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Re: A question on political correctness...

for

From: Chagnon | PubCom
Date: Feb 22, 2013 9:46AM


Jesse wrote: "...to lead with "people" first, as in "people who are blind"

That's a well-intentioned saying, but it doesn't work in many cultures
because it clashes with verbal speech patterns and language syntax, which
become engrained by our late teenage years. Speech patterns are very
difficult to change in later years.

In English, we put modifiers in front of the nouns. Examples:
The red ball, not the ball that is red.
The tall man, not the man that is tall.

So the speech pattern carries through with:
The blind woman, not the woman who is blind.
The paralyzed man, not the man who is paralyzed.
The paraplegic, not the man who is a paraplegic.

Yes, we need to think of people as people first, and their attributes second
whether we're talking about tallness or blindness.
But forcing the public to change its speech pattern or the English
language's syntax is probably not the most effective way to do this. You'll
fight a never-ending unwinnable battle.

Better public relations and education would be a more effective use of your
time.

Or you could just move to a country where the language puts their modifiers
after the noun, like France.
If you spoke French, you would be grammatically and politically correct
saying:
La boule rouge.
La femme aveugle.
l'homme paralysé.

Wow. You can be politically correct and have fabulous coffee and croissants,
all in the same country. What a great excuse to move to France!

— Bevi Chagnon
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-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED>
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of
<EMAIL REMOVED>

I'm going through missed posts as usual and I find that as a blind person
none of these titles are offensive. "The blind" as it is referred to here is
a group similar to a cultural group and in some ways a "blind" culture
exists based on similarities of experiences of blind people.
Chuck
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jesse Hausler" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> My 4 years in an occupational therapy setting always taught me to lead
> with "people" first, as in "people who are blind", person with a
> disability, etc. And I agree with and have always followed that practice.