I really appreciate efforts in the blogosphere to change people’s habits of speech. Language is important and changes all the time for various reasons. Discouraging casual and thoughtless ableist, racist, misogynist habits of thought seems like a good reason to work to change the way people use language.
Meloukhia’s Open Letter to Feministing asking for them to watch, moderate, and eliminate ableist language, posts, and comments.
I’m rubber and you’re glue and Open Letter to Mark Shuttleworth feelings run high on referring to women as girls, and girls/women as a class of people who don’t understand technology and software (in this case, Linux).
Why Inclusionary Language Matters is especially great. Read it please!
My own personal bad habits are in saying “lame” and “crazy” to mean bad, boring, annoying, nonsensical, etc. I managed to stop saying “gay” as a pejorative around 1983 or so despite everyone around me using it that way. I think most people I know realize that calling something girly isn’t or shouldn’t be used to devalue a concept or a person. I became aware at some point in the last 10 years that calling things “ghetto” was racist and didn’t reflect what I really thought. “Retarded” stuck in my speech till a couple of years ago. I guess I’d just like to say in public somewhere that it’s something I’m not great at, but that I believe in and work on. Around my sister in private I can say “lame” all I want becuase we both know it’s meant to be ironic. But where else can I say that, and even more, what harm, alienation, and even violence am I wreaking against myself when I say it?