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

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Oddball
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by Oddball » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:04 am

Some people just get offended too easily.

Given the choice between changing the way I speak and behave and outright avoiding them, I'd rather just avoid them.
Interesting question: what do you call someone with substantial lower-limb impairment that precludes a normal range of locomotion?

Such people used to be known as 'cripples' (from c. 10th century) and 'lame' (even earlier).
These terms began to be used primarily as pejoratives from the 1960s and 1970s.
My dad, who lost a leg back in his twenties refers to himself as a cripple, often a "fucking cripple" and will correct just about anybody he talks to that tries to be too PC about it. He's not bitter about it or anything. That's just what he is.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by Steinherz » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:25 pm

Oddball wrote:Some people just get offended too easily.

Given the choice between changing the way I speak and behave and outright avoiding them, I'd rather just avoid them.
Interesting question: what do you call someone with substantial lower-limb impairment that precludes a normal range of locomotion?

Such people used to be known as 'cripples' (from c. 10th century) and 'lame' (even earlier).
These terms began to be used primarily as pejoratives from the 1960s and 1970s.
My dad, who lost a leg back in his twenties refers to himself as a cripple, often a "fucking cripple" and will correct just about anybody he talks to that tries to be too PC about it. He's not bitter about it or anything. That's just what he is.
Your dad sounds like a cool guy.

And yeah, fuck all that politically correct bullshit.
I write take a look, would you kindly?
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by Charmant » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:59 pm

brythain wrote:
Charmant wrote:Assuming a scenario ever arises where noting their condition is relevant to discussion in the first place, I call them crippled because that is the reality of their condition. I call myself a cripple too so at the least I can't be called a hypocrite. Now, if they decide a mere observation of their reality is offensive, they're free to explain this position to me. I am likewise free to explain that it is, in fact, not an insult but a fact of reality. And then I am free to continue using it as such: A harmless, factual observation of reality.

If they continue being offended by what is only a factual observation with zero ill intent behind it, well, that's a personal hang-up on their end and does not concern me. If they choose to feed otherwise harmless terms with negative power, that's their choice. My choice, meanwhile, is to not pointlessly tarnish harmless combinations of letters with arbitrary negative effect that serves no purpose but to empower bigots while restricting language for the rest of us.
The part up to 'does not concern me' makes your stand perfectly clear. The rest is some kind of rhetoric involving mixed metaphors or something? I don't quite understand what you're trying to say there. Or at least, I'm not sure I get it.
Basically: I call a mute person "mute". They have two options:

1) Accept that they are, in fact, mute and it is no way an offense to observe this fact. This defuses the entire issue, everybody wins.

2) Stay upset despite this fact. This accomplishes two things: It restricts my own usage of the language for no good reason, and it gives actual bad people a nice handy way to insult and rile up the mute fella.


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

Post by brythain » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:11 pm

Charmant wrote:Basically: I call a mute person "mute". They have two options:

1) Accept that they are, in fact, mute and it is no way an offense to observe this fact. This defuses the entire issue, everybody wins.

2) Stay upset despite this fact. This accomplishes two things: It restricts my own usage of the language for no good reason, and it gives actual bad people a nice handy way to insult and rile up the mute fella.
I agree with 1) but I would say that despite them remaining upset in 2), it does not restrict your usage. You can continue to use it, and they can continue to be upset. It is also your choice, and again, the 'no good reason' part is subjective. People get offended at all kinds of things for 'no good reason', and sometimes, I find it better to get the matter off the board if I can afford to do so. After all, offence from words is not a logical thing at all, but it may exist nevertheless for perfectly good social, cultural, historical (etc) reasons; the stand in most states on slander or libel is that if it's true, it isn't — but that doesn't mean you can't hurt people with the truth.

Logically then, if it does restrict your usage, it can only be because you are generally a socially positive person who doesn't like giving offence. If you weren't it wouldn't be restricting. :)
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by metalangel » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:23 pm

BMFJack wrote: It's not just technically correct, it's factually correct. The only thing on the table here that can't be proven is whether or not deaf people find the term "mute" offensive. You tried to sidestep that one, but I caught you.

