Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

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metalangel
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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by metalangel » Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:26 am

"Mute" is generally considered to be an offensive term in the Deaf community. Granted, there is some movement to try and reclaim it in the same way that the LGBTQ community reclaimed the Q (queer) but it's a fairly recent thing. The correct term to use is 'voice off'.

People who are deaf are very aware that sound exists and of their own capacity to create it. It varies from individual to individual. One guy I know would vocalize a lot, especially whenever he laughed (which was often) but also just whenever he was emphasizing something. One of my teachers is a real prankster and holds back so when he does make a noise, it makes us all jump. Some people are completely silent.

Shizune chooses to be voice off and not make any noise but on occasion is unable to entire suppress it. Her capacity to speak is unknown, as is the extent of her 'deaf accent'.

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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by brythain » Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:44 am

metalangel wrote:"Mute" is generally considered to be an offensive term in the Deaf community. Granted, there is some movement to try and reclaim it in the same way that the LGBTQ community reclaimed the Q (queer) but it's a fairly recent thing. The correct term to use is 'voice off'.
Hmmm. I wasn't aware of this. Thanks. I tend to think of 'mute' as 'sound/off' because that's what the mute button does on a sound device. Sorry if my usage was offensive; it wasn't intended to be.
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Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by Steinherz » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:46 am

metalangel wrote:"Mute" is generally considered to be an offensive term in the Deaf community. Granted, there is some movement to try and reclaim it in the same way that the LGBTQ community reclaimed the Q (queer) but it's a fairly recent thing. The correct term to use is 'voice off'.
And then there are people who are mute and not deaf and wonder how it's offensive.
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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by metalangel » Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:17 am

Steinherz wrote: And then there are people who are mute and not deaf and wonder how it's offensive.
If it's because of a medical condition and they physically cannot produce sound because of it, that is the correct use of mute.

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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by Munchenhausen » Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:53 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Steinherz wrote:And yet she is shown to be able to make verbal noises in her own route. Which implies she's not completely mute. Muteness means you're unable to make any sound at all.
Ergo, she's deaf and mute by choice, not a deaf-mute.
I don't know where you got that definition, but there are various different kinds of muteness.
I've gotta agree with this. My mother has spent a good chunk of her life working with special needs children, and now assesses potential Social Workers for the role. On one occasion, I remember she was telling me of a child with severe autism who refused to talk to anyone but his older brother. A young boy who could speak, and spoke at an adequate level for his age, but simply didn't talk unless he was alone with his brother.

That in itself is a form of mutism; 'Elective Mutism', if I'm not mistaken. Mutes aren't necessarily unable to make noise, I think it's just a case that for whatever reason, they don't. Most congenitally deaf people are mutes because of their inability to hear, not because there's anything wrong with their voiceboxes. I vaguely remember one deaf interviewee admitting that she didn't speak because she was embarrassed at her voice, considering she wasn't able to make much sense if she did try to speak. Strikes to mind that when Shizune did let loose a few noises during that good ol' session of Rumpy Pumpy, didn't the dialogue note she looked embarrassed?
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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by Steinherz » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:11 pm

Munchenhausen wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Steinherz wrote:And yet she is shown to be able to make verbal noises in her own route. Which implies she's not completely mute. Muteness means you're unable to make any sound at all.
Ergo, she's deaf and mute by choice, not a deaf-mute.
I don't know where you got that definition, but there are various different kinds of muteness.
I've gotta agree with this. My mother has spent a good chunk of her life working with special needs children, and now assesses potential Social Workers for the role. On one occasion, I remember she was telling me of a child with severe autism who refused to talk to anyone but his older brother. A young boy who could speak, and spoke at an adequate level for his age, but simply didn't talk unless he was alone with his brother.

That in itself is a form of mutism; 'Elective Mutism', if I'm not mistaken. Mutes aren't necessarily unable to make noise, I think it's just a case that for whatever reason, they don't. Most congenitally deaf people are mutes because of their inability to hear, not because there's anything wrong with their voiceboxes. I vaguely remember one deaf interviewee admitting that she didn't speak because she was embarrassed at her voice, considering she wasn't able to make much sense if she did try to speak. Strikes to mind that when Shizune did let loose a few noises during that good ol' session of Rumpy Pumpy, didn't the dialogue note she looked embarrassed?
^^ This is what I was trying to point out (thank you for bringing it up, I couldn't remember the name). Shizune can make verbal noises, but chooses not to.
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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by Notguest » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:23 am

metalangel wrote:The correct term to use is 'voice off'.
How come I can't find any search results for that then?

