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Old 27.10.2012, 00:11
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For those of you who have defended....

....here on EF, the use of the word "retard", you might want to read this. Its addressed to Ann Coulter who tweeted the word as a description of Barack Obama. Honestly, I hope it stops you using the word anymore.
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Old 27.10.2012, 10:04
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

You are such a re......







really nice person
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Old 27.10.2012, 10:31
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

Awesome. Thanks for posting this.

As a side note, when I was working in this field we were trying to focus on language that focusses on personhood first, and that has been helpful for me as I try to develop more sensitivity in my communication. I think as a society we have a bad habit of being lazy with words so we'll say things like

"the homeless guy" (instead of the man who doesn't have a home)
"the disabled daughter" (instead of a girl with a disability)
"a schizophrenic" (instead of a person who struggles with schizoprhrenia)

It's a subtle shift but for me it makes all the difference and allows someone to have a particular issue/challenge, but not have that make up their entire personhood. I think it also helps us to be more compassionate when we don't see someone as "other" but just a person doing their best.
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Old 27.10.2012, 10:56
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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(...) someone to have a particular issue/challenge, but not have that make up their entire personhood..
In other words, you want to forbid metonymy.
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Old 27.10.2012, 10:59
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In other words, you want to forbid metonymy.
I don't think she wants to forbid it, but there are certainly occasions when it is desirable to avoid it.
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:12
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

At idle, the ignition advance of my motorcycle is completely retarded.

Tom
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:15
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At idle, the ignition advance of my motorcycle is completely retarded.

Tom
Different use of the word - nobody would have a problem with that, just as nobody has a problem with people in Walsall eating faggots for dinner.
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:18
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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Different use of the word
Not really.

Tom
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:20
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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To be fair, this is a thread about the use of language, and metonymy is a perfectly normal linguistic term.

I disagree with Faltrad's conclusion, but it was a reasonable subject to raise.
Fair point
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:20
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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Not really.

Tom
I hate to break it to you, Tom, but your motorbike isn't a human being...
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:24
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

I'm not suggesting we forbid things. I am suggesting we be conscious of how our words impact others and to attempt to be respectful. Labels can be very hurtful, and all of us have had some label or another applied to us. They cover up the nuances of who we are, what we have to offer, and our inherent value as a human being.

Plus, often we use labels to try and push someone outside of our circle of compassion. It's easier to be judgmental when we've reduced someone in all their complexities to a single word.
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:26
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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Awesome. Thanks for posting this.

As a side note, when I was working in this field we were trying to focus on language that focusses on personhood first, and that has been helpful for me as I try to develop more sensitivity in my communication. I think as a society we have a bad habit of being lazy with words so we'll say things like

"the homeless guy" (instead of the man who doesn't have a home)
"the disabled daughter" (instead of a girl with a disability)
"a schizophrenic" (instead of a person who struggles with schizoprhrenia)

It's a subtle shift but for me it makes all the difference and allows someone to have a particular issue/challenge, but not have that make up their entire personhood. I think it also helps us to be more compassionate when we don't see someone as "other" but just a person doing their best.
All this polishing up and political correctness does not make a whole lot of difference. You can change the name of the kid but it's still the same kid.
Somebody who is , say, a racist will remain one , whether you say "Black" or "African American".
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:29
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

If the OP comments means stop with personal attacks, then I agree. Paraphrasing everything like suggested later is not an option. One could also accuse people who demand rephrasing of metonymic wording of wrong over-generalization. The language game works both sides.
Now, when an expression is considered as offensive by the person in front of me, I don't have to agree with him/her to avoid said expression if my goal is not to offend him/her. however, it also gives me the opportunity to offend this person freely and still blame it on them for being lingistically oversensitive. This technique of dishonnest manipulation is used with great efficiency at least once a day here in the forum, lately in a PM in my inbox.

Rhetorics works for everybody, Once the victime, once the execusioner....
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:34
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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All this polishing up and political correctness does not make a whole lot of difference. You can change the name of the kid but it's still the same kid.
Partly true. An awful lot of (often unwittingly) racist people hide behind their use of language - the kind of people who'd never say the N-word, but are quite happy to say something like "people of colour are such good dancers, it's like they have a natural rhythm".

It is still helpful to think about our use of language, though, and how our own use of shortcuts and labelling affects the way we think about people.

I'd never dream of telling someone else what they can and can't say, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't think before using a phrase like "a naughty kid", which can serve to dismiss quite complex problems in a handy - and rather lazy - way.

I think that's Kristanez' point.
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:37
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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All this polishing up and political correctness does not make a whole lot of difference.
I wholeheartedly disagree, but respect your right to that belief.

I really think words matter. A lot. We shape stories about ourselves and others through words. We've all been hurt by words. We've all felt the power of affirming words. We know what it's like when words that needed to be spoken (such as an "I'm sorry"), haven't been and how that rippled through a relationship. We've all felt the regret of when we have said too much and desparately wished we could pull our words back in.

It's the difference between calling a child a "bad boy" and helping a child understand why their behavior is bad.

Words are powerful.

I do agree with you though, that intent also matters. Sometimes we are insensitive out of ignorance. Sometimes we are just insensitive.
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:38
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

Before the theory starts and the age-old and wearisome arguments about "political correctness gone mad" start......just read the letter from the guy and think about it. That's all I was aiming for
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:40
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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It is still helpful to think about our use of language, though, and how our own use of shortcuts and labelling affects the way we think about people.
On that we certainly agree. But I believe changing a word does not change the concept.

a schizophrenic - a person struggling with schizophrenia

Where is the difference?
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:41
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On that we certainly agree. But I believe changing a word does not change the concept.

a schizophrenic - a person struggling with schizophrenia

Where is the difference?
The word "person".
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:44
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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Before the theory starts and the age-old and wearisome arguments about "political correctness gone mad" start......just read the letter from the guy and think about it. That's all I was aiming for
I relate to that whole heartedly, because I am still under shock for having been called a nazi here and I was the only one shocked by this metonymy. So yes, I do agree that words hurt. But my experience here is that the victim ends up with the blame. Hence my cool technical approach now. It didn't change my opinion though.
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Old 27.10.2012, 11:44
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Re: For those of you who have defended....

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Before the theory starts and the age-old and wearisome arguments about "political correctness gone mad" start......just read the letter from the guy and think about it. That's all I was aiming for
You started a thread on a debate board. What did you expect?
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