Date: 2010-03-24 09:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, I totally don't think you should force yourself to read a blog that makes you see red! No way. I unfollowed someone b/c I was tired of seeing her make fun of fat people--I get that!

I guess, as I said in speaking w/[livejournal.com profile] fantasyecho, many people I know *really* no longer see the association b/t crazy and mentally ill. It makes me wonder a lot about how language evolves. Can a word be divorced from or evolve from its origins? I should think it has to, esp. when I look at the OED and see how words have changed. Are we still too close to the origin of crazy to use it without negatively stereotyping the mentally ill? I can see where we might be.

While the etymology suggests something that is flawed or has cracks or is diseased, it's interesting to see the word attempting to evolve into something positive, as in the Jazz Age and even now, where one of the accepted, informal meanings of this word is "awesome, wonderful, exciting." (Which I know is not at all what the blogger you're mentioning was trying to do--I don't dispute that this person was using the word in a pejorative sense). I've always liked the term "crazy wisdom" because I think it sees an inherent value in doing something that's beyond the accepted norm.

Anyway, this is a fascinating discussion to me about how we use and view language, how we come to language, how we don't even really realize sometimes how what we say affects other people, and how we all have (as you mention in the previous post) our set points.

For instance, I personally find the use of douche and its cognates offensive on many levels, to the point of sexism. I think it's degrading to women--why is something used by women for purposes of personal hygiene now an (often hilarious) insult? I recognize that the word has become divorced from its original meaning and now just means something similar to asshole, but it still shocks me to see people use it. But, like you, I realize the way other people see language is very different than the way I do, and what affects me doesn't necessarily affect them. :)


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