• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Politically Correct Terminology

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
We all know the extremes of PC, e.g.;

  • Can't say black coffee, must be coffee without milk
  • Can't say man-hole, must be person receptacle
Etc etc...

I just wanted to see what the accepted term is for someone with a mental disability? Apologies if that is offensive. I thought the term "special needs" was PC but apparently it's not. Apparently the US government has agreed the term "intellectually disabled". Others say "mentally challenged" or similar things.

Just what is correct/inoffensive?
 

IronGiant

Moderator
see my post in the thing thread :)
 

BISHI

Distinguished Member
Special needs remains acceptable in the UK but the phrase 'person with a learning difficulty' is becoming more common.

When I was a child terms such as 'spaz' or 'flid' etc were common, in recent years this insult has been replaced by 'special.'
It just goes to show no matter how PC adults try to make the language kids will find a way around it ..!
 

jp_bl_68

Prominent Member
We all know the extremes of PC, e.g.;

  • Can't say black coffee, must be coffee without milk
  • Can't say man-hole, must be person receptacle
Is that a joke? I've never heard anyone refer to a manhole as a person receptacle. Is ordering 'black coffee' considered offensive, anywhere?

I just wanted to see what the accepted term is for someone with a mental disability?
I'd just say they had a mental disability unless I knew what condition they had.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I think the important bit seems to be "with" so they are people with special needs or people with learning difficulties; so to be PC you have to emphasise they are people first and with a disabilty second. So Special Needs Kids is less PC than Kids with Special Needs, if you see what I'm getting at.
 
Last edited:

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
When I was a child terms such as 'spaz' or 'flid' etc were common, in recent years this insult has been replaced by 'special.'
It just goes to show no matter how PC adults try to make the language kids will find a way around it ..!

Yeah "spa" or "tard" were the ones in my school days.

The reason I ask is because I wanted to start a thread about my dog, who I suspect is "special". We're far from PC, we affectionately refer to her as a "window-licker", based on a Billy Connolly line and the fact that she licks the kitchen cupboards.
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
I'd have thought it would be "Mentally Handicapped" or "Learning Disability". I refer to the charity The Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults (now the Royal Mencap Society), aka. Mencap, which itself is an abbreviation of Mentally Handicapped (I think).
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Where did you hear it wasn't correct?

Did a google search and found a few people saying it was offensive because "special" = different from normal and they don't want to be considered different.


Is that a joke? I've never heard anyone refer to a manhole as a person receptacle. Is ordering 'black coffee' considered offensive, anywhere?

Not actually sure if it's a joke or not. You know Americans... :rolleyes:
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
I'd have thought it would be "Mentally Handicapped" or "Learning Disability". I refer to the charity The Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults (now the Royal Mencap Society), aka. Mencap, which itself is an abbreviation of Mentally Handicapped (I think).

But then you see ad campaigns which say "Handi-capable" and "I have a dis-ability" focusing on the capabable and ability parts of the common terms for handicap or disability, which gives the impression that they're offensive!
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Get over to the thing thread the pair of you, we may need to work as a team in there so please put your differences behind you :smashin:

Dave
 

Sonic67

Banned
The local council decided that those using its services for instance in care homes or visited or whatever should be called 'service users'. Now some are wondering if that might be a problem as saying 'user' isn't too good. Some people take 'user' to be someone who takes advantage.
 

FunkyMunkey

Prominent Member
I've just finished a stint working in learning disabilities. The "correct" term is either learning disabilities of learning diffficulties.