You keep going on about how you are ‘factually’ correct. I just provided the links to the definition to show that I wasn’t making it up, that all these Deaf organizations have gone on record as saying they consider the term offensive and would prefer it wasn’t used. You guys disagree with them, you think your definition is more correct than theirs and don’t care about their reasons why, that’s up to you.

You seem to be expecting me to go out and provide signed affidavits from a finite number of Deaf people agreeing with the reasoning given by the organizations provided or else you’re going to declare victory thanks to the efforts of your dictionary (even if all but Webster’s on the first page of Google results for “mute dictionary” mention the potentially offensive meaning)

TL;DR: It’s not my definition that I made up all by my little self. I’ve just been dragged into trying to explain it.

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

Post by BMFJack » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:11 pm

metalangel wrote:You keep going on about how you are ‘factually’ correct.
Because I am, and I have actually proven that, where you haven't.
metalangel wrote:I just provided the links to the definition to show that I wasn’t making it up, that all these Deaf organizations have gone on record as saying they consider the term offensive and would prefer it wasn’t used.
The links you provide only claim that the term 'deaf-mute' is offensive, not 'mute'. I've said this several times before, as have others, and you seem to be ignoring that point for some reason...
metalangel wrote:You guys disagree with them, you think your definition is more correct than theirs and don’t care about their reasons why, that’s up to you.
Don't put words in other people's mouths. You're not understanding what I'm trying to say, that's why this has gone on for so long. I don't disagree with them, because they don't claim that 'mute' is offensive. I disagree with you, because you claim it is.
metalangel wrote:You seem to be expecting me to go out and provide signed affidavits from a finite number of Deaf people agreeing with the reasoning given by the organizations provided
It would certainly help your case, since there are a number of people involved in this discussion who have personal experiences with deaf people that contradict that which (only you) claim is the stance of these organizations.
metalangel wrote:(even if all but Webster’s on the first page of Google results for “mute dictionary” mention the potentially offensive meaning)
And if you looked a little more closely at those definitions, you'd notice something I've already pointed out several times; it's only referred to as offensive when using it as a noun.
metalangel wrote:It’s not my definition that I made up all by my little self. I’ve just been dragged into trying to explain it.
Except you're the only person advocating this particular interpretation of the definition, so you've effectively put yourself in a position which you have no choice but to defend or concede.

I have a pretty serious question for you, although I doubt you'll answer it. Do you actually know anyone in real life who is deaf that takes offense to the term 'mute' when used as an adjective?

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

Post by metalangel » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:44 pm

BMFJack wrote: The links you provide only claim that the term 'deaf-mute' is offensive, not 'mute'. I've said this several times before, as have others, and you seem to be ignoring that point for some reason...
Hang on... so all this time you guys have been saying it's all about the context and intention behind the words, but when the word is used in the context of describing a person who is deaf (in the case, Shizune), it's only offensive if combined with 'deaf'?
Don't put words in other people's mouths. You're not understanding what I'm trying to say, that's why this has gone on for so long. I don't disagree with them, because they don't claim that 'mute' is offensive. I disagree with you, because you claim it is.
Like I said above... if that is the case here, I'll need a very stiff drink, leave the bottle.
And if you looked a little more closely at those definitions, you'd notice something I've already pointed out several times; it's only referred to as offensive when using it as a noun.
Taking Oxford as an example, the defintions and examples make it very hard to tell whether you're using it as a noun or adjective.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... glish/mute
I have a pretty serious question for you, although I doubt you'll answer it. Do you actually know anyone in real life who is deaf that takes offense to the term 'mute' when used as an adjective?
You want me to poll my deaf friends and acquaintances for some anecdotal evidence to beat your anecdotal evidence?

