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    Words I Hate

    I understand that languages evolve, and that new words get invented to deal with new stuff, and I have no problem with that.  What I do have a problem with is imprecise or innaccurate language.

    As a psychologist, I truly despise when new 'disorders' are invented that are not disorders at all, but just being an asshole.  So, this post is inspired by those two things.

    I guess the two current buzzwords that I hate the most are homophobia and islamaphobia.  Now, I know what both of these mean, as do you.  What pisses me off is the use of the term 'phobia'.  Homophobia is hatred of LGBT people, and Islamaphobia is hatred of Muslims.  THESE ARE NOT PHOBIAS.  A phobia is an irrational fear, a real psychological problem, and they can be debilitating.  

    Islamaphobia and homophobia are simply bigotry.  They are simply hatred.  These are not disorders, they are being a bigoted asshole.  That is not a disorder.  Why in the hell can't we just use the word 'bigot'?  Perhaps we could come up with a better term, anti-Semtisim is not called 'Jewphobia' or something. 

    Now, I don't think (or I certainly don't hope) that most people thinnk of these two things as disorders, but the words themselves imply that they are disorders.  I also am not naive enough to believe those words will change.  Anyway, as usual, I am starting to ramble.....

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    Reader Comments (5)

    Very good point, that I'd never considered before. I'm a stickler for proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and lack of bullshit. Don't get me wrong... it's fun to make up words to be goofy and have fun with language. But those words and words like them hide hatred with misdirection.

    Thanks for pointing that out, Dave.

    August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKrash Coarse

    I agree that thes are all great points; but now for interest's sake, I am going to play the devils advocate and provide a counterpoint on the possible use of the word 'homophobia' and 'islamaphobia.'

    When someone is trul afraid of looking at or being around LGBT, or people of the muslim descent - but cannot explain why they are afraid - except that being around them freaks them out...does that not fall into the definition of phobia?

    I believe it is the same for people who say they have acrophobia; having panic attacks when they even look up at a tall building...but sleep like a baby from a Airbus 3000 at 30,000 ft. (I know several people like this)

    Does their phobia count, or is it merely a hatred of certain situations that involve height? Selective phobias?

    August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Findlay

    Nice point. If that was what those words meant maybe I would have less of a problem. I have not heard of such a condition though and it could be fixed pretty easily with flooding or systematic desensitization.

    It seems to me though that we are simply (usually) sanitizing bigotry.

    August 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterDave Brodbeck

    Check out Wikipedia

    Agreed, but it seems that many everyday things have already been provided leniency through Phobia Sanitization; like, "Ohh...Johnny can't make it to class today because of his Scolionophobia, he is afraid of school" ...

    August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Findlay

    That wikipedia list is funny actually, most none of those are actually in the DSM IV. Many of those would not be even considered phobias I think.

    August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Brodbeck

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