Firstly can I say how grateful I am to you, I went veggie at 15 and having requested your book for my birthday a couple of years ago slowly flirted with becoming vegan until the concept of things like milk and cheese seemed a foreign langauge!
I love reading your forums and find they constantly teach me about different ways I can change my behaviour to help the world out a little.
I am not a complainer nor someone who gets offended easily but I thought I'd flag up to you the fact that in England (where I live) and New Zealand (where I am from) the word spastic that you used a couple of times in a recent forum about acupuncture is actually deeply offensive. It stems from the fact it was a word used to bully and put down people with down syndrome and learning difficulties in the 80/90s, in fact The Spastic Society charity changed its name to Scope in the UK as the word is so synonamous with cruelty.
I appreciate words mean different things in different countries but I thought you might like to know that in some countries that post didn't translate very well.
Hi Bridie...in the states we use the word to describe someone who is hyper active, shortened form being "spaz"...its a word I may use to describe my kids when they come home from school and throw their books and coats all over talking a mile a minute about their day while looking for a snack and spilling their juice! I take care of developmentally disabled people for my work and never heard that so thanx for the heads up:)
From country to country and culture to culture, we all have different dos and don'ts. It makes our world really interesting, but different people's sensitivities unfortunately have a way of bringing about unnecessary conflict where there simply doesn't need to be any.
Particularly as our communication becomes increasingly global on the internet, I think its a really good approach to be mindful of one's intentions when they say (write) something. This way, we can all avoid conflict over something as innocuous as a word that holds many different meanings. For example, as an American, I'm not offended when I hear a British person use a different word for cigarette that, here in America, is very derogatory. I think it's safe to argue that we all know Alicia has absolutely no malicious intent in ANYTHING that is ever posted on this site, so I think we'd all do well to focus our energy on flagging true negativity.
It's a really good point Nick and I definitely see where you are coming from, I just thought Alicia might be like to know when her lingo hadn't translated well. She has such a brilliant world view and teaches so much that it would be a shame if it was the first time someone read her blog, found themselves offended and didn't come back. I am from New Zealand, live in England and have an Irish father so have come across many words/actions that don't translate between western countries! It never occured to me that Alicia would have malicious intent and I would always argue in favour of not censoring peoples words but I also think there is a place for each of us to have an understanding what out words may mean to others.
I just wanted to add that yes, as a British person I was very surprised to read the term 'spazzing out' in Alicia's book. And also that yes, I immediately assumed she had no idea of this word's history of use and meant no harm in using it.
Just for the record...here's the definition from Wikipedia.
adj.1. Of, relating to, or characterized by spasms: a spastic colon; a spastic form of cerebral palsy.2. Affected by spastic paralysis. 3. Offensive Slang Clumsy or inept. n. A person affected with spastic paralysis. [Latin spasticus, from Greek spastikos, from spn, to pull.] I didn't find this personally offensive to read but I can see how some might.
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