamaican Patois, known locally as Patois (Patwa) or Jamaican, and called Jamaican Creole by linguists, is an English-lexified creole language with West African influences spoken primarily in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora. It is not to be confused with Jamaican English nor with the Rastafarian use of English. …

        3. … The language developed in the 17th century, when slaves from West and Central Africa were exposed to, learned and nativized the vernacular and dialectal forms of English spoken by their masters: British English, Scots and Hiberno English. Jamaican Patois features a creole continuum. Jamaican Patois exists mostly as a spoken language. Although standard British English is used for most writing in Jamaica, Jamaican Patois has been gaining ground as a literary language for almost a hundred years. Jamaican pronunciation and vocabulary are significantly different from English, despite heavy use of English words or derivatives. Jamaican Patois displays similarities to the pidgin and creole languages of West Africa, due to their common descent from the blending of African substrate languages with European languages.
          (Chambers Dictionary, Univ of Otago Press, Orlando Sentinel and Wikipedia)

    3. Wow. You’ve got some serious racism issues. Ignorant savages? Jamaican patois making someone barely literate? Racists have no right to complain about homophobes (and vice versa, of course).

  16. Please, next we’ll be boycotting Brain’s Faggots (Minced Liver meatballs in gravy) and Mild Green Fairy liquid!
    Context is everything… Save the offence for when it’s justified.

    1. Perfect analogies.

  17. Richard Smith – get a dick and some intelligence.
    You put the gay cause back 50 years.

  18. Jock S. Trap 23 Jan 2012, 11:35am

    This is ridiculous. Talk about being over sensitive for the sake of getting your name in the media.

    Richard Smith speaks for himself not me or for most of us as a community.

  19. jamestoronto 23 Jan 2012, 12:08pm

    In the unlikely event that I should go to Jamaica (too many horror stories), I’ll remember not to use the term. Batty to my thinking is odd or weird. The English language is full of localised slang and expressions that could sound offensive to some local ears but not others worldwide. The context of the ad is quite obvious and the complaint is trivial, if not embarrassing to the gay community at large.

    1. Really? Seriously? Seriously seriously?
      It’s political correctness gone mad! (Who could resist?)
      It’s clear from the context that the use of the term ‘Batty’ is a reference to the “crazy” prices, if anyone should be taking offense it’s the mental health sector and/or it’s clients.

      This guy’s complaint is so wrong, and I’m really really glad I read the comments here, and to see that so many ohers are NOT offended by this ad.

      All I can say to the guy who complained is: get over yourself.

  20. Good grief – how utterly ridiculous. This was unambiguously a use of the word batty to mean bonkers and not he homophobic slur. A huge number of words in the English language have multiple meanings.

  21. Mr Smith made a stupid and childish complaint to Pinknews.
    What is worse is that Pinknews went to BMI for a comment and then reported it all as a ‘news’ story here.

  22. The very definition of a slow news day…

    1. The only news I got from this ‘story’, is that Pinknews actually thought that this complaint was so legitimate that they bothered BMI for comment and following the majority of the comments here, displays how out of touch Pinknews might be.

  23. Ah, cry homophobia when there is none. That’s helpful.

    1. GingerlyColors 24 Jan 2012, 6:27am

      Just like crying wolf.

  24. It always depends of the context. Calling a young, possibly gay man “batty”, would be offensive, as well as calling people attending therapists “crazy”.

  25. Wheres the news here ? This is not homophobic in any way.

    How ludicrous. This Add may not ‘ batty ‘ but the guy who complained is stark raving bonkers in my book.

    People these days look around trying to be offended by things just to have somethin to complain about.

  26. I swear some people spend all their time trying to be offended. What a prat.

  27. PumpkinPie 23 Jan 2012, 2:01pm

    You know, every time we jump all over someone for merely getting the wrong end of the stick – saying things like “looking for offence when there isn’t any”, or that this person “should get a life”, or that they’re being “too sensitive”, or that they “do the gay community no favours” – using the same expressions that bigoted commentators use against us, we’re only giving them more ammo.

    To complain when you’re treated like this for concerns that you believe to be legitimate, while using these same tactics to silence and ridicule others is pretty hypocritical.

    1. PumpkinPie 23 Jan 2012, 2:04pm

      I swear some people spend all their time trying to be offended. What a prat.

      Whoa. How did I miss that gem? That’s going straight on the bingo card!

    2. I think he did believe his complaint was legitimate. He should have taken time to be more thoughtful and realised there was absolutely no grounds for his complaint. However, he didn’t just get the ‘wrong end of the stick’. He ran with the stick enough to complain to BMI and to Pinknews. Pinknews took the stick and ran with it too.

    3. I disagree in this instance… the context of the advert was completely clear to anyone with an ounce of common sense. If they had included a gay stereotype in the ad or delivered the line with a “nudge-nudge” blatant homophobic innuendo then I might see his point.
      But crying wolf over trivia like this undermines our credibility when we complain about the likes of Beanie Man, who use the word in a pejorative context…

  28. Batty as in crazy is a term I’ve grown up with and is my principal understanding of the word. It’s very clear what it’s meant to mean in this context.

