[Ads-l] "Oppressive Language List"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 28 10:59:20 EDT 2021

Please, never use an idiom which has a folk-etymology that causes some misinformed people to take offence.

Hip hip hooray! 👌(OK sign).
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of dave at wilton.net <dave at WILTON.NET>
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2021 7:28:55 AM
Subject: Re: "Oppressive Language List"

---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster:       "dave at wilton.net" <dave at WILTON.NET>
Subject:      Re: "Oppressive Language List"

=0AI agree that the list is badly formed, but a couple of points:=0A =0A1) =
The list was apparently made by students (undergrads?). It does not, as far=
 as I can tell, come from the "university."=0A =0A2) It's not clear if the =
list is backed by any disciplinary force. There is no mention of any conseq=
uences for using the proscribed terms. So, it doesn't appear to be a "free =
speech" issue.=0A =0ASo, it appears that this is a list of suggestions for =
being polite (i.e., avoid unintentionally offending anyone). Given that, th=
e list is not so absurd. "Don't use 'rule of thumb' casually because there =
are some people who will take it amiss" is not bad advice. (I think the pro=
scription against "irregardless" is silly and foolish, but I don't use it m=
yself precisely because some people hate it; I don't have a problem in not =
using it.)=0A =0AFinally, no one has mentioned what I think is the worst it=
em on the list, the people-first approach to referring to people with disab=
ilities. This is a much debated issue in the disability-rights community an=
d there is no consensus. Some prefer "disabled person" over "person with a =
disability" because they consider their disability part of their identity; =
their disability is part of who they are as a person, and the "person-first=
" approach strips them of that part of their identity. (This is perhaps mos=
t strongly felt in the deaf community.) There is no right answer to this on=
e, other than listen to what the the person in question prefers. This one d=
oesn't fall into the "good advice" category.=0A =0A =0A =0A-----Original Me=
ssage-----=0AFrom: "Stephen Goranson" <goranson at DUKE.EDU>=0ASent: Monday, J=
une 28, 2021 8:14am=0ATo: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=0ASubject: [ADS-L] "Oppres=
sive Language List"=0A=0A=0A=0AI (Brandeis BA '72) did not know some of the=
se offended anyone. Sunlight best disinfectant, Louie? At least the page li=
sting suggestions does reaffirm free speech. Will the Justice student paper=
 no longer celebrate a sports win with "Brandeis Masters Bates"?=0A=0ASG=0A=
=0A------------------------------------------------------------=0AThe Ameri=
can Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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