Unacceptable Designations of People

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Orleander, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    She was deaf, she got an implant so now she wants her designation changed.

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  3. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    I had an argument that literally lasted days with a girl that was staying at my house about the word "retarded", and whether it is derogatory or not.
    If someone IS literally retarded, then there is NOTHING wrong with saying they are retarded. The simple fact that people refer to not retarded people as retarded, does NOT mean the term is derogatory, when used in proper context.
    She swore up and down that the term retarded was inherently derogatory, and should never be used, even in a medical context becase it denigrates the person you are referring to.
    She claimed that it was a term that was used by doctors at a time when "mentally challenged" people were shuffled off to dark hospitals to be maltreated and, as such, had a negative denotation, not just a negative connotation.

    Political Correctness irritates me to no end, mainly because it gives the power of ownership of the language to people like her.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    To what??? "The Mom Formerly Known As Deaf"?

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    That's a little harsh. When you hear a democratic language community like us anglophones using a word as an insult, it becomes an insult. 99% of the time the word "retarded" is used in America, it is leveled at an unretarded person to make the speaker's exaggerated point that his words or deeds are not what is expected of an unretarded person.

    I'll defer to anyone who's researched this, but I'll bet that the N-word was not originally an insult. Remember that the Spanish were the original slave traders and negro is a Spanish word, pronounced with a cardinal E. We're already pronouncing it "wrong" with our English long E. Southerners, with their own rustic dialect, just pronounced it even wronger than the rest of us. I'd like to know when the N-word first showed up in print because I suspect that in speech it was just a dialect pronunciation of the written word "negro."

    We've been doing much better with Spanish words since the U.S. seized all that Mexican territory with its Spanish-speaking population. In California we pronounce rodeo correctly, with a cardinal E and the accent on it. Even "buckaroo" is arguably a more faithful pronunciation of vaquero than what I can imagine is heard in England, probably vuh-QUEER-oh. I've heard Englishmen pronounce tequila as tee-QUILL-ah.

    And didn't we all have to read Don JOO-an in college, gritting our teeth the whole time?

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    It was a popular freshman prank to write a poem in response, rhyming "Don Juan" with the poet's name: by-RON.
     
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  7. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    This is also a girl who refused to call people from Mexico "Mexicans" because where she is from, calling someone a "Mexican" is an insult.
    We were talking about a Mexican, and she kept referring to him as "Hispanic" (which isn't even correct, and most Mexicans I have known would take as an insult).

    If anything, what she was doing was insulting and disrespectful, because she was essentially saying, "I'm not going to refer to you as a Mexican, because that is an insult."
     
  8. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Someone probably told her she shouldn't call all Hispanic people Mexicans. You know, you see a guy swarthy guy with a Spanish accent and assume he's Mexican. (You'd be right, 99% of the time)

    Unfortunately for her, they didn't explain that the reason to not call all hispanics Mexicans is that they're not all from Mexico. But if you know for a fact that someone is Mexican, calling them that is no insult.
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    And you shouldn't call them "hispanics" either even though the Census Bureau still gets away with it. Statistically they have far more indigenous blood than Spanish and the Spaniards obliterated almost every trace of indigenous civilization. This is just the opposite of Egypt, where most people have more Arab ancestry yet they name themselves after the civilization their own ancestors destroyed.
    Only in the Southwest and a few other regions. Here in the D.C. area they're mostly SalvadoreƱos and Colombianos. When I went to see Shakira do a stadium gig in Philly I think there were only about eight of us there who were not Colombian.
    American-born children of Mexican parents were content to be called Mexicans when I attended high school with them fifty years ago--even those who could not speak Spanish. Nowadays they have been more politicized and they call themselves Americans like the rest of us with immigrant ancestors. The leading Latino music radio station in L.A. had their DJs switch to speaking English. It's not fashionable among the younger generation to speak the old language any more. So you'd better not call one of them a Mexican or you'll be in for a lecture--by him and his girlfriend of Chinese or Iranian ancestry.
     
  10. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Well, Hispanic is as good a name as any. Really about the only thing many "hispanics" have in common is they speak Spanish. There are white hispanics, black ones, brown ones, even yellow ones. So why not use hispanic?

    On a personal note, my father is of Spanish decent although his father grew up in Cuba. The census form says "White, not of hispanic origin" or "hispanic". So you're apparently not supposed to check off white if you have a Spanish name.

    Yet when my father was having some trouble at work he tried to appeal to the EEOC. He was told he wasn't hispanic since he had Spanish ancestry so the EEOC wouldn't help him!
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    These days an increasing percentage of their children do not speak Spanish, although they can't help picking up the accent from their parents as well as some of the culture. If they have a Spanish surname most agencies will browbeat them into checking the "Hispanic" box even though they see themselves in the same light as the children of Italian or Russian immigrants.
    So one government agency considers people with obvious roots in Spain "hispanic," while another specifically disqualifies them. Many of the people themselves don't even speak Spanish. Others dismiss the Spaniards as the people who raped their great ^ 7 grandmothers. Do you see why the word is so controversial?

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  12. Lord Hillyer Banned Banned

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    Just so.
     
  13. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    when did 'feeble minded' go away?
     
  14. Lord Hillyer Banned Banned

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    It is still in my vocabulary.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    That's pretty old-fashioned. Even fifty years ago I only heard it used humorously or in movies as a mark of backwoods dialect. Maybe it was still in vogue in Britain. "Feeb," as an insult, had seeped into American slang but it was not widely used, at least not in the Southwest. "Mentally retarded" was the P.C. term for the handicap; "retarded" was not co-opted as an insult until a few years later. I first heard "retard" as a noun, with the accent on the E, in the 1970s.
     
  16. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    is the correct saying 'speech impairment' or 'speech impediment'
     
  17. draqon Banned Banned

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    speech impairment would be my guess
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    An impediment is an organic obstruction, like a deformed lip or tongue. An impairment is an injury, which may be in the brain.
     
  19. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Ever heard a deaf person speak? Which do they have?
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Yes I have, at least on TV. And I saw film of Helen Keller many decades ago. I'd have to do this by process of elimination. They clearly don't have an organic obstruction. So I'd have to go with "impairment." But seriously I don't think this paradigm applies to absolutely every human being who does not speak normally. I think if we just call them "deaf" and leave it a that, no further categorization is needed. You could ask what the term is for a person with a foreign accent, or a toddler who hasn't mastered speech yet.
     
  21. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    My Mom is asked where she is from. People think its an accent, but all her childhood she'd been told she has a speech problem. Thanks for this explanation. I can't wait to tell her.

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