It's all a bit of a minefield... I wasn't sure whether to call them patients/clients/service users/who kows what!
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
I'd have thought it would be "Mentally Handicapped" or "Learning Disability". I refer to the charity The Royal Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults (now the Royal Mencap Society), aka. Mencap, which itself is an abbreviation of Mentally Handicapped (I think).
Handicapped is now unacceptable, as is cripple.
 

krish

Distinguished Member
in vacation times and longer periods between studies and other work from 1990 to 1995, I was a day care officer in a day centre for adults with learning disabilities ... the centre itself went through various names changes - Adult Training Centre, Adult Day Services Centre, and finally Resource Centre, and the people using the centre were at various times called trainees, clients, customers, service users

they were always said to have learning disablities, and those who required extra care (severe epileptics, quadraplegia, other severe physical/health/behavioural conditions) were referred to as having special needs and sometimes as having severe mental handicap
 

PoochJD

Distinguished Member
HI,

FWIW:

1) I can't see how ordering black coffee or white coffee (or tea, for that matter) can be considered racially offensive. It would be no different, if I wanted white sugar, rather than golden granulated. Still, what do I know?! :rolleyes:

2) With regards to adults or children who have a disability of some kind, the best term(s) to use, in my view are:

- He/she is "someone with learning difficulties" (if it's someone who is mentally incapacitated in some way)
- If they're physically disabled, I would use the term "physically-challenged".
- Wheelchair users aren't disabled, they are simply "Wheelchair users". (Don't try to claim otherwise, or you can potentially be on the end of a lot of arguing!)

3) Never ever use the words: "handicapped", spaz", "spazmo", "spastic", "spasticated", "spazmoid", "retard", "retarded", "retardo", "flid", or any other variations of them! That's the worst terms you can use! :eek: Even words like "handicappable" can be seen as being denigratory, so I'd avoid that term as well.

Lastly, if you aren't sure, just refer to the person as a person: that is, use the words "the guy over there in the wheelchair", "the lady with learning difficulties", or "the kid with the X t-shirt on " (if you need to refer to someone who has problems speaking), and avoid any specific mentions of their disability outside of very, very broad terms.


Pooch
 

Det

Distinguished Member
We just say "Coffee" over here and if anyone asks cream or sugar then we'll say "black"... it's no biggie.

We say "Special Needs" "Learning Disabled" and a handful of others.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
1) I can't see how ordering black coffee or white coffee (or tea, for that matter) can be considered racially offensive. It would be no different, if I wanted white sugar, rather than golden granulated. Still, what do I know?! :rolleyes:.

Those were jokey (I hope) examples. Not sure if these have ever been real!


3) Never ever use the words: "spaz", "spazmo", "spastic", "spasticated", "spazmoid", "retard", "retarded", "retardo", "flid", or any other variations of them! That's the worst terms you can use! :eek:

Irish I may be, but I'm not that thick! Never heard of "flid though".


Lastly, if you aren't sure, just refer to the person as a person: that is, use the words "the guy over there in the wheelchair", "the lady with learning difficulties", or "the kid with the X t-shirt on " (if you need to refer to someone who has problems speaking), and avoid any specific mentions of their disability outside of very, very broad terms.

I guess you missed the reason behind this thread, which is the other thread...

http://www.avforums.com/forums/general-chat/1269629-i-think-my-dog-intellectually-disabled.html

Thanks for a very comprehensive reply though! (I mean that, not being sarky).
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
Terms change so often nowadays you can go on 'disability etiquette training' which also gives you pointers on how to behave towards/interact with disabled people.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Hi DrPhil,

You said:

Thanks for a very comprehensive reply though! (I mean that, not being sarky).

I don't think you are familiar with Pooch, who never fails to provide complete and comprehensive detail in his replies!! These replies could include, but may not be limited to:

1) Answering on aspects of etiquette or social behaviour and the corresponding fallout from any breaches of same; :D

2) Identifying the humorous or macabre nature of an unusual or downright disgusting sexual act which has made the news, or providing background and links to similar stories; ;)

3) Commenting on strange and unusual films, particularly those which may have a fuzzy history with regard to censorship due to excessive violence; :nono:

4) Providing advice on aspects of the law that the honourable members of general chat may be struggling with! :lesson:

Bear in mind when reading Pooch's replies that each entry he makes on these forums is lovingly crafted, with so much time and effort put into each one that occasionally threads are closed before he has had the chance to post his views! :eek:

Frank.

(only messing with you Pooch! :smashin:)
 

The latest video from AVForums

SVS Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speakers - Review Coming Soon
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom