Many fields have their own jargon, which Wikipedia describes as "specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity" that often isn't well understand by people outside of that particular field. While jargon can help people within a field communicate precisely, that doesn't necessarily translate well outside of the field. It can be… Continue reading The Use and Misuse of Jargon
In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week's term is the euphemism treadmill. The term euphemism treadmill was coined by psychologist and linguist Stephen Pinker in a 1994 article in the New York Times. It refers to a process by which words that are used as a… Continue reading What Is… the Euphemism Treadmill
As bloggers, we play with words. Some of them are more fun quirky than others. Here are a few of the interesting ways we use words. That crazy pond that separates us Despite speaking the same language, there are a lot of differences between British-speak and American-speaking, with Canadian-speak thrown in there somewhere in between.… Continue reading The Interesting Ways We Use Words
I saw a post recently by another blogger about stigmatizing language to avoid. One of the things he mentioned was "committed suicide," which is something that comes up regularly in discussions of language use related to suicide. Personally, it's not a term I find offensive, although I know some people do, and I choose not… Continue reading Is “Committed Suicide” Worth Making an Issue Out Of?
Just to get things started, I'll say that I'm "mentally ill", I "suffer from" depression, and I'm a little bit "crazy", although the degree varies over time. Now that we've got that out of the way, there are a lot of people who like to take a stand against language that is thought to stigmatize… Continue reading “Rules” for Talking About Mental Illness
I was inspired to write this post after reading the book The Stigma Effect: Unintended Consequences of Mental Health Campaigns. It's written by psychologist Patrick Corrigan, whose research on stigma I first encountered when I was working on my Master's thesis. In it, he challenges a lot of commonly held ideas about how we should… Continue reading How Can We Fight Stigma Most Effectively?
Crazy. Psycho. Schizo. Nutbar. Mad. Retard. Lunatic. Loony tunes. Insane. F***ed in the head. Bonkers. Whack job. Batshit crazy. Certifiable. These are just a few examples, but when it comes to derogatory, stigmatized mental health-related terms, there are many of them and we hear them often. Sometimes we even use them ourselves. A study by… Continue reading How Do You Respond to Stigmatized Language?
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” That may have worked in the school yard at recess, but language has tremendous power, both to communicate and to miscommunicate. Take the word “depression” for example.