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

Post by brythain » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:53 pm

metalangel wrote:You want me to poll my deaf friends and acquaintances for some anecdotal evidence to beat your anecdotal evidence?
Actually, that sounds interesting. I don't have enough deaf friends to do this, so I'm keen to find out how a question like, "How do you feel about the word 'mute'?" is responded to when the respondent is a non-speaking type. You could print the question out on paper or do this by email to provide some degree of standardisation.
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by BMFJack » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:04 pm

metalangel wrote:Hang on... so all this time you guys have been saying it's all about the context and intention behind the words, but when the word is used in the context of describing a person who is deaf (in the case, Shizune), it's only offensive if combined with 'deaf'?
You're getting better at putting words in people's mouths, at least. No, that's not what we've been saying. Intention is important, yes, but it's not just the context, it's the part of speech you're using (noun, verb, adjective, etc)
metalangel wrote:Like I said above... if that is the case here, I'll need a very stiff drink, leave the bottle.
I don't even know what you're trying to say/imply here. Be more concise, please.
metalangel wrote:Taking Oxford as an example, the defintions and examples make it very hard to tell whether you're using it as a noun or adjective.
No, it isn't. Parts of speech are very easy to identify, and the oxford dictionary link you provided tells you what the word means when used as each part of speech. It also says that the offensive adjective version is outdated: 2 dated or offensive (Of a person) lacking the faculty of speech.
metalangel wrote:You want me to poll my deaf friends and acquaintances for some anecdotal evidence to beat your anecdotal evidence?
Again with the putting words in people's mouths. No, I want to know if you actually know a real live person who is offended by being called "mute" (adjective) since no one else here does. Anecdotal evidence isn't an accurate term, because this isn't a small sample we're talking about.

The fact that you sidestepped the question completely makes me think you don't actually know anyone who is deaf, and are simply repeating what you've read online. After all, if it's on the internet it must be true, right?

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

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:07 am

BMFJack wrote:
metalangel wrote:Hang on... so all this time you guys have been saying it's all about the context and intention behind the words, but when the word is used in the context of describing a person who is deaf (in the case, Shizune), it's only offensive if combined with 'deaf'?
You're getting better at putting words in people's mouths, at least. No, that's not what we've been saying. Intention is important, yes, but it's not just the context, it's the part of speech you're using (noun, verb, adjective, etc)
Besides as I've said before, referring to a person by a noun can be considered offensive in a large number of situations, because it reduces a person to a single, defining trait. This is not exclusive to the word "mute".
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Re: Terminology debate - "mute" versus "voice-off"

Post by metalangel » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:23 pm

BMFJack wrote: Again with the putting words in people's mouths. No, I want to know if you actually know a real live person who is offended by being called "mute" (adjective) since no one else here does. Anecdotal evidence isn't an accurate term, because this isn't a small sample we're talking about.

The fact that you sidestepped the question completely makes me think you don't actually know anyone who is deaf, and are simply repeating what you've read online. After all, if it's on the internet it must be true, right?
You're expecting me to hassle people I actually know just to prove a point to you, a random anonymous stranger on the internet. The proof you're expecting is something I could easily make up, too. Even if I went through with this degrading task for you, you could just throw it back in my face by saying I made it up or that the people I found who agreed were not representative of the larger Deaf community. That is what I mean by anecdotal - it cannot be verified by any outside party, or at least not one you couldn't also deem as unreliable.

It's like - my best friend is deaf, I go to Deaf events, I have a Facebook list full of all the people I've met at college, ASL camp, ASL class and while we've all moved on with our separate lives we keep in touch and when we get together in person there's always big smiles and hugs. I feel honoured and privileged to be welcomed into this little community. I can't prove any of that is true either; not without releasing personal information which I'm not going to do.

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

Post by BMFJack » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:18 pm

The simple fact that you got automatically defensive about being accused of lying suggests that you would be lying if you did say something like that.

I hadn't even considered the fact that you could lie about it, because I believe in Katawa Shoujo's fanbase. So far you haven't lied or (at least intentionlly, I think) misrepresented anything in a malicious manner.

Taking Brythain's suggestion, it really wouldn't be a hassle to ask the simple question "What do you think about the word 'mute'?" and then, upon hearing their answer, move on to whatever else you want to talk about. I also don't expect you to poll every deaf person you know, I'm really just trying to figure out why you think it's offensive.

As far as I can tell, you're just going off what you read on the internet. And the internet is full of misinformation.