    I don’t think this sort of protest does the gay community any good. It just seems over-sensitive and far too PC.

  29. I’m surprised that no one has brought up that BMI was set up by Sir Michael Bishop, an openly gay businessman.
    Even though the airline has been taken over by Lufthansa, I can’t see it a being deliberately homophobic.
    This complaint against BMI is battier than the advertised craziness of the company’s prices.

  30. I agree with the majority of posters here. What a load of rubbish. Get over yourself Mr Smith

  31. This is,well, batty! What next, is he going to complain about my old English teacher, a Mr Batty (an apt name!).

    And no, I can’t see how it can be offensive to people with mental health problems either. I’ve got clinical depression and don’t give a flying fack about “batty prices.”

    Wonder if he complained about a certain Norah Batty when she first aired our tellyboxes in wrinkled stockings and curlers?

    If he genuinely is that insecure and paranoid, maybe he should see a shrink? I think it’s called paranoid delusions.

    1. As someone who does agree with some PC things, I think this is several steps too far in terms of language …. the context is obvious …

      I struggle to think how anyone jumped to the conclusion of homophobia when hearing this advert

  32. How can ANYONE think they mean Batty Boy and not batty as in mad??

    This is not homophobia

  33. The claims that this ad is “homophobic” are completely batty! Oh wait, someone beat me to that gag – oh well, it’s still true.

    Although many of us know of the negative aspect of the word, we are all also fully aware of the main meaning – that something is barmy, crazy, barking etc. As with many words in the English language that have multiple meanings, context is everything – and the context here is pretty clear.

    Fools like this Richard Smith make the entire LGBT community look like a bunch of screaming children and do the campaign for Equal Rights no good at all.

  34. kevin o'rourke 23 Jan 2012, 3:45pm

    I hope BMI run this ad campaign as it is in our cultural history to say “batty” meaning, to be quite mad. It is because the Jamaican youth, are too ill educated to pronounce the word “botty” and instead said “batty”, we should reclaim the word “batty” and not shy away from these ill educated people, and by that I also mean those who complained bout the ad in the first place.
    Please don’t get me mixed up with some homophobe as I am in my 40’s and have been out since I was 14.

    1. no you’re just a racist who thinks that an accent show you’re poorly educated…

  35. WTF? Who would have known that it’s a Jamaican slang term? I think they just make it up for a laugh. Stories like this drive me batty. Oops.

  36. Jason Brown 23 Jan 2012, 4:13pm

    This Richard Smith sounds like a dumbass and a discredit to the gay community.

  37. Madness, total madness. I don’t even know how/why this “story” got airspace.

  38. Everybody knows the Christians want to keep using words to make gay people look bad so they can try to keep LGPT people oppressed like the Christians do to all of their enemies. Christians have been taught by the CIA and other secret service Christians how to destroy their enemies with out having to shoot them and make a mess that attracts to much attention and out cry from the public.

    1. Now that is batty

    2. So are you saying that the airline BMI has been infilitrated and controlled by the CIA and religious extremists simultaneously?

      Are you saying that there is an extremist global control network with its own secret service with secret weapons that is religious controlled?

      Sounds very odd to me …

      why would they (if they existed) use such a subtle wording in a BMI advert about reduced fares … and how would that benefit them … ???

      Frankly the homophobia claims were bizarre, your secret service idea is beyond bizarre …

    3. jamestoronto 23 Jan 2012, 9:59pm

      What do any of your comments about Christians have to do with this item. The word Christian does not even appear in the article. How does discussing a Jamaican slang word suddenly digress into religious oppression? Try to stay on topic.

  39. The instance reported is clearly not homophobic, but I agree with those who’ve raised the issue of insults (which aren’t ordinarily acknowledged as such) to do with mental health. Somebody on this thread said they have depression but aren’t offended. That strikes me as over-extrapolating from personal experience to a general rule. There are plenty of folks who are bothered and/or affected by crude and negative stereotypes around mental health, including the casual invocation of madness as the benchmark of what’s risible.

    1. Making light of one’s mental complaints is a way of dealing with them, or we’d just risk further depression. At least, some of us would. Humour has helped me through the worst of downs.

      And I know I’m also quite definitely batty.

    2. Spanner1960 24 Jan 2012, 3:20pm

      Please get it in context. They are not saying “You must be a psychotic schizophrenic to ignore our prices!” Why is it everyone is walking on eggshells these days because they are terrified of offending some group or other?

      Oh fck it, I bet I’ve gone and upset the vegans now.

