Disability, language, history, and per se &. May 16, 2016Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: language, Richard Scarry, translation, words
“It’s a person’s right to identify however the hell they want. If they’re more comfortable as a ‘person with a disability’ than as a ‘disabled person’ then that’s nothing to do with me. […] ‘Disabled’ is the best word in the world for describing the barriers I confront and no non-disabled person has the right to try and take that from me.”
Discussions about what non-native English speakers think of the English language.
Quiet updates made to the latest edition of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever. Good ones! Gender-neutralizing ones, for starters.
“In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the &. It would have been confusing to say ”X, Y, Z, and.” Rather, the students said, ‘and per se and.’ ‘Per se’ means ‘by itself,’ so the students were essentially saying, ‘X, Y, Z, and by itself and.’ Over time, ‘and per se and’ was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand.”