Names are power
June 28, 2012
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Time away from home, gives a person plenty of time to think. This week amongst other things I have been thinking about my use of words, and a conversation turned to the power of words, names and labels. This is a topic which has been also dealt with over at Half Past Normal, where Angela has discussed the power of swear words at pre-school.
Westies are a bit like the Scottish it seems. Chances are that makes us a bit like the Irish, the East English, the French, Canadians, South Americans and people from a wide range of other regions: We swear. More than a little bit. We can also be a little more “blunt” than “direct”, yes I call a spade a “f*ing shovel with a handle at the end” if somebody doesn’t quite know what I mean. Like a lot of parents whose child is not as verbal as other children that age, we worry what situation our child might end up in when they suddenly come up with the choice words we would prefer they not quite know.
However, one type of thing I try very hard to do, is labelling people. As in, “you are such an idiot.” I would much rather say “that is an idiotic thing to do.”
“Only an idiot would do that”. “Don’t be an idiot.” “Are you an idiot?” Hmm, these would be murky grounds for me.
With this strong underlying concept in mind: why is it I get so concerned about the difference between “my autistic son” and “my son, who has Autism?” For what it’s worth, I feel like “my autistic son” is a lot more natural – as natural as “my Japanese wife” which is much more natural than “my wife, who is Japanese.”
<small>No, my wife is not Japanese. That was just an example.</small>