Monday, December 7, 2009

Word Power by Kayla Gaffney

Words have the power to change the way that people think. Politicians spin their words in speeches to make people want to vote for them. Bias-free language is a way to respect all cultures and ways of life while still maintaining the writers core subject. In "Bias-Free Language: Some Guidelines" by Rosalie Maggio, Maggio explains that one of the objections to bias-free writing is that it will be used to a point of absurdities. Critics say that using bias-free language would lead to extreme changes in words, such as using personhole cover instead of manhole cover. Changing these words to keep bias out of writing would lead to the need for new dictionaries to be to be re-wrote. 

I agree with a post that Muriel Mapa made on the same subject. There are already multiple restrictions on how writers are supposed to write. Taking word choice away from writers would lead to books and articles being what they were not meant to be. A writer who wanted to write in a different time period would not be aloud to use terms that were popular in that day and age because people might find them offensive. I stand with Michiko Kakutani, who is the writer of "The Word Police." In this article, Kakutani agrees with the fact that writing should not discriminate, yet also believes that radical changes in certain words takes away the fundamental meaning of that word. Are we really going to take to extreme measures so that Pet Cemetery becomes Animal Companion Graves. 

1 comment:

  1. I love your point about writers not using their work to discriminate. I agree that we need to be careful with the words we use, we don't want to change their meanings. Changing all of our literature into bias-free work, would be an unnecessary measure.