[LMB] OT: norms (was Re: LMB - Modern masters of science fiction)

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Mon Jul 6 13:58:04 BST 2015


> On Jul 5, 2015, at 10:52 PM, Beatrice Otter <beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com> wrote:
> 
> "normal" is seen as Good and Right and The Way Things Should Be. It's not just quantitative, it's used qualitatively as a value judgment.  Things that are "abnormal" or "not normal" are not /right/. And while the words /technically/ don't denote that, they do carry that connotation, and arguing about the literal meaning doesn't change that.
> 
> It's why, for example, the autistic community doesn't call people who don't have autism spectrum disorders "normal," they are "neurotypical" or allistic.  Which would you rather be, abnormal or atypical?  According to the dictionary, they mean the same thing. In practice, one is a truly neutral term while the other only pretends to be.

Correct.   The “real” meanings of words change because of usage and emotions.    Occasionally we will “let our freak flag fly”, but mostly we give bad connotations to being different from standards.   Most wars these days are punishing people from being different from what we think is right and normal, even when we claim that we are fighting for standards that are very different from ours (As in claiming to be followers of Jesus, while rejecting His values).


Emotions are real, and language reflects them.


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list