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Re: A question on political correctness...


From: EA Draffan
Date: Feb 23, 2013 5:43AM

You could just say 'vive la difference' as you will see that even across the many English speaking countries the phraseology changes. http://www.disability.co.uk/sites/default/files/resources/disability-language-01-07.pdf

Best wishes

Mrs E.A. Draffan
WAIS, ECS, University of Southampton,
Tel +44 (0)23 8059 7246
Mobile +44 (0)7976 289103

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Chagnon | PubCom
Sent: 22 February 2013 16:46
To: <EMAIL REMOVED> ; 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] A question on political correctness...

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
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-----
[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.
----- 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.