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To Grammar’s House
May 24, 2012
“To Grammar’s House” is a regular column by the Boston Globe copy desk on the style and language used in the newspaper.
This is a great point. Without thinking, I have used the phrase and now an on the hunt for better alternatives. Any suggestions?
My wife is "confined to a wheelchair" She cannot get up and walk about,therefore she is "confined" to it. This does not mean she is confined to the house and can go out of she wants....so please stop this ridiculously stupid political correctness horse hockey.
In reply to InterestedReader1, simply say or write that a person "uses a wheelchair." It's true and simple and offers no connotations.
Myron 58 you are so right. All this politically correct nonsense is starting to become tiresome. Of course these people are "confined" (which isn't a dirty word) because without the wheel chair they couldn't do any of the things they do. Without ramps, elevators, etc. they wouldn't have the mobility they have. Is wheelchair-bound any better? How else to describe their particular reality?
I wish the Globe would also proscribe the phrase and its analogical uses "battling cancer" or battling other diseases or ailments. Cancer is an illness, not an enemy combatant. Those who die "after a brave and lengthy battle against . . . " do not die for lack of courage or effort. Those who survive are not braver or stronger. Such phrases are cliche and should be avoided for that reason alone.
I'm with Myron (above). This is another example of the word police excising perfectly good words and phrases from our vacabulary. If you're in a wheelchair, sorry, you're confined to it. You can't walk. You're stuck in the chair because your legs don't work. You object to the truth? It won't change the truth, unfortunately.