      1. @Spanner1960

        I agree …

        Barmy or Batty or Crazy does not just refer to mentally ill … it refers to strange, different, surprising …

        They prices are supposed to be surprising and different … not what you would expect ergo strange … I dont think BMI were trying to say these barmy prices are only for people who are taking prozac …

        1. Spanner1960 24 Jan 2012, 8:50pm

          You could even say they were acting a little queer…

          1. Indeed you could …

            If the prices are a little queer, maybe they’re kooky or off-the -wall or indeed batty …

  40. He told “I’m furious at bmi’s reference to their new prices being ‘batty’ on their radio adverts, which have started this week. I think it’s a disgrace they would use this word.”

    Really? ‘A disgrace’? Really? Shame on PinkNews for publicising this bilge, it does the LGBT community no favours to be associated with such nonsense.

  41. soapbubblequeen 23 Jan 2012, 7:05pm

    This really doesn’t help us Richard Smith!! I do occasionally get prickly when I hear the word ‘gay’ being used in a tone of voice that is deliberately derogatory. But this is just simply silly and does us no favours. We’ll start to look like the Daily Mail columnists we all despise!

    1. FranklyBewildered 24 Jan 2012, 1:05am

      who the frack is richard smith?

  42. Someone may be having a laugh here – probably intended at the expense of Pink News. Wonder if the Richard Smith in question is Fagburn – who, of course, is no friend of this website.

    1. I agree, it sounds like a wind up, and PN should know better.

  43. See. The world has become too POLITICALLY CORRECT. Time to lighten up.

    1. Nick Barnes 24 Jan 2012, 3:36am

      Me thinks Mr Smith needs to get an education! Ignorant oink

    2. @radical53

      I am all for fairness, good manners and respect.

      This case about BMI’s radio advert is fair, has reasonable manners and does not (in my opinion) show disrespect …

      Politically correct which once started as an approach to ensure fairness, manners, respect etc is now used in a pejorative context to mean excessively seeking these principles … I believe in reason and balance and being excessive clearly does not achieve this …

      Any reasonable person would (in my opinion) not see a problem with this particular advertisement

  44. PumpkinPie 24 Jan 2012, 5:05am


  45. GingerlyColors 24 Jan 2012, 6:43am

    BMI – Boneheaded, Moronic, Idiotic, that’s how I describe the reaction to the airline’s advert. BMI also stands for Body Mass Index, is that insulting to fat people? While the Viz Comic’s Finbarr Saunders listens out for any sexual innuendo (double entendre) to laugh at, it seems that there are sad people who got nothing better to do than trawl the media for anything to find offensive. And am I complaining that BMI fly to Marrakech which is hardly a gay friendly destination?

  46. Why did PinkNews even bother covering this one rather distrubed man?

  47. Andrew John (freelance writer) 24 Jan 2012, 9:08am

    Are we to rewrite the lexicon every time a new use for a word comes along – a use that is critical of gay people (or blacks or women or whatever group you like)? We’d soon be running out of words. Nothing wrong with “batty”, because it’s going to be seen in context. Goodness, but there are so many homonyms in our language (and I don’t mean gay nyms!). We just have to be careful how we use them.

    1. ooh a gay nym!! Love it dahhling!

  48. Spanner1960 24 Jan 2012, 3:16pm

    The usual lefty over-reaction.
    Richard Smith needs to be put in a padded cell and not given any sharp objects.

    1. Its a distinct over reaction …

      It certainly doesnt suggest he causes risk to himself or others, and this sectioning (the real requirement for a padded cell and care with impliments) …

      1. Spanner1960 24 Jan 2012, 8:52pm

        No dear, just your over-reaction to my barbed sense of humour.
        Please take tongue and place firmly in cheek.

        1. Well depending on whose tongue, its in the cheek … lol

  49. my mothers nickname for years has been Batty bar. I’m aware of the insultive meaning but I think this it taking it a bit far. It clearly was meant as the company stated. grow up a little or political correctness will kill life as we know it.

  50. Spanner1960 25 Jan 2012, 9:08am

    Good job they didn’t mention “Potty prices”
    That would have offended Keith’s scat community. ;)

  51. thats stupid! are people going to complain about living on “queen street” next! i understand there is a lot of anti gay remarks these days but really GET A LIFE!!!

  52. Is this really news?!

    I can’t believe that this is on the same news feed as the suicide of 14 year old American teenager resulting from homophobic bullying.

    I think Richard is really very lucky that the biggest thing he has to complain about is the bmi advert. Lucky man.

  53. Why is it offensive to gay people? Why is it offensive to those with mental health problems? My surname is Batty, if anyone should be offended it should be me! But I’m not, you know why? Because I have a brain and it is just a word. There are far worse things to get all hot-under-the-collar about. This is just another case of a first-world problem – a problem that isn’t really a problem at all, only in the minds of fools.

  54. Oh please, some people seem to go out of their way to find what they consider to be offensive references to the gay community. Taken in context the word batty in this instance means just that, batty. Richard you have far too much time on your hands and are not doing any favours for the gay community!

  55. Bella Brahms 1 May 2012, 10:23pm

    The complainer is obviously as thick as two short planks nailed together.

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