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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by brythain » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:33 am

Notguest wrote:
metalangel wrote:The correct term to use is 'voice off'.
How come I can't find any search results for that then?
Your Google-fu is insufficiently powerful. Google "voice-off" and ASL together for better hits. Sometimes "voices-off".
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by Notguest » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:50 am

brythain wrote:
Notguest wrote:
metalangel wrote:The correct term to use is 'voice off'.
How come I can't find any search results for that then?
Your Google-fu is insufficiently powerful. Google "voice-off" and ASL together for better hits. Sometimes "voices-off".
I added ASL to the search term, but everything I found was about immersion in ASL classes. I can't find a single source that uses it in the sense you said is the standard.

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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by brythain » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:20 am

Notguest wrote:
brythain wrote:Your Google-fu is insufficiently powerful. Google "voice-off" and ASL together for better hits. Sometimes "voices-off".
I added ASL to the search term, but everything I found was about immersion in ASL classes. I can't find a single source that uses it in the sense you said is the standard.
It wasn't I who said it, but Metalangel's assertion is that 'voice-off' is used for not using speech when that may be available. Of course the most common context is ASL classes, but it's also used for immersion in other speech classes, e.g. not being allowed to speak English when learning in a Japanese-language class. In that context, you'd be voice-off for English. Perhaps 'elective mutism' and 'selective mutism' might be useful terms to use in other contexts.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by Notguest » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:18 am

Would non-speaking deaf be a better term than? It's hard to see how "electively deaf mute" would be better than deaf mute, even if it wasn't too cumbersome and confusing to use.

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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by metalangel » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:21 pm

Valjean Lafitte wrote:
Back on topic, however, what's wrong with the term "deaf-mute"?

It's considered to be offensive by the Deaf community. I explained above that the vast majority of people who are deaf have functioning vocal cords and know how to use them to produce sound. Voice off is far more accurate as it indicates not making sound is the person's decision. Not just for classrooms, but everyday life.

Mute is almost as archaic a term as "dumb" in this context.

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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by Atario » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:42 pm

brythain wrote:It's interesting how this thread has ended up being about Shizune rather than Misha.
That's kinda how it goes with those two, ain't it…
Valjean Lafitte wrote:I've never heard nymphomaniac used in that context, or at least when it's shortened to "nympho".
Well, the idea is that certain (unusual, marked) women like sex and are therefore "nymphomaniacs/nymphos"; meaning all the other women, who are normal and therefore don't need a special term, don't like sex. Myself, I like to encourage women to think of a love of sex as being standard equipment. :mrgreen:

(Hey, haven't seen you around the subreddit lately…)
metalangel wrote:It's considered to be offensive by the Deaf community. I explained above that the vast majority of people who are deaf have functioning vocal cords and know how to use them to produce sound. Voice off is far more accurate as it indicates not making sound is the person's decision. Not just for classrooms, but everyday life.
Buuuut… I'd say that for a few decades now at least, the primary use of "mute" is that every remote control, TV, stereo, and media player (device and software) in existence has a "mute" button, which controls a setting and is therefore implicitly a choice and not an inherent limitation. Seems to me it's the other condition that should differentiate itself (if indeed such differentiation is even worth creating a special term over).
Mute is almost as archaic a term as "dumb" in this context.
Kinda ironic that just about the only context in which you can use the word "dumb" and be understood to mean "lacking speech" is in the set phrase "deaf and dumb". Outside of that it will require explanation at minimum…
NB: none of the above is a request

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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by metalangel » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:40 pm

Atario wrote: Buuuut… I'd say that for a few decades now at least, the primary use of "mute" is that every remote control, TV, stereo, and media player (device and software) in existence has a "mute" button, which controls a setting and is therefore implicitly a choice and not an inherent limitation. Seems to me it's the other condition that should differentiate itself (if indeed such differentiation is even worth creating a special term over).
Please tell me that's not a serious comment.

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Re: Anyone else hate Misha?

Post by brythain » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:54 pm

metalangel wrote:
Atario wrote: Buuuut… I'd say that for a few decades now at least, the primary use of "mute" is that every remote control, TV, stereo, and media player (device and software) in existence has a "mute" button, which controls a setting and is therefore implicitly a choice and not an inherent limitation. Seems to me it's the other condition that should differentiate itself (if indeed such differentiation is even worth creating a special term over).
Please tell me that's not a serious comment.
Being only slightly less ignorant now than I was a few days ago, could you please elaborate on why 'mute' is seen as pejorative or politically incorrect or otherwise worse than 'voice-off'? The latter term seems rather contrived: it's an unnatural construction, and if it's to gain currency, perhaps it's good that someone explains it. I'm somewhere in my fifth decade now, and only because I have relatives who are speech therapists have I ever heard the term. I had not connected it with 'deaf' ('hearing-impaired'?) until now. I understand why 'dumb' might be pejorative, since we use it that way in common conversation, but the only time I've seen 'mute' and 'mutie' as pejorative is in X-Men comics.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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