Friday, November 06, 2009

"Mind your language"

"When did people with disabilities cease to matter in the battle against bigotry?" Ian Birrell , The Independant

1 comment:

cogidubnus said...

An issue that's well overdue for dealing with...when I was a kid it was commonplace to hear of socially inept people being referred to as cripples, or those who'd just said something daft, as spastics....I don't think much was seriously meant by it, but it was, of course, really hurtful misuse of language...worse still was the expression "mong"...

I guess I'd somewhat fatuously imagined those days had long gone...the same way fortunately that the expressions "wog" and "coon" have, (in all but the very lowest and most ignorant dregs of society...like the upper echelons of the BNP)...

But thinking about it, yes that horrible "retard" expression is still all too rampant...a nasty if not malignant misuse of a perfectly legitimate word meaning to slow, or to delay...(in the bus industry we used to refer to a journey running 5 minutes later, as being "retarded by 5 minutes throughout")...and I guess there are probably other examples too...

Misuse in this fashion, no matter how unthinking, can clearly be seen as a form of discriminatory disenfranchisement and is to be abhorred every bit as much as the use of racist language... but how to get that message across?