So I have been working on changing the way I use words.
This is why.
I read Lydia's Ableist Phrase Glossary. It is an interesting look at the history of a lot of commonly used words. It is rather thorough. There were words I didn't think about using that might not be the best to use. Using stupid as a general bad term or saying things were lame. I didn't think about the general implications of using these words.
Besides being rather (possibly) rude, it was also lazy and imprecise. And this was the main point.
Words have meanings and power. I know this a lot. Even if it isn't the meaning YOU intend to use, the second meanings still are there. They creep in. (And sometimes, the second meanings were the first meanings, but times have changed words and switched the orders).
So I've decided to work on improving the way I use language. To avoid using these words. It is difficult. But it makes me more precise. It makes me more polite. It improves my vocabulary (well, uses my vocabulary more effectively.)
It's tricky, because some of those words right now are in my built in responses. So I have to write new scripts. And adjust to using them. But I think it's a good project.
To be clear, this is a very much a personal project for me. I am not trying to tell other people what to do. You are entitled to use whatever words you chose to use (assuming you don't start threatening people, etc. Because threatening people with death threats and related things is not cool). You should be able to choose to use swear words or offensive language if you want to.
EDIT: Nattily also has a very interesting post on this. Read it!
After reading that, I found it necessary to edit this post a little. To clarify some things. All of my edits are in italics.
Labels: disability, talking, words