|"I am writing to comment on the use in Therapy Today of the words ‘anorexics’ and ‘anorectics’ as nouns. They show up in two brief articles published in the July issue"|
At the risk of becoming an inverted pedant, I felt I had to write to address the issue raised by Caroline Vermes in the letters pages of October’s therapy today.
At the risk of becoming an inverted pedant, I felt I had to write to address the issue raised by Caroline Vermes in the letters pages of October’s therapy today. There is hardly a month goes by without someone writing in about labelling people as schizophrenics or anorexics and it seems to get the goats of counsellors who have been over-influenced by the politically correct brigade. Obviously, political correctitude was initiated with the right intentions but, like all good incentives and laws, pedantry and jobs worth-ism ruins the inspired gist in the first instance.
As counsellors, don’t we all know that a person with schizophrenia or anorexia is not just a schizophrenic or an anorexic? Don’t we know that people are flesh and blood and sometimes have problems? Is that not obvious? One might refer to a very wealthy person as a ‘millionaire’; surely we can all intelligently assume that he is a person as well can’t we? Following the pedants’ logic, are we to refer to the rich person as a ‘person with millions of pounds’? Should Chris Tarrant’s programme be renamed ‘Who wants to be a person with millions of pounds?’ I wonder if it actually upsets anyone to be labelled as a millionaire or an anorexic? Similarly, when we learn someone’s occupation, they don’t announce themselves as ‘a person who knows about accounts’ – they are an accountant. Isn’t it obvious that there is more to the person than the behaviours and who does it actually upset? With respect, I think this obsession with labelling is just a waste of ink.