[Ads-l] "Person experiencing homelessness" (and a digression about "person with albinism"); was Re: Heard on TV: _a homeless_ "a homeless person"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 8 19:36:07 EST 2019


Anybody else old enough to remember when the word for "a homeless" was _a
bum_, someone who who lived _on the bum_ by _bumming_ from passers-by?

On Sun, Dec 8, 2019 at 3:21 PM Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I've encountered "a homeless", and plural/mass use of it ("there's a bunch
> of homeless on the corner") here and there, but generally not in writing.
> It's more of a vernacular thing. I think the cartoons are reflecting that
> usage not inventing it.
>
> A countervailing usage is the euphemism "person[s]/people/individual[s]
> experiencing homelessness", which I see very frequently in one of those
> minor variations in materials created with the last few years by
> homelessness-focused organizations and agencies, as if they have some kind
> of mini-stylebook they're sharing that has agreed on this clumsy but
> well-meaning phrase.  Like "differently abled", "financially challenged",
> "gender-identity questioning", and so many other such clumsy locutions, it
> appears to be allyspeak and isn't what someone described by the term would
> normally use.  There are some cusp cases, in which a wordy politically
> correct construction starts being adopted by its subjects, e.g. "persons
> with albinism" which was almost unknown a decade ago, but is regularly in
> use now by albinistic people (the more common euphemism) on webboards
> devoted to discussion of the condition.  And, no, I haven't run into anyone
> being called "an albinistic" or "those albinistics".  Heh.  (As some
> background on that digression: "albino" is increasingly thought both to be
> inappropriate for humans as the subject, like "Oriental", and to be too
> often used in a condescending or even more negative way, like "Negro" and
> "Chinaman".)
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 9:43 PM Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Subject line of a spam😜:
> > Date _a mature_!
> >
> > On Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 11:06 PM Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > only in shows on Adult Swim shows.
> > >
> > > American Dad:
> > >
> > > "Yes, I was robbed by _a homeless_."
> > >
> > > Squidbillies:
> > >
> > > "Let's go down to the park and set _a homeless_ on fire."
> > >
> > >
> > > That really sounds bizarre to me. Does it occur in reality?
> > >
> > > --
> > > -Wilson
> > > -----
> > > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> > > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > > -Mark Twain
> > >
> > >
> >
> > --
> > -Wilson
> > -----
> > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > -Mark Twain
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
-Wilson
-----
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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


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