Crip, Gimp and Other Naughty WordsMar 14 12:59
Recently New Mobility received a letter from Rick Grassa, a long-time reader taking us to task for, among other issues, our continued use of naughty insider words like crip and gimp. Here’s a snippet from the letter:
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1. sweetkels | Mar 14 12:21
One of my closest friends has a child with Down Syndrome. She is an advocate, and she does amazing things to ensure that her son has every opportunity that "normal" kids have. I just saw an email where she bashed someone for using the words "mentally retarded." Now let me be clear, I don't think those words are appropriate or OK, and maybe they aren't PC. But it made me think about me. I have been called handicapped, disabled, gimpy, physically challenged, etc, etc. Call it what you will. I am what I am! I understand that everyone isn't as socially sensitive as a person with first hand experience may be. You smile and you educate. I wish people would stop being so offended. Our founding fathers didn't give us the right to be protected from idiots. They gave us the right to free speech. Let's get over this feeling that we need to boycott words and phrases. Let's show people that we, the people with varying levels of ability, can make a difference. Peace.
2. cpspeaker | Mar 14 02:11
I wish the public get their heads in the your 2008! I've had Cerebral Palsy since 1972; and I perfer the word "Dis-abled"
3. Shark7 | Mar 14 01:25
How about "handi-capable" or "patient". Oops, I just vomited. Seriously, from a writers standpoint it is a tough call. If something like "PWD" became accepted by the AP Stylebook it would be easier to squeeze into those 250 word columns where the general term is pertinent to the story. I agree with the AP Stylebook when it says, when pertinent, and if possible, address the specific disability such as "wheelchair users" (AP jargon), I like using "wheelers". The words gimp and crip add spice and reality to the story, these words are certainly in the patois of people I roll with, and are badges of acceptance. I admit to a double standard--in my opinion the writer must own a disability to have license to use gimp and crip.
4. Murray | Mar 14 02:47
I respect Grassa's position, but I've got a healthy dose of orneriness mixed with some mischievousness that makes using gimp and crip too much fun. My buddies - like you said: those I know real well - don't get offended by it. Hell, if they did, I wouldn't hang with 'em. But, when I'm around an unfamiliar group, no way would I use those monikers. For example, I'll be speaking at a local Lions Club this month on disability awareness - Gimp and crip just don't quite fit the bill. But if somebody wants to use 'em - fine. I think I'd have to weigh in on the aye-side of First Amendment rights.
5. krsketch | Mar 14 05:31
I'm a partial quad and like everybody, I've been called everything. I just like "crip" and "gimp" because it gives me a laugh! I like to see the expression on people's faces when I use those phrazes. I still can remember how upset it made my ex-wife when I called myself a crip. People have just got to loosen up a bit, for cryin out loud! Call me anything, but don't call me "late" for dinner!
6. gimpman2004 | Mar 14 10:12
I'm a quad, and I for one see nothing with being called a gimp, crip, disabled, handicapped, or whatever. I'm proud to be disabled! I'm tired of the political crap! Be proud of who & what you are. Words don't define who I am. New Mobility should use whatever words they want under the 1st amendment. If someone has a problem with reading or being called a gimp, crip or whatever then they don't have to read/subscribe to the magazine.
7. maryfowler | Oct 08 01:19
We still see the word "bound" used, as in "wheelchair bound". "Bound for glory" or "bound for the presidency", etc. are fine. I'm pretty sure NM doesn't use "wheelchair bound", but if there is an article on vocabulary, "bound" should be mentioned. :(
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