Friday, October 7, 2011

Speaking correctly.

I'm a bit of a stickler for my children pronouncing words correctly and using proper grammar.  I know this is slightly hypocritical of me; I'm sure my blog posts are riddled with improper punctuation and word choice.  Despite my flaws, I do make an attempt to speak correctly and I expect my children to speak well also.

T-Man is a talker.  He has a huge vocabulary and can make conversation with anyone about any subject.  In fact, sometimes we have to remind him that other people need a turn to talk.  In all of these conversations, his pronunciation is usually least it was until last night.

He came home from school with a tooth about to fall out of his head. 

I gave it a little push, and out it came.
Poor kid, definitely going to need braces.

And now words like "police" are being pronounced "pol-isth".  And "rice" is "rye-th". 

Strangely, my language OCD is not bothered by this yet; in fact, I find it adorable.  Although it is pretty hard to take him seriously when he tells us to "Sth-op laughing!" whenever he talks.

Love you, T-Man!!

And while we are speaking about language, in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I thought you all would like to know how to speak correctly about Down syndrome.  When I first got Miss B's diagnosis, the NDSS website was one of the first places I went for information.  I read and re-read reading all of their "About Down syndrome" pages a gazillion times, trying to soak it all in.  I remember thinking that I had no idea how to speak correctly about Down syndrome, about my baby.  Oy! I had a lot to learn!

I know most of you already say these things correctly;  thank you for being respectful and sensitive and for using the preferred terms and language when you talk about my little lady and all of her Trisomy 21 brothers and sisters.
Here's the "Preferred Language Guide" from the National Down Syndrome Society's website:

Below is the proper use of language for “Down syndrome”:
• Down vs. Down’s - NDSS uses the preferred spelling, Down syndrome, rather than Down’s syndrome. While Down syndrome is listed in many dictionaries with both popular spellings (with or without an apostrophe s), the preferred usage in the United States is Down syndrome. This is because an “apostrophe s” connotes ownership or possession. Down syndrome is named for the English physician John Langdon Down, who characterized the condition, but did not have it. The AP Stylebook recommends using “Down syndrome,” as well.
• People with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first. Instead of “a Down syndrome child,” it should be “a child with Down syndrome.” Also avoid “Down’s child” and describing the condition as “Down’s,” as in, “He has Down’s.”
• Down syndrome is a condition or a syndrome, not a disease.
• People “have” Down syndrome, they do not “suffer from” it and are not “afflicted by” it.
• While it is unfortunately clinically acceptable to say “mental retardation,” you should use the more socially acceptable “intellectual disability”. NDSS strongly condemns the use of the word "retarded" in any derogatory context. Using this word is hurtful and suggests that people with disabilities are not competent.


Cindy said...

Great language guides. When Beth was born, using the term 'Downs' was acceptable and I still find myself using it today. I'm learning though. :)

krlr said...

We just lost a tooth too! And, sadly, already had to explain ToothFairy Economics to my son whose cousin also just lost a tooth (it must be contagious) a day earlier. I did not see that one coming.

I think I'm going to post a language guide this month too...(forthee.x.t.e.n.d.e.dfamily shh!)

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