Check out 7 Shaming Words to Stop Saying Now. Right Now over on KevinMD.
Policing language has emerged as a cottage industry. When you make contrarian declarations people look. And where there’s attention there’s money. There’s nothing like a little outrage to drive page views.
This capacity to proclaim right and wrong comes from our ability to publish. When we have a platform we have authority. We can wake up one morning and declare a word officially over.
I agree with some of what’s suggested. Language is critical in framing disease and its impact on patients. But the term ‘provider’ as a source of shaming? Really? I’m not crazy about the term, necessarily, but I do recognize its utility. I’ll have to do a double check for humiliation the next time and mid-level manager calls me a provider.
If you write in the public realm, prepare to be schooled. I choose the best word I know and live with the consequences.
So far it’s worked for me.
Image via the State Library and Archives of Florida on Flickr