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Ett PS till “hen”…

Categories: Uncategorized
Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014

Nick Cohen skriver utmärkt i senaste Spectator om det illusoriska och kontraproduktiva tänkandet bakom neutraliserande omskrivningar, särskilt vad gäller mental hälsa. Ursäkta långt citat (men läs texten också!):

The notion that you can change the world by changing language gets history upside down. Language changes as the world changes, not the other round, and I cannot see how you can take the lazy course and speed up the fight against prejudice by fiddling with words, when the real problem is malice. Even in the case of words that appear clear insults, everything depends on the intent of the user. Is he or she malicious or benign? The handicapped man bullied at work and the child bullied at school know it, as do all who attempt to “reclaim” language. From “suffragettes” to “queer”, groups of second-class citizens have taken the abuse thrown at them and used it for their own purposes because they understand that motive matters more than labels.

In 1928, the great American civil rights campaigner W.E.B. DuBois, put the argument best after he received a letter from a young activist, who was appalled that DuBois and his comrades were happy to use the word “negro”. Negro was a slave name, he said, which should be abolished. DuBois told him to toughen up and concentrate on what mattered.

Do not at the outset of your career make the all too common error of mistaking names for things. Names are only conventional signs for identifying things. Things are the reality that counts. If a thing is despised, either because of ignorance or because it is despicable, you will not alter matters by changing its name. If men despise Negroes, they will not despise them less if Negroes are called “colored” or “Afro-Americans…” It is not the name – it’s the Thing that counts. Come on, Kid, let’s go get the Thing!

3 Responses to “Ett PS till “hen”…”

  1. Ja. Förändras samhället och människors värderingar följer språket efter.

  2. Das ding-ding an sich, som j brukar säga. Helt apropå.

  3. […] kroppen, av den ideologiskt bankrutta och politiskt kontraproduktiva henifieringen av svenskan (här ett PS till den posten), och hur man tänker eller inte tänker på […]

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