If the only way you can criticise someone is through the use of -isms, check yourself. How does your rhetoric enforce injustice?
The growing use of reclamatory language is a splendid thing to see. Less splendid is the fact that people in positions of power now think they can use it.
I really feel like the title of this post is sufficient to make the point of this post, but since this is an issue that comes up routinely, people clearly need to have a little sit down. So pull up an armchair and let’s talk about how ‘trans’ relates to various parts of speech. And if […]
Kids these days, getting all over English’s lawn, just like…generations of teens before them. English is a constantly and fascinatingly evolving language, but somehow older generations seem continually surprised by this, even though they themselves participated in pushing English in new directions in their younger years. As a consequence, we get to hear a great […]
I missed Lisa Egan’s post on ableism versus disablism when it went up in 2013, but once I discovered it last year, I’ve been mulling it over ever since. Followers of disability language and politics are likely familiar with one or both terms, which are used to describe discrimination against disabled people. They are often […]
Look, people, we need to have a talk. If I see one more person pulling the resort to dictionary move to bolster up an argument, I will flip a table. And nobody wants to see that, because I spend a fair amount of time around fragile little antique tables covered in fragile little expensive antique […]
Not too many months ago, I was talking with a relatively new friend, who also happens to be a linguist, about idioms. I happen to be absolutely terrible with idioms. They’re one aspect of English that I’ve never quite mastered, despite speaking and working in English for decades — sometimes I feel like I missed […]
For many of us working to make the world a better, safer, more equal place, we may find ourselves at opposition to the world around us, especially in social settings. When we’re with groups of people, we’re often found facing down the old dilemma of whether we should swallow or pretend we didn’t hear a highly […]
Discussions about language, reflections of cultural attitudes in language, and how we use language get complex. Some discussions seem to miss the point, becoming more about generating lists of ‘bad words’ that we can call people on to make ourselves feel superior, while others become overly reductive. Others are ignored and shoved to the side, […]
One of the things that fascinates me about social justice movements is the rapidity with which language evolves. This can sometimes become a pitfall, as people are penalised for not knowing the latest language and not using the most current terms, but it’s also amazing evidence of how communities craft and shape new terms for […]