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Needed or at Least Wanted: Sanity in the Language Wars


In this paper, Wolfensberger analyses the subtleties and fallacies of Politically Correct language, not just in reference to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but the broader context of devalued human conditions and the people who ‘have them’. He remarks that when people become afraid to say the wrong thing, they often quit talking about the issue altogether, which engenders miscommunications and misunderstandings. He outlines ten principles for the selection and use of language that would help overcome this, pointing out that is virtually impossible to find a term that would meet all ten criteria.

Wolf Wolfensberger
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Journal: Vol. 49, No. 6, pp. 463-468.
Publication Date
Professionals, Teachers
Social Role Valorisation, language, politically correct, person centred, terminology
United States

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