Thursday, 8 September 2011

Disability becomes ungood?

Sir Philip Craven hopes that the 2012 Paralympics will consign the word "disability" to the memory hole.

Please, Sir Philip, don't give the Inner Party any ideas.

Actually, I have some sympathy for his position, though not his goal.  At least he's not claiming that disability is an identity or that if the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, or the deaf hear it's a violation of their human rights.  I've always loathed Newspeak euphemisms in general and "disabled"  is particularly bad.  It's not only inaccurate, but it's doomed to become a pejorative in its own right–a bit like using "mental retardation" to replace "idiocy" only to have the new term become synonymous with the old one.  Personally, I'd prefer reviving "handicapped".  It's perfectly honourable term from sports to refer to someone or something operating under a disadvantage so they have to work harder, such as a handicapped horse having to carry weights in its saddle.

No comments: