piranha: inui's disgusting red juice dripping out of a glass (penal tea)
[personal profile] piranha
from my personal vocabulary.

i'm doing well with "lame"; i don't use it anymore. same with "blind to", "deaf to". "daft" is also gone, and "crazy", as is "derp" (i hadn't even realized the problem with that last one). "retarded", "loony", and "spaz" are almost gone.

i'm not doing well with "stupid", "dumb", and "idiot". i know the etymology, but in my entire lifetime the latter two terms have not been used by anyone around me to refer to people who're deaf or have intellectual disabilities; they're insults only and long divorced from their origins. and my brain keeps hanging onto them stubbornly.

"stupid" is a more mixed bag, and i'd been thinking i myself used the term only when referring to temporary, careless mind-foggery (despite being fully intellectually capable of seeing the consequences and possibly even bringing them up internally), mostly about myself. but no, to my shame i actually use it to refer to people with probable disabilities. *sigh*. i've been watching "justified" because it's highly rated on metacritic, and while it is well-written and very atmospheric, it is one hell of a depressing show. nearly everyone on it seems to act at all times with lack of foresight, in addition to being craven, cruel, egotistical, and valuing other life less than money and power. even the hero, a US marshal, who's quite a bit smarter than most of his foes, does incredibly inane things. every one of his romantic/sexual involvements is reckless. (i had to search for terms to replace "stupid" there). now, the marshal fits with how i generally think i use "stupid". but the kentucky hillbillies depicted on the show are clearly intellectually not up to the tasks they set themselves in their lives of crime.

if i lived in kentucky i'd hate "justified" with a passion. there are maybe 3 decent people on this show, and none of them are hillbillies. and even hose decent people close their eyes to the violations of the law our "hero" marshal engages in as a matter of course.

anyway. so yeah, i use "stupid" to refer to actual (if fictional) people with intellectual disabilities. not good.

for those of you who try to be more mindful of the words you use, do you have any techniques to get rid of the stubborn ones? i can do it in writing, but in casual speech the word comes out before my mind clamps down on it.

on 2014-02-22 21:59 (UTC)
zeborah: Why yes! I am the language police. You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say will be used against you. (PC)
Posted by [personal profile] zeborah
The easiest way for me is, knowing the words I default to, to work out a simple one-to-one replacement. If I know the alternative in advance, then the problem is reduced from "catching myself in the moment and finding an alternative to use" to just "catching myself in the moment".

Plus, removing a word from one's vocab is a lot harder than adding a word to one's vocab (like it's harder to give up a habit than to take up a new one) so it's easier for me to focus on the "this is the word I want to use" side of the equation.

For example, "driving me crazy" -> "driving me up the wall". --This one's particularly good because I've got all the time it takes to say "driving me" to remember to switch directions. Others are a little harder.

on 2014-02-23 22:47 (UTC)
jesse_the_k: (icon love)
Posted by [personal profile] jesse_the_k
+1 on introducing new.

Best if it's the same number of syllables; better yet if it uses the same first and last letter.

"reckless" is a *great* replacement for "stupid" as far as meaning goes, because so much unplanned, impulsive, hasty, rash, gross, lumpy, gummy, .... I think I've lost it.

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