Language evolves. That fact is undeniable. Language is a manifestation of social attitudes, & used to justify societal norms.
What I would like to point out is that language co-opts existing words & gives them new connotations, rather than inventing new words.
Let’s use a perfectly harmless example: singular they.
When we consider that ‘agnostic he’ as a universal marker of human beings erases women, we need to propose a new word that has the same denotation, but without the connotation. & as per my assertion, we find that language co-opts a plural pronoun ‘they’ rather than employ a gender neutral singular such as ‘ou’ or ‘ze’.
So it’s not such a stretch to understand that words that are used to harm & marginalise can be co-opted to have new connotations.
This is the important bit: their denotation does not change.
Let’s use this example: crazy.
How many times have you heard it? That’s crazy. I drove like crazy today! That’s a crazy scheme. I’m crazy for chocolate.
When you say ‘that’s so crazy/insane/lame/retarded’, & your connotation is negative, your enthymeme is: people with disabilities (visible or invisible) are undesirable. Unpleasant. Thoughtless. Reckless. Absurd. Terrifying. Silly. Preposterous. Irresponsible. Unthinkable. Unbalanced. Outrageous. Inappropriate. Scary.
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