Date: 2010-03-24 09:20 pm (UTC)

I know that personally when or if I use the word "crazy", I use it not to denote someone who has mental health issues, but someone who is acting badly, irrationally, insensibly, etc., all things which can happen apart from and outside of mental illness.


The thing is? Even if you're not using the word "crazy" to directly refer to people with mental illness, that word stems from the rhetoric of mental illness and the association is still strong that crazy = person who's mind is not working an approved way. It is still a word that's used to discuss unacceptable mental states and thus it is a word that will always remain linked to mental illness. Same way with words like "insane".

I'm not saying I haven't been guilty of using this word in bad ways as well. And I also get that it's a word others might feel is neutral because we use it in other circumstances "it's been a crazy day" or "it's crazy fun" - but it really isn't a neutral word.

The reason irrationality, insensibility, and bad behavior are what crazy describes for you is because these are the things associated with that word BECAUSE it was used for/about the mentally ill. We have this word in our vocabulary to describe that which is disorderly because it was meant to describe those who have disorders.

Language is sneaky like that, so I think that's why it's important, at least for me personally, to be very aware and very careful of that.

As for the original case described in this post, it's a person who runs a pretty well known blog and I literally went back and counted. EVERY single mention of bad politics came with a reference to "crazy" or "insane" or "nuts". Literally. Every. Single. One. It came to the point where just seeing the person's name pop up on my f-list made me go, "Oh god, what's he gonna say now?" And that's just not something I need in my life.
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