Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Importance of People First Language

My new post up at Times of Israel

Words have a reach beyond their limited definitions. Words have a reach in the interactive and human sense. Every word has a value, every word has a purpose and every word has an unintended outcome. It is important that we understand the true nature and power of words. It is why we are always admonished to think before we speak. It is why there is a prohibition against lashon hara, or speaking evil. 

One of the more politically correct versions of words is the limitation that some people put on the use of certain words. They tell you what you cannot say or how you can use a word and why. While egos do get bruised and there is much overreach when detailing “good verbiage versus bad”, it is important to remember that the old adage about words never hurting is a falsity. Now many rail against word correctness and call it mind control, deride the thought police and tell the insulted to get over themselves. But to be understanding of the power of words is not about control but respect. Respect for the society in which you live and for the people whom you address.
Read the rest HERE.