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Please stop saying, "midget" - what an ugly word.

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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:28 AM
Original message
Please stop saying, "midget" - what an ugly word.
I don't know who re-popularized this word, but it's demeaning and ugly. I was acquainted with someone who I found quite likeable, and at one point, she used the word "midget" to describe someone else (forget who exactly), and I was taken aback, shocked and appalled. Suffice it to say I steer clear of her.

Why should people be defined by their height? Is this polite or no?
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. People shouldn't be defined by any physical characteristic
Height, weight, size, shape, etc., unless it's in a doctor's report or arrest warrant.

I understand that those we used to call "midgets" or "dwarfs" prefer "little people" these days.

But...can we still call Bush a "mental midget"?
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Should they be defined by word choice, though?
You know, for those who don't enough little people to know that "midget" is out these days?
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evolved Anarchopunk Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
2. only a mental-midget would shun someone permanently
for word choice. Yet i agree with you it is a demeaning symbolic reverberation of the vocal chords.
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evolved Anarchopunk Donating Member (188 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. just realized how snarky that sounded, it wasn't intended but still
you said you otherwise liked this person.

Whatever happened to the Beatles 'let it be'
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Well, yeah, letting bigots be bigots LOL
That's sort of what I mean - I don't want to be a school marm or PC police-person (yes, that was a PC joke), but I also don't want my mind poisoned with hateful language, even if the speaker is unaware how hateful such words are.
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Maybe. It just sounds like the N word to me.
or "fag". I suppose it's debatable; it would be nice for self-identifying short people to check in here and vote how they feel about the word. Anyway...
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
3. I had a friend who used to own a midget
Very unreliable cars. It would have been hard to talk about that car without using the word though.

There is a difference between define and describe. "He's a white guy, about five ten," is not the same as "Of course he's a greedy bastard, he's white."
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pansypoo53219 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
8. except
georgie bush IS a mental midgit.
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NoSheep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. I respect your pov but there is something you may not know:
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 10:10 AM by NoSheep
"midget" is a term that describes a person who is 4 foot 10 or smaller with a normally proportioned body.
"dwarf" is a term that describes a person who's body is truncated and their hands, feet and head are usually regular size. dwarfism is a medical condition that can include many life threatening internal physical irregularities because the body is abnormally proportioned.
These are simply words that describe various human conditions. now perhaps it is better to advocate that people use a term other than midget to describe something bad...as in "he's a mental midget". But the word midget is not in and of itself a bad word.

I think midget should not be used to indicate something negative because it makes no sense.
I also hate "dumb blond" jokes for the same reason.

edited to check spelling
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. This is no longer exactly true
Technically speaking, "dwarf" is correct for referring to an adult 4'10" or shorter; "little person" is the safest term to use.

Per the Little People of America:
Q: What is a midget?

A: In some circles, a midget is the term used for a proportionate dwarf. However, the term has fallen into disfavor and is considered offensive by most people of short stature. The term dates back to 1865, the height of the "freak show" era, and was generally applied only to short-statured persons who were displayed for public amusement, which is why it is considered so unacceptable today.

Such terms as dwarf, little person, LP, and person of short stature are all acceptable, but most people would rather be referred to by their name than by a label.
(Source: http://www.lpaonline.org/resources_faq.html )

Tucker (4'10")
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NoSheep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Thanks! my sister's ex-mother- inlaw was very small but proportioned
and that got me interested in the phenom. I like short stature now that midget has become associated with negative intent, as in "mental midget".
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
10. Roger Ebert just learned this...
from Danny Woodburn (actor from Seinfeld), who wrote him to complain about his use of the word in one of his columns. Ebert posted their letters back and forth about it on his website.

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AI...
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
11. You should have corrected her.
Some people need to be reminded that some words are offensive. They may not know.
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ladeuxiemevoiture Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. I suppose. Sometimes, when words or phrases enter the popular vernacular,
I feel like for me to correct people in such a manner makes me seem like an old fart. For example, the term "trailer trash" with is basically "white trash" in another form.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. Oh brother.....
... whatever.
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 07:08 AM
Response to Original message
15. Perhaps you can kindly point out to her how offensive that word is
rather than steer clear of her completely.
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LibertyorDeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:24 AM
Response to Original message
17. I never use it. I'm guilty of using "retarded" but I'm weaning
myself off that.

However I will never stop calling Ann Coulter a Filthy CU#T!
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ArkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
18. Last night, as I was squirting lemon juice on my shrimp and
downing my half-pint of ale for some reason my homunculus waitress, who was reading the Bantam Book Tom Thumb, expressed the same sentiment to me.


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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
19. I prefer Munchkin, myself
It covers Dwarves, Midgets and little kids too...

RL
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