Re: Blind studies etc.

Subject: Re: Blind studies etc.
From: Kim Whitney <kwhitney -at- PRIMENET -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 12:33:48 -0700

It's certainly an interesting comparison. When not writing I am the Director
of Braille Express--a non-profit service that creates braille documents and
tactile maps and graphics for the blind and visually impaired.

In my experience, *most* blind people take no offense to terms like blind
luck or blind study. They also use "visual" words in conversation like look,
see, and vision.

Of course, just as in the general population, there are blind people who are
very into political correctness--many are bitter about their circumstance
and see language as one area over which they can exercise control.

Despite the good intentions claimed by the p-c movement, I believe writers
must all be on guard against those who deprive us useful and easily
understood terms.

Kim Whitney
kwhitney -at- primenet -dot- com
800.624.8378 (USA)

>Did anybody see the ethics situation posed in the current issue of the STC
>Intercom? In it, an eager young writer is trying to get a group of stodgy
>scientists to accept her preferences for politically correct language, such
>as "gender neutral" pronouns to replace the indeterminate "he." Some give
>in, others don't. One sympathetic scientist, an asian Indian, seems like a
>prime target for her next move, so the writer presents her with the next
>linguistic victim: blind study. In the writer's experience, blind people are
>insulted in varying degrees by terms such as "blind luck" and "blind alley,"
>usually terms reserved for slightly negative connotations. The scientist,
>while she listens attentively, proposes that this is a bit too far out on
>the limb for her to go. She points out that she, herself, is the unwilling
>recipient of similar terms, being a Hindu and an Indian, but that she takes
>no offense and that perhaps the offended blind individuals should become
>more at peace with themselves, rather than depriving the sciences of a
>descriptive and useful term.

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