Saturday, October 03, 2009

Words Are Chosen

In Defense of Myself and of My Words:

I received several emails complaining about my choice of words when I wrote of the horrific treatment of Francecca and Fiona Pilkington by their neighbours. I used the words 'shit' and 'pissed'. Apparently this is simply inappropriate.

I tire of these kinds of emails quite frankly. You need to know that when you read my blog or hear me lecture I am choosing my words carefully. I do not use coarse language without forethought. It may seem casual but it isn't. Words have an effect, I'm aware of that.

Let me explain my thoughts about writing what I wrote, those youths, those toughs, those hoodlums who shoved 'shit' through the door were shoving 'shit' through the door. That wasn't feces, it wasn't human waste - it was a frigging message. 'Shit' is what they shoved. 'Shit' is what I called it. To use another word reduces the sheer horror of what they did to that family. It sanitizes the actions of the mob. It does a disservice to mother and daughter. God knows they got enough of that.

The same goes for 'pissing on the yard' ... that's what they intended, that's what they did and that's what I called it. I don't subscribe at all to the sanitizing of hatred. Unless we face the fact that gangs of toughs shoved 'shit' through a mail slot ...

shit

SHIT

S...H...I...T

and pisssssssssssssed all over the lawn - we cannot understand why a woman would kill herself and her daughter rather than face another day.

So please, please, instead of expressing distaste at my language, why not express outrage at the acts of horror? That's what we need to do ... let's not pick at each other ... let's gang up on them.

OK?

OK?

18 comments:

Terri said...

Amen.

Jaymee said...

very well said!

Jen said...

I couldn't agree more, and it's depressing that people would focus on the language used and not what was being said.

Cole said...

Well said again David. I'm coming over to introdue myself and my family and to invite you to come visitin our little blog. In honor of Down syndrome awareness month we are taking part in the 31 for 21 blogging challenge and today I added a link to your site so others could get to know the advocate in you. I've had the good fortune to hear you speak a couple of times at conferences in the last decade. I sort of faded out of the advocacy scene in the last few years as vocation and moves across the country happened. In 2/09 I gave birth to a lovely baby girl who was subsequently diagnosed with Ds and a VSD and the world of disability and advocacy came calling for us again. I was pleased as punch to discover your blog and be able to hear you again. I thank you for your continued work and presence.

http://thetaooftulips.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/31-for-21-day-3/
Cole

lisa said...

Thank you Dave

Kris Stableford said...

With you completely on this one, Dave!

FridaWrites said...

I was so shocked what happened to them that I didn't even notice what words were chosen.

ivanova said...

Agreed.

Brad said...

Well said Dave!

romham a. bear said...

i just cant quite believe that anyone(s!) would give a toss about the words you chose. These people died because they were being tormented and no one in a position of power gave a damn. What's more vile than that? Good on you for writing what you did, how you did.

Gary Miller said...

Sometimes, just sometimes, certain words are necessary in order to adequately describe an author's feelings.

Your comments regarding the treatment of Francesca and Fiona at the hands of those mindless fuckwits were definitely on the money and,quite frankly - in my opinion - entirely correct.

CJ said...

This is disgusting. That there are actually people in the world who read that and can only express dissatisfaction with the choice of your words rather than the choices of the tormentors, astounds me.

There is something missing in those people. A piece that should be there but isn't

Nathan Dawthorne said...

This is your blog - your thoughts. If you want to write using improper grammar, lots of spelling mistakes, swearing, and writing things like you believe that all skinny people are actually robots from Pluto then so be it!!!

Kristin said...

Amen Dave. Words like that have a place and you used them PERFECTLY!

Anonymous said...

Dave, you should know that your "coarse language" helps me every time we hire a new person. Working intimately with the people we support is not always pretty. We often deal with harsh realities, the people we support can be angry, outspoken, "coarse" and need to say the words that express those feelings.
I often send new hires home with some of your tapes..when they come back and say "wow, how enligtening" It helps me to know I have made a good choice.
The ones who come back and ask me if I've ever heard the language on the tapes, or say that he curses too much. Their comments help me to know that I need to watch them to be sure they don't pass their judgements or narrow-minded attitudes on to the people we support.
For that awesome tool I thank you!
Jamie Lynn

liz said...

Yes.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

I was so horror striken by the story you told that I never even noticed the language. But now that you mention it - the language is perfectly suitable - in fact, I admire your restraint!

Colleen

Anonymous said...

I am With YOU Dave....
SHIT, and PISS were Exctally the right words in the right context..... i am surprised at your restraint... there are a few other choice words i would have used!