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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
CapriUni BS: The use of 'Crutch' as a pejorative (74* d) RE: BS: The use of 'Crutch' as a pejorative 25 Dec 11

Maybe "Pejorative" is the wrong word... maybe I should have used "derogatory," instead? In any case, I started this thread with the intention (and expectation) of provoking laughter, not anger or argument. Apparently, I misjudged my audience.

Of course calling crutches "hand ladders" is silly, and over-the-top, and nonsense. But nonsense has its place.

Jim Dixon hit the point I was trying to make with great accuracy:

A capo "is just a crutch" for people who are too lazy to learn to play barre chords. [snip] An electronic tuner "is just a crutch" for people who can't tell by ear that an instrument is out of tune.

This is a very common turn of phrase. It's an idiom that pops up in nearly in every field and profession:

"____ is just a crutch for people who are too lazy to ____".

And after a while, a idea starts to take hold (far from universal, it's true, but held by a significant minority) that Crutches are for lazy people. And if you use a wheelchair, or scooter, well then, you must be even lazier than that (scooters, especially, for some reason). I have been out in public, more than once, and been the object of stares so clearly full of anger and vitriol, provoked simply my presence, that, had I been alone, I would have feared for my safety.

And look at the debates in Britain, now, with the austerity measures, and the "crackdown" on people who are cheating and lying for their DLA (I think that's the right acronym?). So yes, the words we use, and the way we use them, do matter.

And the thing is: It makes no sense, even if it is "just a saying." For all the reasons that people use crutches, I've never actually encountered a single instance of laziness being the reason.

So why not counter that bit of nonsense with another bit of nonsense?

Now, I'm going to go away and work on designing my own teddy bear.

Have fun, folkies!

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