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

Post by metalangel » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:41 pm

BMFJack wrote:The simple fact that you got automatically defensive about being accused of lying suggests that you would be lying if you did say something like that.
I'm defensive because you suggested I'm making this up, as something that has been a pretty central part of my life for years. I'm not prepared to let this start involving my personal life just so you can see whether or not you're 'factually correct' again.
I hadn't even considered the fact that you could lie about it, because I believe in Katawa Shoujo's fanbase. So far you haven't lied or (at least intentionlly, I think) misrepresented anything in a malicious manner.
Doubting the truth of what I said is the whole reason we're having this argument.
Taking Brythain's suggestion, it really wouldn't be a hassle to ask the simple question "What do you think about the word 'mute'?" and then, upon hearing their answer, move on to whatever else you want to talk about.
No way am I doing that for you.
I also don't expect you to poll every deaf person you know, I'm really just trying to figure out why you think it's offensive.
Because as part of learning about the culture and community, I was taught about the terminology and how a lot of words that are commonly held to be acceptable are in fact not. As per the links. And many more links you can go out and find for yourself.
As far as I can tell, you're just going off what you read on the internet. And the internet is full of misinformation.
You know, I don't care what you think about me, anonymous internet stranger.

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

Post by BMFJack » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:37 am

metalangel wrote:I'm defensive because you suggested I'm making this up
There you go putting words in my mouth again. That's starting to get pretty annoying, you know. I've never once said you're making this up, but I do believe you've misunderstood something somewhere along the lines, leading you to believe something that isn't true. It happens to all of us, nothing to be ashamed about.
metalangel wrote:I'm not prepared to let this start involving my personal life just so you can see whether or not you're 'factually correct' again.
I already know that I'm correct, the point here is that I'm trying to figure out why you can't see that fact.
metalangel wrote:Doubting the truth of what I said is the whole reason we're having this argument.
Doubting your understanding of the situation is the whole reason we're having this argument.
metalangel wrote:No way am I doing that for you.
Don't do it for me, do it for yourself and for the deaf community. You have a real chance to have their stance on this issue be heard, and with the Katawa Shoujo fanbase looking on to boot. We could rewrite all of those incorrect articles. Unless of course, that's not their stance...
metalangel wrote:a lot of words that are commonly held to be acceptable are in fact not. As per the links. And many more links you can go out and find for yourself.
Here you go with this kind of thing again... we've already explained why your links aren't saying the same things you are, and can't find anything on the internet that solidly backs up your point. We all tried to go and find links ourselves, and couldn't. Could you be so kind as to share the links you claim exist with us?
metalangel wrote:You know, I don't care what you think about me, anonymous internet stranger.
And I don't expect you to. But if you're going to try to convince us that what you're saying is accurate, you're doing a terrible job of it.

Look man, I don't dislike you. I'm not the kind of guy that gets into an argument with someone and then ends up disliking them just because they disagree with me. As far as I can tell you're a pretty decent person, but you're doing the deaf community a great disservice by either A) Misrepresenting their stance on this issue, or B) Refusing to clarify their stance on this issue.

You keep saying over and over again that there are links and websites that prove your points, but have failed to produce even one single page that actually backs your point. Nothing you have provided (aside from your own opinion) claims that "Mute" alone, without anything attached, and used as an adjective, is currently considered offensive by anyone.

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

Post by brythain » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:18 am

From the two dozen or so official documents and papers and commentaries I've read so far, the adjective 'mute' is sometimes seen as the offensive part of the composite adjective 'deaf-mute'.

Sample: [LINK]

Generally, deaf people don't mind being called deaf, so it's the 'mute' part which may offend them if used on them.

Sample: [LINK]

From the 'how to handle such cases' documents for Aus/NZ, the EU, and the USA, I've found that specific caution is applied to the composite term 'deaf mute' (as noun or adjective) or mute when this is not definitively the case.
Additionally, communication-based disciplines (journalism, PR etc) have a slightly tighter list of guidelines. From various style guides, they prefer things like 'woman without speech' as opposed to 'mute'.

Sample: [LINK]

Edit: I've found that googling "person without speech" tends to return interesting results. Try it.
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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