Atario wrote: Deadly serious. And I don't appreciate your dismissive tone.
I didn’t really like the flippant and frankly ridiculous assertion that because your TV remote makes ‘muting’ the sound a choice, therefore the term ‘mute’ is correct, acceptable, and always denotes a choice.
This is an argument from authority, and it erroneously presumes a particular type of muteness to be the only type. Furthermore, if one can be "deaf-blind" or any other combination of things, there's no reason why that particular combination should be "unacceptable", Association or no.
Context is crucial in this case, as it’s from a list of terminology. I should have included the link but didn’t expect this to go so far.
Again, this presupposes that "mute" can only mean physically incapable, which is incorrect. In fact, in the dictionary definition I'm looking at right now, the first one listed is "refraining from speech or utterance", and only when we come to the definition where it mentions being "incapable" does it say the term is offensive in that use — the one you're advocating be the only one. At any rate, it seems that those taking offense at the term are assuming the offensive version and not the benign one. But it shouldn't be surprising; taking offense is a well-known pastime.
I’m not saying it’s the only one, I’m saying that in the context of people who are deaf, it is considered offensive and incorrect. That is the context in which they’re taking offense too.
That's well and good, but there's a problem with the response being to forbid terminology: that it encourages the presumption of inferiority. Term X used to be fine to describe Group A; but now it's considered insulting, so we must all move on to the fresh shiny new Term Y. But what happened to make Term X change into an insult? The only thing that happened to it was its long association with Group A. Therefore, in forbidding Term X, we must be saying that Group A is so bad that it gradually infects the very words used to describe it. Apply Term Y, wait till that one is also considered insulting, invent Term Z, rinse and repeat ad infinitum. This is the Dysphemism Treadmill.
Instead of saying "don't use Term X because it insults those poor, pitiable members of Group A", we should be saying "there's nothing wrong with being in Group A, so why would Term X be insulting?".
That is why in many cases, Group A seeks to ‘reclaim’ Term X and turn its meaning around. I think I said that already, too.
Er. What? You mute something when the sound is annoying you, which is an assumption that the sound is the problem, the unusual thing. The muteness is a blessed relief from vexation. I have pretty positive associations with it…
Your perceptions and associations with the word differ from other people’s. Why can’t you accept that? That’s why this whole argument is even continuing. People debated on Shizune’s ‘muteness’, I explained that to a deaf person that the term can be considered offensive and was incorrect in Shizune’s case anyway. People asked why, I explained, and then out came the dictionaries and arguing back that not only did they disagree with it being offensive, that it was wrong to even see it as offensive. Now it’s this whole bigger thing that seems to have the basic message that anyone who finds something offensive is being a petulant child and should just stop complaining. I’m sure that Stephen Fry quote is on the way.
Adopting this as a general policy is the surest way I can think of to invest the maximum power possible into the loudest complainers.
There’s a delicious irony in that statement which lightens this mood here somewhat. For a brief moment, at least.
Back on point – what? You’re afraid of give an inch and they’ll take a foot, because they’d rather you didn’t use a certain term?
Ah, but you see, disabilities are an expressly allowed topic in all cases! We're immune! Immune, I say! [Thread immediately gets locked anyway]
People have learned a few things here, albeit in an unpleasant way.
Yeah, Mirage, don't you know you don't get to have agency of your own or advocate for your own viewpoint? I mean, at least pick a group to be a part of so you can join in on the forbidding.
Why would you persist afterwards except to cause trouble?
Every person in the world is described using a plethora of terms all the time, none of which they themselves chose. I never chose the term "brown-haired"; so do I get to forbid you from using it because I've taken some notion to be offended by it? And then do I get to go on to demand that you start using the term "fhqwhgads" instead or you're an insensitive swine?
You seem to be confusing deeming something offensive just for the sake of being difficult, and having a long history of negativity associated with a certain term which in my view is a good reason to make the request.